Bartlett's run game wears down Elgin

Call it old-school, smashmouth, grind-it-out ... but whatever it's called, it describes Bartlett's offense to a T.

And Milan Vuckovich couldn't be happier about it.

Using its 1-2 sophomore punch of tailback Joey Caputo and fullback Isaac Harris, the Hawks downed Elgin in the second half and pulled away for a 35-14 Upstate Eight victory Friday in Bartlett.

Harris ran for 200 yards and 2 scores and Caputo added 178 yards and a score. Quarterback Vincent Yario threw for a touchdown and ran for another.

The teams were tied at 14 at halftime, but the Hawks broke it open after intermission. Harris scored his first touchdown from 10 yards out, breaking several tackles along the way, to make it 21-14. The score capped a 2-play drive, the other of which was his 50-yard run.

It was all Harris on the Hawks' next possession as well. He carried it 7 straight times, capping it off with a 3-yard burst for the score.

Caputo added the clincher on a 3-yard run with just over 3 minutes to go.

As the game wound down, the Hawks appeared to wear down the Elgin defense as Harris and Caputo picked up yardage in big chunks.

"We told those linemen, 'This is on you,' and they did exactly what we needed them to do," Vuckovich said. "And we found something with those two, the big fullback and the bigger tailback. They just went downhill and that was old-school, Bartlett football right there."

After a scoreless first quarter, the Maroons struck first. When Bartlett's field-goal attempt was blocked, Jeremiah Hill scooped up the loose ball and raced 75 yards the other way.

After Bartlett answered on Yario's scoring run, the Maroons took the lead again. They took advantage of a short field following the second of Julian Carlson's 2 interceptions, with Dward Ward taking it in from 8 yards away.

Bartlett could move the ball through the air when it had to. Late in the half, Yario found Jacob Caradine for a 38-yard score. The Hawks got the ball back late in the half and completed 2 more passes on the next drive but ran out of time at the Elgin 40-yard line.

Carlson nearly had a third interception just before halftime.

For the game, Yario completed 4 of 14 passes for 81 yards. All of the completions and all but one of the attempts came in the first half.

The Maroons alternated Nick Avina and Ward at quarterback. Neither could get much traction as a passer as both were plagued by drops. Ward finished as Elgin's leading rusher with 95 yards.

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