Ellsworth grids fall short in Level 1 playoffsThe Ellsworth High School football team had the ball with under two minutes to go at midfield ready to take the lead on West Salem down 20-14. But West Salem was able to hold on for the WIAA Level 1 playoff victory.
The Ellsworth High School football team had the ball with under two minutes to go at midfield ready to take the lead on West Salem down 20-14. But West Salem was able to hold on for the WIAA Level 1 playoff victory.
Ellsworth took the first lead when, after a fumble recovery and long return by Devin Myers, EHS capped their scoring drive with a 23-yards touchdown pass from Jake Murphy to Alex Campbell in the second quarter. But the Panthers of West Salem tied the score before halftime on a one-yard run by running back Nolan Wahoske. There was some controversy on the scoring drive when, on the play before, an apparent interception by Campbell in the end zone was negated because he was ruled out-of-bounds.
West Salem dominated field position in the second half as they had the ball inside Ellsworth territory on all their drives but on. Ellsworth's defense played well enough to hold WS to field goals on two drives but a busted coverage led to a 54-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Eric Burdick to wide receiver Scott Rudesill.
Ellsworth was down 20-7 with five minutes to go but they quickly when one a scoring drive with long passes to Campbell and Dennis Schutz capped off by a one-yard run from Jake Betthauser. Ellsworth got the ball back on an interception from Campbell but was unable to go the distance for the win.
The Panthers conclude their season 5-5 overall. West Salem improves to 7-3 overall and will play Medford in Level 2 next weekend.