High school football: Elida holds off Ottawa-Glandorf to start season 3-0

OTTAWA — It wasn’t a football game full of big offensive plays.

However, Elida made just enough plays, especially on the defensive side of the football, en route to a 21-12 victory over Ottawa-Glandorf in a Western Buckeye League matchup at Titan Stadium Friday night.

With the win, Elida is 3-0 overall, and 2-0 in the WBL. O-G falls to 0-3 overall and 0-2 in league play.

“Defensively, we responded to adversity,” Elida head coach Kyle Harmon said. “We talked about it all week. … We knew it wasn’t going to be a game like the previous two. We knew they (O-G) were a good football team, and we were going to have to play all four quarters. Defense came up, lights out, with some stops and got us the football back quite a bit, tonight.”

Elida got the early lead, and never relinquished it.

On Elida’s second possession of the game, the Bulldogs started at O-G’s 31-yard line. Then, it took just five plays for Elida to reach the end zone. Running back Brady Kirk (10 carries, 36 yards) ran it in from four yards out to get Elida on the scoreboard. With the point-after by Grant Hardeman, the Bulldogs led 7-0.

“It (the early lead) was big for us,” Harmon said. “We try to start fast. We get a turnover right away. But I felt like we settled in, and we played good, physical football.”

However, O-G responded to Elida’s first touchdown on the night.

On the next possession, O-G quarterback Landon Morman broke loose for a 54-yard touchdown run. However, the Titans were unable to place the ball down for the point-after attempt. Elida led 7-6, just seconds into the second quarter.

Elida cashed in one more time before the end of the first half.

With 4:58 left in the half, Elida quarterback Larkin Henderson (3 of 10 passing, 38 yards, two interceptions) found Keaton Hawkey (3 catches, 38 yards) open in the end zone for a 13-yard TD pass. With the PAT by Hardeman, the Bulldogs led 14-6.

In the first half, Elida’s offensive unit recorded 114 total yards. O-G’s offense mustered just 85 total yards in the first half. The Titans had just one first down in the first 24 minutes of action, while Elida moved the chains six times.

For the game, Elida recorded 169 rushing yards and 38 more yards in the air. Henderson led the Bulldogs with 52 rushing yards on 16 carries. David Etzkorn added 46 yards on six carries for Elida.

Late in the third quarter, O-G marched 53 yards in 14 plays to find the end zone.

Morman ran it in from five yards out to score for the Titans. The two-point conversion failed, and Elida’s lead was 2, 14-12.

Morman led O-G and all rushers with 81 yards on 11 carries. However, Morman struggled, throwing the football. The senior signal-caller was 4 of 13 passing for 34 yards, and had three interceptions.

For the game, O-G’s offense recorded 150 rushing yards, and 34 yards in the air.

Elida put the game away with 4:07 left to play in the contest.

Henderson found a seam in the O-G defense and ran it in from 18 yards out for the final score for the Bulldogs.

Harmon knew the Titans would come out and play tough, physical football.

“Defensively, they’re a good football team,” Harmon said. “We knew we were going to be against the wall. They were bringing a lot of pressure. But it’s a credit to our offensive line. … Those guys were physical, tonight.”

Mark Altstaetter wrote this story for The Lima News. Reach The Lima News sports depar