Elliott, Burroughs shake slow start to dispatch Park Hills Central in quarterfinal
By: Jonathan Duncan
The John Burroughs Bombers and star tailback Ezekiel Elliott didn’t like the way the first half of their Class quarterfinal at Park Hills Central began on Saturday afternoon.
Elliott and the Burroughs run game was held to less than 10 yards rushing in the first 24 minutes of play while the Bombers had the ball for just a measly five minutes of possession time.
But Burroughs adjusted at halftime and Elliott single-handedly battered the Rebels defense.
Elliott, an Ohio State bound recruit, slashed, dashed, and banged for 171 yards and three scores in the second half, propelling Burroughs to a 24-0 victory.
Burroughs (12-0) will travel to Monett next Saturday (Nov. 17) for a Class 3 semifinal game.
“In the first half, were we were not executing, missing throws and they controlled the ball for 19 minutes,” Burroughs coach Gus Frerotte. “Our defense did a great job of bending and not breaking and then in the second half our offensive line did a great job of giving Ezekiel some holes and we rode on his back.”
Burroughs took the lead on a 34-yard field goal by Rushil Sheth late in the first quarter.
Central’s offense played keep away against Burroughs most of the first half as the Rebels went for first down on four different series during the first two quarters.
But the Bombers defense did not break down as Foye Oloukun and Chris Bledsoe made big play after big play to keep the Rebels out of the end zone.
“Our linebackers and outside safeties did a great job of making tackles and not allowing big plays,” Frerotte said. “They (Central) are a big-strong football team and we knew as long as we got some points we’d be okay.”
Burroughs marched down the field 51 yards to start the second half as Elliott capped the drive with a 1-yard TD to make it 10-0.
Late in the third quarter, Burroughs was on the move again after forcing a Central three-and-out. Elliott broke off a 59-yard touchdown run that made it 17-0.
Elliott capped of his days’ work a 1-yard touchdown run in the closing stages of the fourth quarter. Elliott racked up 175 yards rushing for the day after being virtually invisible in the first half.
NOTES: In other playoff action on Saturday, Parkway Central defeated Camdenton 7-0 in a Class 5 quarterfinal at Camdenton. Parkway Central (11-1) will host Kirkwood in a Class 5 semifinal Friday (Nov.16) at 7 p.m. Kirkwood toppled Rockwood Summit 33-31 to advance to the Class 5 semifinals.