EL DORADO Buhler’s Sam Elliott ran for 227 yards and three touchdowns as the Crusaders were ready for everything El Dorado could throw at them in the 36-14 Buhler win on Friday night.
Despite an early 8-0 lead in the first quarter, El Dorado struggled to finish drives, leaving three deep in Buhler territory but turning it over on downs.
"I don’t mind being beat by athleticism," El Dorado head coach Wes Bell said. "I don’t like being out-physical."
The size and maturity of even a young Buhler team was a little too much for the Wildcats. Every time it felt as if El Dorado was going to get a stand, Elliott would break off a run. He had 11 runs of at least 11 yards or more on the night.
It felt like a different game early on though.
El Dorado forced Buhler quarterback Bradley Neill to fumble when Ethan Manke hit him in the end zone and Connor Clausing fell on it to give the Wildcats the 8-0 lead with 2:08 remaining in the first quarter.
Elliott did not wait long to answer back. Buhler went two plays and scored to tie the game up at 8-all.
Elliot would score again late in the first half to make it 15-8 at the half.
Buhler scored on an 11-yard touchdown run out of halftime and it felt as if the air had been let out of the building.
"I thought our guys wore down," Bell said. "We haven’t seen a team that physical this season."
Buhler continued to pound away, capping off an 87-yard drive in only four plays to make it 29-8 with 1:45 to go in the third quarter.
El Dorado ran well all night. They were their worst enemy at times with careless penalties, racking up 59 yards on six penalties. The Wildcats ran for 308 yards, with senior Zach Wittenberg accounting for 158 of those.
"That’s a different El Dorado team," Buhler head coach Steve Warner said. "I told my guys to be ready for a tough game tonight."
The fight doesn’t get any easier for El Dorado as they travel to McPherson next week. They return home Week 6 against Circle.
"No time to sulk about this one," Bell said. "We have another big dog coming up."
El Dorado 8;0;0;6–14
ED - fumble recovery in end zone for touchdown by Connor Clausing (Wittenburg scores on 2PAT)
B - 15-yard TD run by Sam Elliott (Bradley to Ryan Henderson 2PAT).
B - 1-yard TD run by Elliott (Cody Wisecarver kick good).
B - 11-yard TD run by Elliott (Wisecarver kick good).
B - 4-yard TD run by Elliott (Wisecarver kick good).
B - 4-yard TD run by Roland (Wisecarver kick good).
RUSH: ELDO - Wittenberg 33-158; Wade 8-53; White 7-12; Rice 5-13; Sundgren 4-41; Veatch 3-26; Fowler 1-6. BUHLER - Elliott 24-227; Roland 4-73; Patton 3-0; Neill 2-(-5).
PASS: ELDO - White 2-3-0-0. BUHLER - Neill 2-3-0-0
RECEIVING: ELDO - Sundgren 1-18; Rice 1-5. BUHLER - Elliott 1-10; McGurdy 1-4