ELMA — Friday the 13th became unlucky for the Elma Eagles when the Eatonville Cruisers came to town.
Handing Elma its second loss of the young football season, Eatonville defeated the Eagles, 28-19, at Davis Field last Friday night.
“I think turnovers killed us the entire game. When you give away free touchdowns and you don’t catch punts and they score and you don’t, all the sudden they have 28-points,” said Elma head coach Jim Hill.
Eatonville (1-1) recovered four Elma fumbles in the game, which led to three scoring drives. The Eagles intercepted the Crusiers twice, one set up a score, but the Eagles ran out of time in the half before they could capitalize on the other.
The Eagles went down 8-0 in the first quarter. But with a long drive to start off the second quarter, they pulled to within two points of the Cruisers. Both teams scored again before the end of the first half, and Elma was threatening as time expired, leaving the halftime score at 15-13 in favor of Eatonville.
“We had some mental mistakes offensively in the first-half. We dropped some balls and turned the ball over … but we will continue to work on those things,” said Hill.
In the second half, the Eagle defense was able to penetrate the Eatonville backfield, dropping Cruiser ball carriers three times for losses. But even with good offensive efforts by Todd Swinhart, Ryan Collin and Kevin Farr (scoring the initial Eagle touchdown), the ball continued to bounce the Cruisers’ way.
Eatonville kept Elma scoreless in the third quarter, while managing a late-quarter score. A midfield fumble recovery by Eatonville in the final quarter was converted in only five plays, giving the Cruisers a 28-13 lead after the conversion.
It was an Eagle recovery of a Eatonville loose ball that gave Elma its final drive.
Coach Hill had the team running rapidly in its no-huddle offense, alternating runs with Swinhart and Steven Persell. The attack kept the Cruisers guessing when Collin mixed in the occasional pass, connecting with Swinhart and Farr. The series took just about five minutes, the time left in the game, and ended with a TD pass to Swinhart closing out the game at 28-19 with just a few seconds left on the clock.
The Eagles host their first league game at Davis Field at 7 p.m. Friday, taking on Tenino (0-2).