Jaylen Clemons established real quick that he was going to run the ball.
The Elgin running back had 113 yards on his first 5 carries and along with speedy Malik Dunner never quit, combining for 221 yards on the ground. Clemons (16 carries, 205 yards) scored twice and Dunner (14 carries, 116 yards) added a touchdown as the Maroons spoiled East Aurora’s homecoming with a 35-0 Upstate Eight crossover victory Friday night, the Maroons’ first win of the season.
“Jaylen ran hard and it was nice to see that,” Maroons’ coach Dave Bierman said. “It was a nice combo with him and Malik. Jaylen is more of a power type runner. Malik is more of a slasher and a cutter.”
Elgin scored on 4 of its 6 possessions, fumbling in the end zone on its first and last drives of the game. But despite not scoring on its opening possession, the Maroons (1-5) made their offensive intentions clear from the beginning.
Dunner had 3 runs of over 10 yards on the first series, before quarterback Mike Sitter fumbled in the end zone and East Aurora (0-6) recovered.
After holding the Tomcats, Clemons had runs of 20 and 27 yards on the next drive to eventually set up a 25-yard touchdown pass from Sitter to Joe DeBrocke with 1:11 left in the first period.
Clemons scored on touchdown runs of 13 and 1 yards in the second quarter, with a 2-point conversion after his 13-yard barrel into the end zone. Sophomore quarterback Dontrell Gaddy converted the 2-point conversion on the second score to give Elgin a 22-0 halftime lead.
“My line opened the holes and I took advantage,” Clemons said. “That really set the tone for the game.”
The defense did its part in the win not only holding East Aurora scoreless, but adding a touchdown from defensive back Ray Dunnigan. The junior scored on a 53-yard interception return off Latrell Lee’s pass.
“I was watching for the wheel and that’s when I saw the quarterback threw short,” Dunnigan said. “Our defense stepped up a lot. Everyone stepped up. The sophomores really helped us. Johnny (Higgins) made plays in the backfield.”
Lee was injured trying to make a tackle on the play and took several minutes to get up. The Tomcats were forced to use Victor Garcia behind center as Jamaria Littleton was also out after hurting his shoulder when Elgin stopped him short of a fourth-and-2 from the Elgin 49-yard line.
Without Littleton and Lee, East Aurora went to Marcus Massey (24 carries, 87 yards), who ran the ball on 19 of the Tomcats’ final 23 plays.Copyright © 2013 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.