Boys Varsity Football
Game Summaries & Headlines.
NORCROSS — The No. 2-ranked football team in Class A shut out Wesleyan 63-0 on its home field Friday night.
It was the largest margin of defeat in school history for Wesleyan, according to Georgia High School Football Historian’s database. The win was the third consecutive win for ELCA (5-1, 3-0) and the Chargers’ third shutout of the season.
Wesleyan head coach Franklin Pridgen took away from the game a solid performance from his offense, which didn’t concede a turnover, and freshman quarterback J.C. French.
“We were overmatched physically in a lot of places,” Pridgen said. “I thought we moved the ball offensively with pretty good precision. I thought our short passing game and our game control passing game was effective.”
ELCA running back Keaton Mitchell scored three touchdowns and quarterback Braydon Mitchell scored twice and threw for two TDs.
The Chargers made points out of their first offensive drive. Rush took the third play from scrimmage 70 yards to the end zone to give ELCA a 7-0 lead.
A Wesleyan punt from midfield gave the Chargers the ball deep in their own territory with fewer than six minutes remaining in the first quarter. Wesleyan forced an ELCA punt and trailed 7-0 at the end of the first quarter.
ELCA started with unfavorable field position on its first drive of the second quarter, but the Chargers used a succession of long runs from Mitchell and Rush to score again. Rush carried the ball about 30 yards to the Wesleyan 46-yard line, followed by a 21-yard run for Keaton to the Wesleyan 24. Rush ended the four-play 81-yard scoring drive for ELCA on a 24-yard TD run.
Mitchell scored ELCA’s final two TDs before halftime. He carried the ball 11 yards to the Wesleyan 9-yard line to set up his second TD run with 3:27 left in the second quarter. Approaching the two-minute mark in the first half, a punt return for ELCA’s Jonathan Youngblood gave the Chargers the ball at the Wolves’ 9-yard line. Mitchell delivered his third touchdown of the first half on the following play to send ELCA to the locker room with a 28-0 lead.
“We got a couple stops in the first half, but we ran off a cliff in the second half,” Pridgen said. “Our young team learned a lot of important lessons from this, and that’s fine. I’m glad it’s over and we’re healthy because we have some really important football games ahead of us.”
ELCA needed fewer than two minutes to extend its lead to 35 points. Rush tallied his first touchdown pass of the night to Justin Robinson with 10:49 left in the third quarter.
As Wesleyan’s offense was continually frustrated, ELCA took advantage by starting some second-half drives with good field position. A strong 38-yard punt that reached the ELCA 42 turned into a 36-yard return for Youngblood to the Wesleyan 22-yard line. Wesleyan’s defense was a play away from holding strong until Rush found wide receiver Justin Menard for a 20-yard TD pass on third-and-8.
ELCA led 56-0 when the fourth quarter initiated a running clock. Wesleyan fought its way to midfield with 10:30 left in the game but punted from there four plays later. Harrison Larner pinned down the Chargers at the 1-yard line with a 49-yard punt when the Chargers kept their team in a defensive formation on fourth down. In one final display of superiority, ELCA drove 99 yards on 10 plays to score, capped by a 25-yard TD run from Sigur, his second TD of the game.
Wesleyan (2-4, 2-1) continues region play in the second game of the three-game homestand with Mount Vernon Presbyterian on Oct. 5.