ONE WET SPOILER
By C.J. Gish
Observer Staff Writer
UNION As the rain came down, so did Unions chances of staying in the football playoff hunt.
Jake Williams 66-yard interception return in the second quarter turned out to be the deciding score as Elgin shocked the hosting Bobcats 7-0 Friday.
The loss dropped Union to 1-3 in the Wapiti League and 3-4 overall. Elgin won its first game of the season and is 1-2 in league and 1-5 overall.
We finally won a close one. Ive never won a close one until tonight, said Elgin coach Ed Schumacher, whose Huskies had lost six games by nine points or less in his two years as head coach.
A change at quarterback helped spark Elgins offense. Schumacher took Cody Burgess and put him at quarterback. He moved Blake Eckstein from quarterback to fullback and went to an I formation.
The result was Eckstein carrying the ball for a game-high 85 yards. Skyler Payne added 35. All the yards were crucial under the rain-soaked conditions.
The passing game was non-existent for both teams with Burgess completing 1-of-2 passes for 13 yards. Unions tandem of Lucas Maples and Tim McReynolds combined for a 1-for-10 performance with Maples completing a shuffle pass to Dunbar for 18 yards.
Those Elgin kids deserve a lot of credit. They came over here and played hard, Union coach Wayne Herron said. We had a couple of crucial turnovers in a wet game.
It wasnt pretty for either team. Elgin fumbled the ball six times and lost four, and Union coughed up the ball six times with Elgin grabbing two.
The big play came through the air, where Williams intercepted two passes on the night one against McReynolds and the other against Maples. Both snuffed out Union drives into Elgin territory.
The first one was tipped the balance of the contest. On 1st-and-10 from Elgins 37-yard line, McReynolds tried to throw a short pass to Jeremy Shankel, but Williams jumped in the lane and grabbed the ball. Without breaking stride, Williams went untouched 66 yards for a touchdown with 4:11 left in the first half.
Union got into Elgins half of the field four times, getting as close as the 31 just before halftime.
Defensively, weve been playing well. We just havent been able to get any consistency going on offense, Herron said.
It was the third straight game Union had been shut out.
C.W. Dunbar led the Bobcats with 69 yards rushing. Shae Prince added 35.
Next Friday, Union travels to Joseph while Elgin hosts Pine-Eagle.
Elgin 0 7 0 0 7
Union 0 0 0 0 0
E Jake Williams 66 interception return (Creighton Moore kick)
RUSHING Elgin, Eckstein 18-85, Payne 7-35, Williams 12-28, Burgess 11-12. Union, Dunbar 14-69, Prince 17-35, M.Maley 1-12, Kirby 6-11, McReynolds 2-(minus 2), Maples 5-(minus 5).
PASSING Elgin, Burgess 1-2-1-13. Union, Maples 1-6-1-18, McReynolds 0-4-1-0.
RECEIVING Elgin, McKone 1-13. Union, Dunbar 1-18.