Football: Panthers hold off Baldwin-WoodvilleELLSWORTH — Ellsworth senior wide receiver/cornerback Alex Campbell is a threat to score a touchdown on every catch.
By: Chris Harrell, The Republican Eagle
ELLSWORTH — Ellsworth senior wide receiver/cornerback Alex Campbell is a threat to score a touchdown on every catch.
He had three receptions Friday against Baldwin-Woodville, with two accounting for touchdowns from senior quarterback Jake Murphy, and another was the first step in a hook-and-ladder play with junior Dennis Schutz that yielded 54 yards to set up the Panthers final touchdown in a 27-7 victory.
“You got to go to your go-to guys,” Ellsworth coach Clair Austin said. “He just comes back to the ball so well. Murphy and Alex have a great connection.”
The two got it started early on the second offensive play of the game when Murphy delivered a pass just above the defender’s fingertips that Campbell took 74 yards for the opening score with 11 minutes, 5 seconds left in the first quarter.
“It was a perfect pass,” Campbell, who had 95 yards receiving, said. “I barely caught it because I thought (the defender) was going to tip it. I was surprised by it.”
Murphy finished 5 of 10 for 177 yards and two touchdowns in the win. He also threw an interception and ran for 20 yards on two carries.
But Baldwin-Woodville recovered with a quick score of its own, finished by Derek Weyer on a 1-yard touchdown run with 6:16 left in the first quarter to tie the game at 7-7. Weyer gashed the Panthers early on counters and misdirection plays, especially on the first series, but Ellsworth switched defensive alignments to slow Weyer. He finished with 108 yards on 23 carries but most of his yards came in the first half.
“We made a nice adjustment,” Austin said. “We pretty much shut them out the rest of the way. I’m really proud of the way the defense stepped up.”
Senior Matt Stoetzel led the Panthers’ defense with three sacks and junior Logan Kemmerer had a team-leading 11 total tackles.
After the first two scores both teams scuffled on offense — Ellsworth turned the ball over twice — but the Panthers added another touchdown using a hurry-up offense on a 17-yard touchdown reception by Campbell with 18 seconds left and took a 14-7 lead into halftime.
Ellsworth (2-2, 2-1 Middle Border) used the momentum in the second half, chewing up yards along the left side of the offensive line and getting a 6-yard touchdown run from junior Brandon VanderMarliere with 6:08 left in the third to go up 21-7.
“That’s our strong side,” Austin said. “We were able to hook their end.”
Kemmerer had the final touchdown for the Panthers on a 5-yard touchdown run at 3:57 of the fourth.
“We knew it would be a tough game,” Campbell said. “We just got to get on a run. It was nice to be back home.”
The Panthers (2-2, 2-1 Middle Border) are at home again next week, hosting New Richmond.