Elkers open season with win over Wolves 17-14

Bob Parana - Staff Writer

The Ridgway Elkers converted two Kane fumbles in the red zone into 14 points and Aiden Zimmerman kicked a 25-yard field goal that proved to be the difference in their 17-14 season-opening win at Memorial Park Field. Zuke Smith helped rally the Wolves with two touchdowns after trailing 17-0 in the third quarter.

“It was a big game to beat Kane who is one of our biggest rivals. Credit them for coming back but when the guys needed to come through they did. This was a great way to start off the season,” said Elkers head coach Mark Heindl.

“You take away the turnovers and stupid penalties, and maybe this is a different ball game. What I did love about it is the kids fought and fought and didn’t give up. We knew it was going to be a dog fight. We just have to clean up some things and we’re going to be just fine” Kane head coach Jim Hillman said.

The Elkers opened the scoring after Dan Park recovered a fumble at the Kane 10-yard line on the game's second play. Two plays later Cameron Marciniak scored from five yards out and Zimmerman kicked the extra point to make it 7-0.

Zimmerman’s field goal came with 9:55 left in the half to make it 10-0.

Park recovered another loose ball at the Kane 20-yard line with 5:24 left in the third quarter. After a second down 17-yard run by quarterback Ben Briggs, Marciniak scored his second TD with 4:21 left in the quarter. Zimmerman was true on the PAT and it was 17-0.

Smith connected with Josh Buhl for a 67-yard scoring pass with 1:55 left in the quarter. Ryan Buhl’s PAT went wide making it 17-6.

The Wolves forced Ridgway to punt and with 11:36 left in the game Smith threw to Bobby Rumcik who scored from 55 yards out. Smith connected with Josh Buhl for the conversion to pull Kane within three, 17-14.

Ridgway forced a punt with just over three minutes to play and took over at the Kane 45-yard line. Marciniak ran three straight times for gains of seven, one, and three yards. Three more carries by the workhorse picked up a final first down allowing the Elkers to run out the clock.

A complete game summary and statistics will appear in Monday’s edition.