By DALTON DUHON
A first half shootout gave way to a second half blowout as the Elkhart Elks fell to the Joaquin Rams 46-21 on homecoming.
The Elks got on the board first after receiving the opening kickoff, thanks to a 5-yard touchdown run courtesy of high-powered running back Jeffrey Wilson. The extra point was good, and Elkhart led, 7-0.
The ensuing kickoff was fumbled by Joaquin and recovered by the Elks, however the Joaquin defense stiffened and forced an Elkhart punt.
The Rams’ offense answered Elkhart’s score with one of their own, thanks to senior running back Wyatt Hairgrove, who scored from 2 yards out. A successful two point conversion gave Joaquin a 8-7 lead as the first quarter drew to a close.
The Elks took the lead back from Joaquin thanks to a 16-yard touchdown pass with quarterback Kevin Kidd connecting with wide receiver Hunter Parker for the go-ahead score. The two point conversion failed, but Elkhart held the lead, 13-8.
On their next drive, the Rams went back ahead of the Elks because of a 23-yard scoring run from quarterback Will Vaughn. The two point conversion failed, but Joaquin held a 14-13 advantage over the Elks.
Elkhart answered less than a minute later, with a 71-yard touchdown run from Kidd. The ensuing two point conversion was good, and the Elks held a 21-14 lead over the Rams.
As the first half drew to a close, the Vaughn scored from 1-yard out, and a successful two point conversion gave Joaquin the lead at halftime, 22-21.
In the third quarter, the defenses for both teams found their mojo, with the only score being Joaquin’s Hairgrove taking a 26-yard run in for a touchdown. The converted two point conversion extended Joaquin’s lead to 30-21.
At the start of the fourth quarter, the Rams padded their lead again with Vaughn connecting with Jordan Powdrill for a 35-yard touchdown pass. Another successful two point attempt made Joaquin’s lead, 38-21.
As the game wound down, Joaquin put it out of reach with Tra Rogers carrying the ball over the goal-line from 1-yard out. The two point try was good and the Rams lead became 46-21.
The Elks failed to score in the second half, and as a result fell to the Rams on homecoming by a final score of 46-21. The Elks will open district play next week on the road in Crockett.