Both the Jordan-Elbridge and Bishop Ludden football teams will have much to say about how the Class C West division playoff race goes in the second half of the regular season.
On a productive Saturday afternoon, the Eagles and Gaelic Knights both notched road victories to improve their respective records to 3-1. J-E went south and fought its way past LaFayette/Fabius-Pompey 23-7, while Ludden went north, to Hannibal, and bashed the Warriors 62-15.
Just as it has all season, the Eagles relied on a productive ground game to slip past the Lancers. Colby Trexler carried the ball 16 times, for 155 yards, averaging nearly 10 yards per attempt. Overall, J-E gained 236 yards on the ground.
To win, the Eagles had to be patient. Neither team scored in the first half, but J-E took charge in the third quarter, scoring a pair of touchdowns, and adding 10 more points in the final period.
All along, the defense was sound, too, forcing five turnovers. Mitch Cooper led with 14 tackles, five of them solo, and added an interception, while Leland Holmes notched his own interception, plus a fumble recovery and six solo tackles (12 overall).
Logan Smart also had 12 tackles, while Cody Lewis earned an interception and Gage Thorpe also recovered a fumble. Tyler Landers, Tom Albring and Joe Mills each had a hand in eight tackles.
As this went on, Ludden was scoring 28 points in the first quarter, all started by Antoine Montgomery returning the opening kickoff 86 yards for a touchdown, the first of four times he would find the end zone on this day.
Before the quarter was done, Mike Works, Matt Rogers and Anthony Pecoriello all had scored on TD runs, too. In the second period, Montgomery caught a pair of 28-yard scoring passes - one from Rogers, the other from Conlan McGuire.
Even with a 42-7 halftime edge, Ludden did not let up. Montgomery scored on an 18-yard run in the third quarter, with Desmari Felton finding the end zone from 10 yards out in the final period. Even the defense got involved, as Ben Rath returned an interception 85 yards for six points.
The Gaelic Knights are back home this Friday for its own shot at LaFayette/Fabius-Pompey. Meanwhile, J-E is back home, too, going out of league play to face Altmar-Parish-Williamstown, who are coming off a 71-13 demolition of Alexandria Bay.