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The Daily Register - Harrisburg, IL
  • Prep Football: Eagles fly high in season opener

  • Eldorado, Sesser-Valier-Waltonville-Woodlawn provide plenty of offensive fireworks in season opener
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  • It wasn't nearly as hot as the "Thrilla In Manilla" and no one has ever confused Eldorado and Sesser-Valier-Waltonville-Woodlawn with being the next coming of Muhammad Ali and Joe Fraizer, but Friday night's tilt at Boz Adams Field had the feel of a heavyweight fight.
    Both clubs came out swinging, exchanging blows by way of points and while the marathon may have seemed like a 12-round fight, the three and a half hour battle was decided in the end by defense.
    Eldorado staved off a late charge by the Red Devils, who took the momentum into the second half with a late score before halftime, prevailing 44-24 in the season opener for both schools.
    The two accumulated nearly 1,000 yards in the game, most of which came in the first half, as there were nine scores before intermission.
    For Eldorado, Nathan Burnett accounted for three scores of the Eagles' (1-0) six scores, while Braxton Roberts scored three and Jayden Emmons had the other.
    It was a night that Eldorado head coach described as a "gutty win."
    "This is exciting because you put all that work in the winter time, spring and summer and you get that gratification that that hard work pays off," Hampton said. "I thought they key for us in this game was a couple of goal line stands and you don't see that very often in high school football, but I thought our legs held up for us too, especially in the second half."
    Emmons got Eldorado on the board in the first quarter with a 59-yard run on the Eagles' first possession, but Sesser-Valier-Waltonville-Woodlawn responded right back as Nick Marlo hooked up with Ross Owens for an 88-yard pass play on 3-and-14 from their own 12.
    Eldorado then took advantage of a Red Devil fumble as Burnett scored on the QB keeper from 1-yard out. That followed a squib kick that was fumbled by Sesser and recovered by Eldorado where Roberts scored from four yards out to make it 20-6.
    Sesser went back to the passing game as Marlo connected with Kaleb Miller for 15 yards out to get back within striking distance, but Eldorado was able to keep the Red Devils against the ropes, responding as Burnett broke off a 50-yard run to put Eldorado up 28-14.
    The proverbial knockout blow for Sesser-Valier-Waltonville-Woodlawn came as the Eagles scored on back-to-back plays, getting a 9-yard run from Roberts and a 10-yard pass from Burnett to Max Kasiar.
    S-V-W-W went to the house before halftime as Marlo threw a jump ball that found Owens in the back of the endzone, making it a 44-22 contest.
    "We really grinded away offensively in the first half," Hampton said. "Braxton and Trey did a good job for us in the first half, but we picked up a lot of blitzing from Sesser and Burnett picked that up and made a slew of plays, both running and throwing. He made one of the best throws I think I've seen a high school kid make.
    Page 2 of 2 - "The defense stepped up in the second half and I really got after them, maybe even lost my composure a little bit with those kids, but I challenged them because we were so close to giving up just one score and really having this being a 44-6 score at halftime instead of what it was. We let the Owens kid, who is a tremendous player, make some plays and got themselves back in it. Now, all of a sudden, you're in a street fight, but I was glad to see the defense step up the way they did."
    NOTE: Roberts left Friday night's game at the 2:52 mark in an ambulance from what appeared to be concussion like symptoms. Hampton said afterward that the 6-foot, 215-pound senior running back and linebacker would be evaluated earlier in the week.
     
    Michael Dann covers prep and college sports for the Harrisburg Daily Register. Follow him on Twitter: @spydieshooter.
     
    Sesser-Valier-Waltonville-Woodlawn 06 16 00 00 — 22
    Eldorado 20 24 00 00 — 44
     
    Scoring Summary
    First Quarter
    ELD — Emmons 59 run (2-point conversion failed), 9:42
    SVWW — Marlo 88 pass to Owens (2-point conversion failed), 8:08
    ELD — Burnett 1 run (Kannady, 2-point conversion), 4:27
    ELD — Roberts 4 run (2-point conversion failed), 224
    Second Quarter
    SVWW — Marlo 15 pass to Miller (Leslie, 2-point conversion), 11:20
    ELD — Burnett 50 run (Roberts, 2-point conversion), 10:53
    ELD — Roberts 9 run (Woolcott, 2-point conversion), 3:13
    ELD — Burnett 10 pass to Kasiar (Vessel, 2-point conversion), 1:10
    SVWW — Marlo 33 pass to Owens (Marlo to Owens, 2-point conversion), 0:00
     
    Team Statistics
    ELD SVWW
    Rushes-Yards 57-459 41-197
    Comp-Att-Int 3-6-0 10-21-0
    Passing 48 244
    Total Yards 507 441
     
    Individual Statistics
    RUSHING: SVWW — Marlo 11-49, Leslie 22-121, Ashby 8-27. ELD — Roberts 16-104, Kannady 5-28, Emmons 6-81, Vessel 13-44, Woolcott 4-20, Burnett 7-110, Molinarolo 6-32.
    PASSING: SVWW — Marlo 10-21-0 244. ELD: Burnett 3-6-0 48.
    RECEIVING: SVWW Owens 5-164, Zane Wilson 1-12, Minks 1-21, K. Miller 2-35, Sanders 2-12. ELD: Kaisar 2-35, Kannady 1-9.

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