High school football notes: Elyria, minus 31 seniors, makes playoffs

Elyria lost 31 seniors from last year’s team, which went 7-3 and missed the playoffs.

This year the Pioneers went 7-3 and made the playoffs.

It’s funny how things work out.

“A lot of people didn’t figure we would be a contending team,” Coach Kevin Fell said. “We played well, especially early in the year. I thought we had a very good year.”

It’s not over yet.

For the second time in school history, and first since 2005, Elyria will be playing in Week 11. Not bad for a team that lost that many seniors, including last year’s Lorain County Golden Helmet winner Tracy Sprinkle.

“Whenever you make the playoffs, it’s a really big deal for the team and the program, especially in Division I,” Fell added. “I’ve been fortunate over the years of making the playoffs in just about every division, and Division I is the hardest one to get into and obviously the hardest one to win.”

The Pioneers will travel to Stow on Saturday to play a Bulldogs team that two weeks ago handed Elyria a 20-7 loss. Stow outgained the Pioneers, 207-76, on the ground in that game and held them to 66 yards of offense and three first downs in the first half.

Fell said his team learned a lot from that loss that they can take into Saturday’s rematch.

“You always learn, especially when you lose,” Fell said. “Learning is one thing, being able to correct them is another. We had a very difficult time moving the football against Stow. Stow has a very good defense, and we had to do some things this week that we haven’t done before.”

Stow’s loss came in Week 6, a 20-7 setback to Hudson. Since then, the Bulldogs have won four straight. Defense has been their strength, holding opponents to a meager 11.9 points a game.

Despite that, Fell said he likes his team chances.

“We’ve had a good week of practice and we’ve got some kids back that didn’t play in that game,” Fell said. “I think that will make a little bit of a difference, too. It’s really going to come down to just which team executes the best on Saturday night.”

PAC-ing a punch

Last week Keystone’s football team did something it hadn’t done in 42 years.

The Wildcats earned a share of the Patriot Athletic Conference Stars Division title along with Black River and Buckeye, the first time they have shared a conference title since 1971.

It came after Keystone defeated Black River, 28-6, to close the regular season.

Super sophomore

In his first full season of playing varsity, Demario McCall didn’t disappoint.

The North Ridgeville sophomore rushed for 1,562 yards and 25 touchdowns on 156 carries. He averaged 10 yards per carry and his longest run was 90 yards.

In the first two games of the season, McCall had already rushed for 546 yards and 10 touchdowns. He rushed for 170 yards and four touchdowns against Westlake in Week 1 and 376 yards and six scores against Parma the following week.

Last Updated: 11/7/2013 7:56:15 PM EST

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