SCC football beats Elk Mound for first time in 10 years
Nothing has been more difficult for the St. Croix Central football team in Dunn-St. Croix Conference play than beating Elk Mound.
For the first time in 10 years the Panthers were able to knock off the Mounders, winning at Central last Friday by a 20-6 score. For several of those 10 years the two teams didn't meet because Elk Mound was in the small school division of the conference and Central was in the large school division, but their rivalry didn't lessen in the years they were apart.
Central and Spring Valley now share the lead in the D-SC football standings with 2-0 records. Spring Valley upset Colfax in overtime last Friday, 33-27. Colfax was missing several players for that game due to disciplinary action, but those players are expected to be back in the lineup this Friday when Central plays at Colfax.
Central's boys are coming off their best performance of the season in the win over Elk Mound. The Panther offense methodically controlled the game with long, time-consuming scoring drives.
Much of those drives was based on the running of senior running back Brady Hughes. Hughes carried the ball 39 times, gaining 243 yards for his efforts.
"He ran like a man-child and the lead blocks were excellent," said Central coach Tony DiSalvo.
One thing that stands out from this game is the error-free quality of Central's play. The Panthers didn't turn the ball over once and they only had two five-yard penalties in the game, while Elk Mound had eight penalties for 45 yards.
The Panthers took the opening kickoff and drove the length of the field. Hughes capped the drive with a 1-yard plunge with 5:55 left in the first quarter.
The next Panther possession was another long one. Early in the second quarter the Panthers went ahead 14-0, with the Fern twins connecting for the touchdown. Quarterback Jeff Fern connected with Jared Fern for the 10-yard scoring pass.
The Panthers didn't pass often on Friday, but they were effective when they needed to pass. Fern completed all four of his passing attempts in the game, producing 31 yards.
Elk Mound got its only touchdown in the third quarter. The Panthers calmly responded by driving down for another score. Hughes scored his second touchdown an a two-yard plunge with 35 seconds left in the third quarter.
From there on, Central's defense made sure that Elk Mound didn't get near the goal line again.
"We really came together during the week and it showed on Friday night," DiSalvo said of the Panthers' performance.
St. Croix Central 20, Elk Mound 6
Elk Mound 0 0 6 0 6
St. Croix Central 7 7 6 0 20
SCC -- Brady Hughes, 1 yard run (Mike Winkler kick)
SCC -- Jared Fern, 10 yard pass from Jeff Fern (Winkler kick)
EM -- David Green, 8 yard pass from Jason Beaulieu (kick failed)
SCC -- Hughes, 2 yard run (kick failed)
First Downs 18 7
Rushing Yards 297 96
Passing Yards 31 71
Passes 4-4-0 int. 12-20-0 int.
Penalties 2-10 8-45
SCC -- Brady Hughes 39-243; Matt Kaner 9-31; Mike Nilssen 1-12; Jared Fern 3-11; Jeff Fern 6-0
SCC -- Jeff Fern 4-4-0 int; 31 yards
SCC -- Mike Tilton 2-14; Jared Fern 1-10; Mike Nilssen 1-7