Elliott runs for 366 yards in win over Augusta
AUGUSTA – Most people 5-foot-7 and 160 pounds tend to get lost in a crowd.
Buhler junior running back Sam Elliott is that exact size, but he is the one who loses the crowds.
Elliott rushed for 366 yards and all of the Crusaders’ six touchdowns in a 41-21 victory Friday night at Augusta.
Not surprisingly, Elliott said this had to be his best game.
“These past three games (against Winfield, El Dorado and Augusta), I’ve broken my rushing records on all of them,” Elliott said. “It’s definitely feeling good for me right now.”
All this, and Elliott has one more year of high school ball after this.
It might be owing to his diminutive size, but when the line opened up holes for him, he was through them in a flash and was gone. Consider: Among Elliott’s rushes were gains of 63, 41, 42, 27 and 23 yards that didn’t reach the end zone – to say nothing of 37- and 23-yard scoring runs.
The key to Elliott’s success? Attitude, he said.
“You’ve got to go out and you’ve just got to have a good attitude,” he said. “If you have a good attitude, good things will happen.”
After gaining 227 yards and scoring three times last week at El Dorado, Elliott decided to one-up himself against the Orioles.
“He had a great night,” Buhler coach Steve Warner said afterward. “Our line did a great job of getting off the ball, and I was very pleased with the way our offense performed.”
Elliott wasted no time in his demolition of Augusta, rushing for touchdowns of 1, 37 and 7 yards in the first quarter alone.
Warner knows what he has in Elliott, he said.
“That’s the most yards he’s had this year in a game,” Warner said. “He’s so powerful and explosive, and it’s fun to watch him run.”
Warner said the early scoring flurry set the tone for the game.
“I think it did, and I think our defense relaxed a little bit,” he said. “Instead of being intense the entire game, they were lax, and that allowed (Augusta) to crawl back into the game. Obviously, that’s something we have to get fixed.
“They played hard, and they kept fighting.”
Though proud of his squad, Augusta coach Jason Filbeck said spotting Buhler three quick scores proved to be the difference.
“This year, and for a lot of my years here, we are notorious for not starting games well,” he said. “It’s like we have to get down, then we start to play.
“When kickoff starts, we can’t be half-asleep.”
Even when Augusta managed to score, those touchdowns were countered with a Buhler score shortly thereafter.
A season-opening 35-20 loss at Goddard might have fueled a fire in the Crusaders’ players, Warner said.
“(Goddard is) a very experienced team, and we are an inexperienced team,” he said. “We’ve done well since then (3-0), and we’re getting better (but) we’re having growing pains and we’ve got to get better there, too.”
The Goddard game was a learning experience for Elliott, he said.
“I came out a little rusty,” he said. “You’ve just got to get better each week.”
Buhler and Elliott have been doing that, and then some.
Warner said the game against McPherson next week should indicate how much the Crusaders have progressed.
If Elliott has a game similar to Friday’s, that could provide convincing proof, although that output against Augusta is bound to attract some attention.
“That’s what we’re hoping,” Warner said. “Stay on the ‘down-low’ and that’s what we’ve been doing. We’re excited.”
BUHLER 41, AUGUSTA 21
Buhler 21;7;13;0 – 41
Augusta 0;14;7;0 – 21
B – Elliott 1 run (Wisecarver kick)
B – Elliott 37 run (Wisecarver kick)
B – Elliott 7 run (Wisecarver kick)
A – Wilcox 13 run (Kohls kick)
B – Elliott 23 run (Wisecarver kick)
A – Wilcox 18 pass from Hand (Kohls kick)
B – Elliott 7 run (kick failed)
B – Elliott 19 run (Wisecarver kick)
A – Andrews 62 run (Kohls kick)
RUSHING – Buhler: Elliott 26-366, Patton 4-14, B. Neill 2-19, Rolland 5-6, J. Neill 1-14, Caffey 2-11. Augusta: Andrews 22-118, Wilcox 8-74, Hand 6-17, McConathy 4-8, Williams 1-2.
PASSING – Buhler: B. Neill 6-9-1-82. Augusta: Hand 4-6-0-41.
RECEIVING – Buhler: Henderson 2-33, Van Bruggen 1-19, Lipford 1-16, Ruda 1-14, Rolland 1-0. Augusta: Wilcox 1-18.