Tigers look to keep momentum going
ELKINS — Elkins will look for a second straight win when it travels to Rachel to take on North Marion tonight.
The Tigers (1-1) are fresh off a 25-14 triumph at Lewis County a week ago. T.J. Guire ran for 163 yards on just 13 carries and scored a touchdown. His TD run covered 88 yards — the sixth longest run for a score in school history.
On the season, Guire leads the Tigers in rushing with 247 yards through the first two outings.
It was an important early- season win and head coach Evan Hott said it was a boost for his Tigers.
“The win was big for our confidence and the affirmation of what we had talked about last week in practice. Our staff spoke to the kids about competing in every facet, and on every rep in practice … I thought our kids did a decent job of that last week.”
Also against the Minutemen, playmaker Rodney Vandevender added two scores to go along with 55 yards on the ground, while impact transfer Dante Ramirez added 49 yards and a touchdown. All told on the evening, the Tiger offense rushed for 309 yards on just 37 attempts, good enough for an 8.1 yard per carry average.
“The offense hit well, considering how few snaps we had on offense (38),” Hott said. “Our offensive coordinator Zach Neff saw our weaknesses from the (Robert C. ) Byrd game and addressed them in practice last week, and the boys did a good job of correcting those mistakes from the week prior.”
Defensively the Tigers bent but didn’t break, making timely stops and holding Lewis County to just one yard through the air. Guire led the defense with 14 stops, while Ramirez had 10 and Tommy Williams and Trevor Smith each made 10 tackles apiece. Peyton Isner led the way in the sack department with two.
“The defense played well at times, but we are still not finishing tackles in the way we should,” Hott admitted. “We made an adjustment in the third quarter last week to stop what they were doing, and we did a great job of executing that plan and getting the momentum back after they had taken the lead.”
North Marion, meanwhile, fell to 1-1 on the season, suffering a 41-21 setback to Fairmont Senior. Husky quarterback Brody Hall accounted for 260 yards of offense, 197 via the air and 63 on the ground. His favorite receive target was Tariq Miller, who had six catches for 104 yards, including a “circus like” 60-yard touchdown reception. Hunter Kuhn will also figure into the offense as well as he ran for 60 yards and scored a touchdown for North Marion, which only trailed the Polar Bears 26-21 at the half.
“Miller is one of the best receivers in the conference. He’s a competitor and is explosive after the ball is in his hands and Hall throws a nice ball,” Hott said. ” They have two backs who run extremely hard and (Garrett) Conaway is a good halfback/tight end combo. He blocks well and has had some explosive plays in the pass game.”
The Huskies like to spread the field offensively, and have a good balance between run and pass.
Hott emphasized, “We have to stop their run game early in the game.
“They like to run with their main running back, quarterback, and people off of the edge, so we need to stay disciplined and focused on what we need to do…their passing game is balanced too, and they really work all areas of the field and take calculated shots.”
EHS will play a Husky team it hasn’t defeated in its last four attempts, but for Hott, the goal remains the same for his team — prepare and approach the game with discipline.
“I expect us to compete in every facet of practice during the week, no matter who we’re playing. We need to stay within ourselves and compete in every facet of the game tonight and be sharp, limiting our mental lapses with regard to penalties and other mistakes that could prove costly for us.”
The Tigers and Huskies kick from Husky Stadium at 7 p .m.