Elkers host unbeaten Dutch for Homecoming tonight

Bob Parana - Staff Writer

The Ridgway Elkers will have to play near flawless football tonight to knock off unbeaten St. Marys at Memorial Park Field (7 p.m.). The Dutch won the previous meeting between the two teams 34-7 in St. Marys Oct. 2. It’s also Homecoming night which will add to the excitement.

The maroon-and-white is coming off a 28-21 win over Bradford last week in Johnsonburg. They’ll be looking for a turnaround similar to the Owls who were beaten by Ridgway at home 45-14 on Sept. 26. The Dutch pulled away from Kane in the second half en route to a 59-27 win in St. Marys. It was the second win over the Wolves this season.

The Dutch are currently ranked number nine in the state in the triple-A class and are loaded with talent. They are led by junior quarterback Christian Coudriet who has thrown for 997 yards and 14 touchdowns with just two interceptions while completing 79 of 122 passes.

Ridgway head coach Mark Heindl knows his team will have to play much better than the first game. “St. Marys is a very good football team. We’re treating [tonight] like it’s a playoff game. We know we can’t make mistakes and have to put forth our best effort. We didn’t play well over there and our guys know it” he said.

The Elkers have won four-straight District 9 championships. They are seeking a third-straight Class AA title (Class A champs in 2016 and 2017) and will play either Brookville (5-0) or Clarion Central (4-1) next week when the post season opens. Karns City (3-2) is the fourth team that will appear in the semi-finals.

Tonight’s performance will help set the stage for what lies ahead as the Elkers shoot for a fifth-straight title. “The kids came to practice ready to get after it this week. We know what we have to work on and what we have to change to stay in the game. It’s a huge test going into the playoffs. Hopefully playing well tonight will carry us into next week,” he said.

Heindl wants to see more intensity from his squad vs. the Dutch. He’s stressed since the green light was given to go ahead with the season while dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic nothing can be taken for granted.

“We know we’re lucky to be playing. Like we tell the kids nothing is guaranteed. Right now we have four quarters tonight and a playoff game next week. We’re stressing that with the kids and I think they understand they need to treat each play like it could be their last. It’s something they understand and it shows with their focus,” he said.

Tonight is Homecoming. The 2020 Ridgway High Queen will be crowned at half time. “It’s always special. I have to give credit to the school district for how they’ve been able to put things together. I know it hasn’t been easy dealing with everything and the fact that we’re able to play and have Homecoming is a credit to them,” Heindl said.

Tonight’s game will be broadcast on WKBI, 93.9 FM – B94 and live streamed on the Elker Athletics Facebook page - www.facebook.com/rollelkers/.

Elkers stats

Rushing: Eric Salberg 27-107-1 TD, Camron Marciniak 23-102-4 TD, Dominic Cherry 12-72-2 TD, Ben Briggs 28-47, Luke Zimmerman 4-16, Rayce Milliard 1-15, Jonathan Hinton 2-7, Ricky Delhunty 1-6, Nate McCurdy 2-6, Domenic Allegretto 2-1-1 TD, Cole Casilio 2-1-1 TD, Eric Hoffman 1-3, Cole Haight 1-(-3).

Passing: Ben Briggs 25-45-331-2 TD-2 Int.

Receiving: Wil Howard 6-123-1 TD, Dominic Cherry 6-97, Eric Salberg 5-40, Alex Bon 2-34-1 TD, Cole Haight 1-18, Camron Marciniak 1-14, Michael Gresco 1-5, Domenic Allegretto 1-4.

Leading Tacklers: Ricky Delhunty 39 (2 sacks), Cole Casilio 29 (2 sacks), Domenic Allegretto 27, Camron Marciniak 23, Cole Haight 19 (1 sack), Eric Salberg 16, Austin Scruggs 15, Dominic Cherry 15, Alex Bon 14 (2 sacks), Dan Park 12, Jake Kunselman 11 (1 sack).

Fumble recoveries: Dan Park 2, Alex Bon 2, Camron Marciniak 1, Domenic Allegretto 1.

Interceptions: Tyler Merrit 1, Domenic Allegretto 1.

PAT/FG: Aiden Zimmerman 5-6, 1 FG, Luke Zimmerman 2-4, 1 FG.

2-pt. conversions: Alex Bon 1, Ben Briggs 1.