Elma balances its offense to knock off Rainier, 52-13


RAINIER — Striving for the offensive balance they’ve has been looking for all season, Elma’s Eagles nearly achieved that against Rainier on Friday night.

Led by Ryan Collin’s 260 yards passing and two touchdowns and supported by 243 yards rushing overall, Elma took control of this Evergreen 1A road game with a 52-13 victory over the Mountaineers.

Todd Swinhart scored five touchdowns overall for the Eagles (2-0, 2-2), two of them on touchdown catch and runs from Collin. The senior caught four passes for 135 yards and ran for just 32 yards on eight carries, with three short-yardage touchdowns.

Steven Persell added 80yards rushing on 12 carries and two touchdowns, while sophomore Tristan Robinette ended Elma’s scoring with a 7-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter.

“We’re trying to work toward that (balance),” Elma head coach Jim Hill said. “Depending upon the defense we’re facing, we’re trying to balance the pass and run. Todd just happens to put the ball into the end zone. We had a lot of other guys carry and catch the ball. We have to stop being stupid, doing stupid things and protect the ball. We still need to be more physical, which we aren’t right now.”

Justin Spencer led Elma in catches with seven for 57 yards. Swinhart went for 51 and 35 yards on his scoring catch-and-runs from Collin, who went 15-for-18, 260 yards, two scores and one interception. On the ground, Swinhart scored from 1, 2 and 1-yard out, while Persell sprinted for scoring runs of 39 and 14 in the first half.

Defensively, Hill cited Ricky Escalante for his work on the interior line and cornerbacks Kevin Farr and Rashad Lorton for their work on Rainier’s receivers.

On Friday, Elma will return home to take on Rochester.