ELYRIA — Upfront.
That’s where football games are usually won.
It was no different Friday night, as Midview controlled the line of scrimmage for a 13-7 opening-night win over Elyria at Ely Stadium.
The Middie defense threw a blanket over the Pioneers all night. Elyria’s rushing total was in the negative thanks in part to Midview’s ability to get after Jon Yeaples, the Pioneer quarterback. Yeaples’ total on the night was 27 yards lost, and that included an 8-yard rollout touchdown in the third quarter following a Middie turnover.
“That’s where we have the corps of our starters,” veteran Midview coach Bill Albright said of the defense. “We’re very fortunate to have six, seven back. We have a good nucleus back.”
Elyria never got untracked offensively. Midview’s turnover deep in its own territory to start the second half kept the Pioneers in the game. And with Elyria’s big-play ability, it was still just one big play away from tying or perhaps winning the game.
But Midview’s defense didn’t budge.
“Our outside backers did a great job funneling them in,” said senior inside linebacker Ryan Mahoney. “We owe that to our defensive coordinator (Rick Moss). He had a great game plan for us. All we had to do was execute it and read our keys.”
Elyria had only two carries from scrimmage that gained more than 5 yards, and with defensive ends Drew Ebersole and Mahoney harassing Yeaples, the Pioneers were consistently facing long odds.
“We were having trouble upfront,” said Elyria first-year coach Steve Hamilton. “We were running both sides and trying to be balanced but we just weren’t getting it done. Our counter didn’t have time to develop.
“It goes back to (Midview) being experienced and us not.”
Meanwhile, Midview’s attack was methodic and effective. The Middies ran the counters, the traps, the inside reverses and even quarterback draws. Midview had eight backs run the ball and totaled 257 yards.
“Big thanks to the line,” said Ross Moore, Midview’s 240-pound load who led the rushing with 72 yards on 12 carries. “A lot of young guys never even played before on the varsity level. They really stepped up. It was all on our line.”
“We probably should have thrown the ball a little more,” Albright said. “(Elyria) was really packing it in. First game you have some concerns. We’re very young upfront (offensively), at least four new kids.”
“I like our new spread offense,” said quarterback Adam Koubek, who wears an old-school number (35) for his position. “We’ve been looking forward to this all offseason.”
Koubek picked up 54 yards on the ground and threw for 52, keeping Elyria’s young defense guessing. Midview snapped the ball 62 times on offense. Elyria had only 41 plays.
“Defensively, those kids played their butts off,” Hamilton said of his Pioneers. “They gave it their all. They came off the ball, they flew around. It was pretty frustrating.”
Midview put together two nice drives. Its first covered 74 yards in 12 plays, the key a fourth-down fake punt that Moore bulldozed his way to a 3-yard gain from the Midview 45. From the Elyria 20, Joe Yusko broke free on a fourth-down run to score. Kyle Koubek’s kick made it 7-0 with 9:45 to play in the first half.
The second came after Kevin Allen returned a punt 21 yards to the Elyria 34 after Midview’s defense forced a three-and-out from inside the 20. It took the Middies just five plays to score – a fourth-down scramble and 24-yard scoring strike from Adam Koubek to Ebersole. A bad snap on the extra-point attempt kept Elyria just one play from a tie and perhaps a victory.
“We had the momentum going our way early part of the second half,” said Hamilton. “Offensively, I don’t like to make excuses but we’re awful young upfront. I have only one returner and the other six haven’t had that varsity experience. Hopefully, this is a good lesson to learn from and move forward.”
“In a close game like this,” said Albright, “having that experience from last year on the defensive side was huge.”
ONE-TWO-THREE KICK – Tyler Almeida, Elyria’s punter and kicker, certainly had the most productive night for the Pioneers. He punted seven times and averaged more than 50 yards. He had one kick measure 69 yards as it rolled dead on Midview’s 11-yard line. He had two others travel 48 yards, and his two kickoffs were touchbacks.
Contact Tim Gebhardt at 329-7135 or email@example.com.
Midview 13, Elyria 7
Midview 0 7 6 0 — 13Elyria 0 0 7 0 — 7
M—Joe Yusko 20 run (Kyle Koubek kick)
E—Jon Yeaples 8 run (Tyler Almeida kick)
M—Drew Ebersole 24 pass from Adam Koubek (run failed)
First downs 14 4
— by rushing 12 2
— by passing 2 1
— by penalty 0 1
Yards rushing 257 -4
Yards passing 52 46
Total offense 309 42
Passes att./comp. 9/5 9/3
Intercepted by 0 0
Fumbles/lost 3/2 1/0
Penalties/yards 5/40 9/80
RUSHING — (M) Ross Moore 12-72, Adam Koubek 15-54, Joe Yusko 7-60, Jordan Smith 6-40, Kevin Allen 5-21, Dan Hoover 1-3, Jeff Miller 2-8, Team 1-(-2). (E) Darian Robbins 15-11, Jon Yeaples 12-(-27), Demetrius Dalton 1-8, Travis Noble 1-0, Lyndon Anderson 3-4.
PASSING — (M) Adam Koubek 5-9-52-1-0. (E) Jon Yeaples 3-9-46-0-0.
RECEIVING — (M) Drew Ebersole 1-24, Ross Moore 1-15, Dan Hoover 1-7, Joe Yusko 1-3, Jeff Miller 1-3. (E) Seryrell Davis 1-29, Demetrius Dalton 1-5, D. J. Hallauer 1-12.