ELYRIA — No one’s quite sure what it was that turned Elyria’s football team into a monster Friday night.
But the Pioneers were nearly perfect in the first half in whipping Midview 53-17 at Ely Stadium. Elyria is 3-0, Midview 2-1.
It was quite a contrast from last year, when the Middies jumped to a 24-0 lead and won 37-27.
“It all starts with practice,” said senior Jordan Connell, who scored a career-best five touchdowns and ran for 187 yards. “We had a good week of practice. We came out with intensity, good film study. Credit goes to the coaches. They set up a good game plan and we executed it.”
“No, we had the worst week of practice,” Elyria coach Kevin Fell said. “It was one of the worst we’ve had all year. Tuesday we almost sent them home. It was a hundred degrees and nobody wanted to practice, but you can feel it. Ever since I got thrown out of that game at Amherst, they’ve all just kind of come together.”
Elyria drove for two touchdowns on its first two possessions and built a 39-10 halftime lead by scoring 26 unanswered points in the second quarter. The Pioneers drove 75 yards in 13 plays to open the game and came right back with a second drive of 43 yards in five plays for a 13-0 lead. Jumarr Lewis did most of the early damage and finished with 95 yards on the ground.
“The first half, we did everything right,” Fell said. “It was just one of those halves that just went our way. We’ve got four juniors on that offensive line and they’re starting to come around.”
Center Kevin Cloen, guards Tony Schaefer and Darius Badford and tackles Colton Hess and Seth Billings did the thankless job up front. Badford is the lone senior.
“We didn’t play a very good football game,” Midview coach Bill Albright said. “We’re a passing team and we can’t drop the ball and we have to make plays on defense. It’s as simple as that.”
Elyria put just enough pressure on outstanding Midview quarterback Cody Callaway to make a difference. Senior tackle Lonzell Cash had a couple of sacks and came close to a couple more. Connell and Lewis played in the secondary and linebacker Connor Kamczyc had his usual steady game. Mike Church, Mike Smosy and Trayvon Cummings also played well.
“Two things that were really important in this game,” Fell said. “I don’t know if it was their inability or our good defense inside the 20. They could not score. We held them to that field goal — by the way, a helluva kick — but the rest of the time we kept them out of the end zone.”
Midview had the ball inside Elyria’s 25-yard line four times, including twice when the outcome was still in doubt, but only came away with Brendan Matchum’s 35-yard field goal. That pulled the Middies within 13-10 with 11:34 to play in the first half and everyone was thinking a great game was on tap.
“If we don’t drop a ball down here at the goal line,” Albright said. “Would it have made a difference? Nobody will know for sure. (Elyria’s) a talented football team. We saw that on film. They’ve got some great running backs and I thought Parsh threw very well.”
Hunter Parsh outdueled Callaway by nearly 40 yards and had three touchdown passes to Callaway’s one. Credit Elyria’s defense for part of Callaway’s trouble, but his receivers dropped a few catchable balls as well. The Bowling Green recruit finished 12-of-32 for 236 yards, 127 going to outstanding sophomore receiver Logan Bolin.
Parsh, who threw two pick-six interceptions in the first two weeks, was on target Friday, hitting 18-of-23 for 275 yards and three scores as Elyria outgained Midview 570-337.
“It’s interesting,” Fell said. “The Chronicle wrote a real nice article the beginning of the year about the quarterbacks in Lorain County. I was kidding Hunter. I said they mentioned your name. You’re about the 12th-best quarterback in Lorain County.
“He laughed, but the last two weeks he outthrew (Jeremy) Holley (of Elyria Catholic) by 30 yards. He didn’t outplay Callaway by any stretch of the imagination, but I thought he played a great football game.”
TOUGH LOSSES: It’s been a tough spell for the Midview community the past couple of weeks as it lost two big-time supporters. Don Binnie, one of the organizers for the Midview Hall of Fame, passed away just prior to last week’s enshrinement ceremony, then Rick White, another big supporter, passed away Tuesday of a heart attack.
Contact Tim Gebhardt at 329-7135 or email@example.com.