EHS Tigers to take on Lewis County
ELKINS — The Elkins Tigers will be looking for win number two of the young season when they travel to Lewis County tonight for a Big 10 Conference match-up.
Last week EHS was able to overcome four turnovers in route to a 17-0 victory over Philip-Barbour. Running back Thomas Talkington led the Tiger ground assault with 114 yards on 23 carries, with 2 touchdowns. His running mate, Daniel Romans, finished with 84 yards on the ground.
The Tigers may have won the game, but the four turnovers and the poor execution did not make head coach Evan Hott happy.
“We had too many turnovers. I told the kids, our demise the last two years, what has kept us out of the playoffs. was turnovers,” he said. “This week, once again, we stressed ball security. If we want to beat Lewis, we can’t turn the ball over like that and expect to win.”
While the EHS offensive execution wasn’t up to what the head coach would like, he was certainly pleased with his defensive effort. The Tigers were dominant up front and as a team made 9 tackles for loss and picked up 5 sacks.
Gabe Guire led the team with 10 tackles from his noseguard position and linebacker Daniel Romans made 8 stops. Guire led the squad with 3 sacks. As a team they allowed just 22 yards rushing and, for the first time since 1982, EHS opened up the season with an opening night shutout win.
“It was the first time as a defensive coach that my kids didn’t let up, they didn’t take a play off and for four quarters really kept the pedal to the metal,” Hott said. “I was extremely proud of their effort.”
George Triplett was outstanding in the kicking game, averaging 46 yards per punt, with two being downed inside the 20-yard line. He also made good on a 31-yard field goal attempt and was a perfect 4 for 4 on touchbacks.
This week, though, the task gets tougher as EHS will travel to play at Lewis County, a site where it has been traditionally hard for the Tigers to come up with a victory. In the last 10 outings at Lewis, EHS is only 3-7, and since the series began in 1966, the Tigers are only 9-16 overall on the Minutemen’s turf.
For Hott, the poor play at Lewis County has been mind-boggling, he said.
“We’ve had playoff teams that went over there and lost, good teams that didn’t have an answer,” he said. “Our kids have been playing their kids since middle school. It just doesn’t make sense.”
Lewis County has started the season 0-2, but that start can be a bit misleading, as they have played two of North Central West Virginia powerhouses, Bridgeport and West Fairmont.
Hott said when his team travels to Lewis it will be more of the same they have seen in the past.
“Lewis is big up front on both sides of the ball. Ryan Metzgar is strong inside, so we’ll have to match their intensity along the line of scrimmage,” he said.
Jacob White, a senior running back, leads the way for a Lewis County offense that has mustered only 13 points the first two weeks, but Hott knows they can be a dangerous team.
“White is a tremendous runner and one of the best backs in the Big 10,” he said. “He’s impressive, great speed, good feet, excellent vision and quickness. To win, we will have to contain him.
“We have to have to go into this game with the same mindset we had last week,” Hott noted. “We look at this as a rivalry game, and we want to get it. The kids incentive is a 2-0 start. This group has never experienced that. Our effort will have to be extreme, but I’m confident that we can do the job.”
EHS and Lewis County will kickoff at 7 p.m. tonight.