By DALTON DUHON
The Elkhart Elks kept their playoff hopes alive Friday night with a win over district and county rival Westwood by a final score of 49-28.
The Elks (2-7, 1-3) got on the board first a little less than halfway through the opening quarter with a 3-yard touchdown run from star junior running back Jeffrey Wilson, and the ensuing extra point gave Elkhart a 7-0 lead.
Wilson would score again later in the first, on a 6-yard run that was set up by a blocked Westwood punt, giving the Elks a 13-0 lead as the first quarter came to a close.
At the start of the second quarter, Westwood's Aaryon Robinson scored on a 10-yard run, and a converted extra point allowed the Panthers to narrow Elkhart's lead to 13-7.
After the Panthers (2-7, 0-4) defense gave the ball back to it's offense, thanks to a strong stand, Westwood's Keke Hicks scampered in from 48 yards out, and after the extra point the Panthers held the lead, 14-13.
The Elks would strike back however, thanks to another rushing touchdown from Wilson, this time from 8 yards out. A failed two-point conversion made the score 19-14 in favor of the Elks at halftime.
As the third quarter began, a Westwood fumble allowed Wilson to scampered in for a 37-yard touchdown run, and after a successful two point conversion the Elks lead became 27-14.
The Panthers answered on the ensuing drive with a 2-yard run by Chris Thompson to make the score 27-21.
On their next drive the Elks scored on another big run from Wilson, this time from 44 yards out. Another two-point conversion made the Elks' lead 35-21.
Westwood countered with a big play of their own, courtesy of a 48-yard touchdown run by Hicks. The extra point allowed the Panthers to close the gap to 35-28.
In the fourth quarter, Jeffrey Wilson slammed the door on a Westwood comeback with two touchdowns — one passing and one rushing. The first — a 35-yard run — widened the gap to 42-28.
Midway through the fourth quarter, Wilson hit Kevin Kidd on a perfect pass for a 40-yard touchdown that sealed the game for the Elks.
Wilson had another spectacular effort, with over 300 yards rushing and seven total touchdowns.