WILLISTON-ELKO 58, C.A. JOHNSON 6
WILLISTON — The Williston-Elko Blue Devils used a powerful rushing attack to overwhelm visiting C.A. Johnson in Friday’s Class A, Division I Upper State playoff opener. Williston-Elko took an early lead and never looked back, posting a dominant 58-6 victory.
“We talk so much about starting off good. We haven’t started well in the last three or four games,” said Williston-Elko head coach Dwayne Garrick, whose Blue Devils jumped out to a 38-6 lead in the first half Friday. “We just wanted to come out and be physical again. The times we hadn’t scored, or been bogged down, it’s usually been our own fault. I’m glad our kids took care of business.”
Nathaniel Nelson’s 56-yard scoring sprint gave the Hornets their lone score of the first half, cutting Johnson’s deficit to 14-6.
It was all Blue Devils from there, as Williston-Elko scored the game’s final 44 points.
Antonio Coleman led all players with 198 rushing yards on 18 carries. His 175 yards in the first half alone set the tone for the Blue Devils’ run game, which totaled 579 yards in the rout.
Not far behind was Devon Fagans, who rushed for 183 yards on 23 carries and added four touchdowns.
“(Fagans) is a kid that’s just starting to come on,” Garrick said. “He didn’t play a whole lot early in the year because he didn’t have any game experience. He’s a tough, physical back.”
Williston-Elko’s running backs doubled up Johnson’s entire offense in the first half, rushing for 364 yards compared to the Hornets’ 182 total yards.
The Blue Devils amped up the defensive effort in the second half, holding Johnson to minus 28 yards after intermission.
Eight different Blue Devils carried the ball Friday, allowing Garrick to keep sending fresh running backs into the fray to pound the rock.
“We are fortunate we’ve got five or six backs that can run the ball,” he said, adding that Coleman and Fagans are able to handle more carries because they don’t play defense. “We’ve got a tough task ahead of us (in the next round), but I’m sure our kids will go up there and play well and we’ll do the best we can.”
On the opposite side of the ball, the Blue Devils’ defense was able to limit Johnson’s big play potential, holding the Hornets’ offense in check throughout the game.
“We were able to put a lot of pressure on them,” Garrick said. “They couldn’t block our two defensive ends. If they were going to make a play, it was going to be a deep ball. We put a lot of pressure on (Johnson quarterback Michael Knox) and put him out of his game plan and contained him.”
“We didn’t contain him on a couple of plays,” Garrick added. “He’s a good player; a really good player.”
Williston-Elko will next travel to face Christ Church in the second round of the playoffs. The Cavaliers currently own a 38-game winning streak dating back to 2011
CA 6 0 0 0 6
WE 14 24 7 13 58
WE - Devon Fagans 9 run (kick missed) 9:24
WE - Antonio Coleman 43 run (Dalton Mundy pass to Faheem Richburg) 122
CA - Nathaniel Nelson 56 run (conversion failed) 0:37
WE - Fagans 5 run (Coleman run) 10:59
WE - Fagans 12 run (Fagans run) 9:55
WE - Richburg 19 run (Richburg run) 2:32
WE - Jerome Evans 7 run (Taylor Hearn kick) 2:21
WE - Fagans 4 run (Hearn kick) 8:58
WE - Richburg 5 run (conversion failed) 7:20
CA - Nathaniel Nelson 3-51-1, Peter Goodman 1-29, Michael Knox 12-27, Montarius Kelly 1-2, Hesakahi McCoy 1-(-3). Totals 18-106-1.
WE - Antonio Coleman 18-198-1, Devon Fagans 23-183-4, Jerome Evans 7-50-1, Andrew Milligan 7-41, Faheem Richburg 4-40-2, Nate Cunningham 7-39, Dalton Mundy 1-28, Marcell Wright 1-11. Totals 68-579-8.
CA - Michael Knox 5-20-50-0TD-1 INT.
WE - Dalton Mundy 1-6-29-0TD-2 INT.
CA - Peter Goodman 4-55, Mike Davis 1-(-5).
WE - Laurence Phoenix 1-29.
CA - Michael Knox, Peter Goodman.
WE - Marcell Wright.