By JASON EPP
• Leader & Times
It did not take long for a powerful and experienced Elkhart team to take control of the Turpin Cardinals. The Wildcats scored on a long TD pass just two plays in on their way to a 44-13 romp of the Turpin Cardinals.
“We’re disappointed any time we lose, but I’m not disappointed in our effort,” Turpin head coach Justin Hannah said. “Our depth became a factor when we had kids that had to come out of the game because of cramping. We had a lot of young guys you got a lot of good of experience, but we’ll build off of it.”
Elkhart took a 13-0 lead later in the first quarter and appeared ready to run away with the game. But with less than a minute left, Turpin’s Matt Young broke loose on a 43-yard run to close the gap to 13-6.
The Wildcat offense continued to click in the second quarter, and led 25-6 at half. The lead increased to 38-6 by the end of the third quarter.
Young scored his second TD in the fourth on a 38-yard pass from Jordan Lujan, ,making the score, 44-13.
Besides dealing with several key players struggling with leg cramps, Elkhart often broke tackles to make small plays into big ones.
“Poor technique that we’ve got to work on, but also fatigue,” Hannah said of his teams tackling. “We have a lot of guys who never leave the field. We had a lot of freshman who had to come in a spell those guys at times.”
Turpin finished the game with 197 yards of offense; 97 on the ground and 100 through the air.
Lujan finished 7 of 16 passing for 100 yards, 1 TD, and 1 interception. Young ran 7 times for 41 yards and a TD, and caught a TD. Willie Enriquez ran 15 times for 42 yards.
Turpin (0-1) will travel to Shamrock, Texas Friday for their second game.