Eitniear’s running, passing lead Bobcats to 7th victory

By DOUG DONNELLY

OTTAWA LAKE — Thomas Eitniear ran for two touchdowns and threw for two more as Whiteford remained undefeated with a 53-14 win over Sand Creek.

The Bobcats fell behind for the first time this season, 7-0, early in the first quarter and the two teams were tied 14-14 before the Bobcats scored on their next five possessions to seize control of the game.

“It was a great football game,” Bobcat coach Jason Mensing said. “We faced some adversity early on and responded. I was proud of the way our guys fought back.”

Eitniear finished with 107 yards rushing and 137 passing yards. His longest completion was a 91-yard touchdown pass to Bradyn Clark-Gilmore. The Bobcats were backed up near their own end zone after stopping Sand Creek on a fourth-and-goal from inside the two-yard line.

“My hats off to Whiteford,” Sand Creek coach Scott Gallagher said. “They are a good football team. We played hard. I am proud of the way our guys fought. We played them tough.”

Sand Creek got on the board first after the Bobcats fumbled on their first play from scrimmage and Ryan Lakatos fell on it for Sand Creek. Carson Scroggie scored on a 15-yard run to give the Aggies a 7-0 lead.

Whiteford came back on a 9-yard run from Eitniear but couldn’t score on the two-point conversion and the Aggies kept the lead. Early in the second quarter, Eitniear led the Bobcats on a 60-yard scoring drive, finding Clark-Gilmore for the score. During the drive, Eitniear had runs of 13, 9 and 9 yards. One of the runs came on what appeared to be a broken play and he turned it into a first down with his scrambling ability.

“That’s the kind of plays that Thomas has made for us for three years,” Mensing said of his third-year starting quarterback. Eitniear now has led the Bobcats to 30 wins over the past three seasons.

The Aggies came right back and tied the score at 14-14 on a 43-yard run by Alec Muck, who took the handoff up the middle and beat the Bobcat defenders to the end zone.

Eitniear scored on a 28-yard run to give the Bobcats a 22-14 lead with 6:57 left in the second quarter. Then, after a defensive stand, the Bobcats marched down the field in the final 1:53 of the second quarter and scored on a 1-yard run by Logan Murphy to go up 30-14 at halftime.

The Aggies got off to a good second-half start, driving deep into Whiteford territory before the Bobcat defense stiffened. When the Aggies gave up the ball, Zach Bertz finished off a long scoring drive and the Bobcats led 38-14. Still in the third quarter, Eitniear found Clark-Gilmore on a pass and he raced down the sidelines, avoiding a tackle by Muck, and going the distance.

Bertz finished the scoring with a 12-yard run on a third-and-long situation with under a minute remaining.

The Bobcats went over 50 points for the fifth consecutive week for the first time in school history.

Whiteford piled up 330 yards rushing. Besides the 100-yard game by Eitniear, Murphy had 82, Bertz 61, Nathan Bauman 59 and Ty Eitniear 21. Clark-Gilmore caught four passes for 128 yards.

DeShawn Williams and Abba Risley recovered fumbles for Whiteford on Cole Borowicz fell on the ball on a short Bobcat kickoff. Risley was in on eight tackles, and Bertz six for Whiteford.

Muck led Sand Creek with 129 yards rushing and caught a pass for 10 yards. He also led Sand Creek with 10 tackles. Nolan Pickles had an interception and fumble recovery for the Aggies (3-4, 2-3 in the TCC).

The Bobcats are 7-0 and 5-0 in the TCC. They can clinch no worse than a share of their second TCC title in two years with a win next Friday at Clinton. Whiteford hasn’t won back-to-back league championships since the 1964 and 1965 seasons.

REVISED Whiteford 53, Sand Creek 14 box score

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