Tigers set to entertain Minutemen
ELKINS — Elkins will put its perfect 2-0 record on the line when the Tigers host 0-2 Lewis County tonight at Wimer Stadium.
Last week, EHS jumped out to a 34-0 lead, before cruising to a 40-22 win over Philip Barbour.
Daniel Romans ran for 145 yards and scored three touchdowns for the Tigers, while fellow senior Thomas Talkington added 151 yards on the ground.
As a team, EHS rushed for 378 yards against the Colts.
Romans and Talkington have combined for 521 yards on the ground and seven scores through the first two weeks, something that doesn’t surprise second-year Tiger coach Evan Hott.
“We knew coming in that they would be our lead horses, and they haven’t disappointed,” Hott said.
The Tiger ground game has been running full steam ahead, averaging 371 yards per outing, with a lot of the credit going to the offensive line.
“Our coaches and kids have done a tremendous job,” Hott said. “We knew after last season, losing the kids we did to graduation, line play would be an emphasis heading into this season.
“The staff has done a great job of teaching and the kids have responded well. Our backs wouldn’t have the same kind of success without the line executing their assignments.”
Defensively last week, the Tigers did an excellent job of controlling the line of scrimmage and constantly played in the Colt backfield.
It’s been an early season trend for the defensive unit.
Through the first two weeks of the season, the Elkins defense has 15 tackles for loss, something Hott said has been the key to success.
“Any time you have that many tackles for loss, you’re going to have success,” he said. “We are putting teams behind the sticks on second and third down, so that has really benefited us.”
Hott added, “I think having the athletes we have up front for us is huge. We don’t have a bunch of huge space eaters in there, but we do have guys that move well and know their jobs well, I give a lot of credit to our staff.”
There were however, ups and downs in the Tiger special teams units.
Austin Storey took a punt 86 yards for a score and Remington Stanley was 4 of 5 with extra points. But there is still work to be done, especially in kick coverage.
Philip Barbour returned one kick for a touchdown and came close to breaking it big a couple of other times.
“Our special teams unit will get better,” Hott said. “I have no doubt, just as the other facets of our game will. In many respects, we had to start over this year, we’ve got new guys out there and they’ve had to learn new assignments.
“Coach (Jeff) Triplett pays attention to detail and will have them prepared for tonight.”
As this week’s attention turns to Lewis County, the message remains the same — focus and preparation.
Defeats to Bridgeport and Fairmont Senior, two of the top Class AA teams in the state, have left the Minutemen winless, but Hott warned not to be fooled by Lewis County’s record.
“There aren’t many teams that have had a tougher schedule to start the season than Lewis,” he said. “Coach (Dusty) Cogar does a great job with his team and I know they will be ready.
“They have the best quarterback (Cade Rohrbough) and possibly the best running back we have seen up to this point. They have an experienced line and they are always aggressive on both sides of the ball. We pressed the kids to be dialed in this week for Lewis, and not take any shortcuts.”
Another week at home, means another opportunity to give the home crowd a reason to cheer.
Hott was pleased with the home support his squad received against the Colts.
“The crowd that showed up last week was great,” Hott said. “I hope it will be like that again tonight.
“Seeing large crowds really give the players a lift. The boys work hard during the week, so it’s nice to see such a large turnout, we truly appreciate all the support we receive.”
Elkins and Lewis County will kick off at 7 p.m.