Elco scored the first five times it touched the ball, building a 34-0 halftime lead en route to a 48-7 thrashing of winless Ephrata. Elco (5-1 LL3, 5-4 overall) scored 48 unanswered points before surrendering a fourth-quarter touchdown to the Mounts (0-6, 0-8).
It was a balanced attack for Elco. Junior running back Tyler Horst ran for 115 yards on 15 first-half carries before putting on a sweatshirt at the half, his work through for the night. Senior quarterback Jeff Martin threw for five touchdowns, including three on his first three passes of the game. Martin finished 7-of-9 for 244 yards.
Ephrata was hurt by dropped passes early. Starting quarterback Jerrad Malmer completed 4 of the 11 passes he threw. He deserved better numbers, though. Five of his incompletions came on catchable balls that were dropped.
Elco entered the game hoping for a share of the Section 3 title. Those hopes, though, were dashed when Northern Lebanon came from behind to beat Donegal to clinch the section championship. The loss was the 28th in a row for Ephrata.
Turning point: Ephrata senior Jake Kline returned the opening kickoff to the Ephrata 33 to set up the Raiders' first score.
Stars of the game: Elco receivers Andrew Olson and Ryan Rolon combined for five scores on the five passes the pair caught. Olson finished with three catches for 128 yards. Rolon tallied 110 yards on his two receptions.
Key statistic: With Elco scoring five of its six TDs on big plays that covered 25 or more yards, the Raiders actually ran 13 fewer plays from scrimmage than Ephrata (50-37).
Quotable: "The scoreboard doesn't matter to our kids. We want to play with class and play hard and we did both," said Elco coach Robert Miller.
Up next: Ephrata will host Donegal
Elco will host Twin Valley
Elco 48, Ephrata 7
Elc – Andrew Olson 25 pass from Jeff Martin (Doug Hackman kick)
Elc – Olson 82 pass from Martin (kick failed)
Elc – Tyler Horst 6 run (Hackman kick)
Elc – Horst 43 run (Hackman kick)
Elc – Ryan Rolon 53 pass from Martin (Hackman kick)
Elc – Rolon 57 pass from Martin (Hackman kick)
Elc – Olson 33 pass from Martin (Hackman kick)
Eph – Evan Frees 6 run (Alexander Rummel kick)