ELMA — Impressive performances by a trio of skill position players was the key to Elma’s offensive success in a 56-20 non-league triumph of Ilwaco on Friday night at Davis Field.
Elma, which amassed 535 yards of total offense, scored on the game’s opening possession and never looked back.
An eight-play, 62-yard drive was capped off by a 22-yard touchdown run by Todd Swinhart. Steven Persell rushed three times for 27 yards on the drive to help set up the score.
Persell finished the game with 136 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. Swinhart gained 156 total yards from scrimmage and scored three touchdowns.
Although Elma (4-3) failed to score on both of its next two possessions, the Eagles’ defense came through to allow the offense to find a rhythm.
“We started out a little sluggish again,” Elma head coach Jim Hill said. “We want to try to be balanced and take what they give us, but when we get into a rhythm (in the passing game) and can get a good tempo going; we can be productive.
“When we do silly stuff like drop a ball or make a poor cut, we can get out of rhythm.”
With 3:13 left in the first quarter, Collin hit Swinhart on a deep post route for a 58-yard touchdown.
That scoring play sparked the Eagles’ offense, who scored on each of their next three possessions.
Collin completed 16 of his 24 attempts for 239 yards and two touchdowns through the air. The senior signal caller also darted in for a score from 7 yards out on a designed quarterback run in the second quarter. Collin’s only possession under center in the second half ended with a 21-yard fade pass to Swinhart in the left side of the end zone.
This gave Elma a 42-0 lead to bring the mercy rule running clock into play.
“He’s doing an outstanding job,” Hill said of Collin. “There’s nothing I can give him or talk to him about that he doesn’t understand. He’s a highly intelligent quarterback and he makes a lot of good decisions.”
Hill noted the Eagles did not allow a single point while their starting defense was on the field and cited the entire starting defensive unit for their play.
When Hill started playing back-ups in the third quarter, Ilwaco (0-7) had gained just 96 yards of offense at the time.
Tristan Robinette played most of the second half at quarterback for the Eagles.
The sophomore did not attempt a pass, but demonstrated explosiveness on a 42-yard touchdown run on his first carry.
Robinette rushed five times for 60 yards in his two series under center. Liam Baxter capped off a 13-play, 55-yard drive by scoring on a 5-yard run with 4:18 left in the game for Elma’s final score.
The Fishermen’s quarterback, Eric McMillen, scored two rushing touchdowns in the second half — the first one from 2 yards out and the second from 16. Jack Kaino scored Ilwaco’s final touchdown on a 7-yard run with 1:33 left in the fourth quarter.
Elma will be back in action on Friday when it hosts Forks.