Sep. 4—The Elkhart Elks played host to the Corrigan-Camden Bulldogs on Friday night, defeating the visitors in a defense battle, 22-6. The Bulldogs, a playoff team a year ago, were the first big test for the Elks in the early going of the 2023 season. While the Elks did not put up the offensive numbers from a week ago, this win is a true measuring stick moment.
The Elks would end up amassing only 245 yards of total offensive on the night, with the lions share going to star junior quarterback Trystyn Tidrow, who would throw for 127 and rush for another 34.
The Bulldog offensive had even tougher sledding for the night, as the Elk defensive line seemed to set up shop behind the line of scrimmage the entire game. Bulldog quarterbacks Michael Sullivan and William Ratliff, who split time throughout the contest, could not buy time to sit in the pocket, and where forced to roll out to avoid pressure all night, going only six of 16 for 72 yards combined. Ratliff would also throw an interception to Elk defensive back Jayden Chapman. Bulldog rushers would not find much more success, as a team gaining only 62 yards in the ground.
The game started out slow for both teams, as the defenses traded stops in the first quarter, allowing no points for either side. Tidrow, a very accurate passer with a cannon for an arm, would have a rough start to his game, only completing one of his first five pass attempts. But the Elks would stick to the game plan, trying to find receivers down field to pick up yardage in chunks. The Elks would get the play they needed, with Tidrow completing a long 34 yard stick to Chapman , setting the Elks up with first and goal from the two yard line in the second quarter. Tidrow would go on to score the games first points on a quarterback sneak. Chapman would again get involved on the drive, as the Elks went for two, and Tidrow would find the receiver on a short bubble screen to convert, making the score 8-0.
The score would remain that way for the remainder of the quarter, and well into the third quarter. The Elks would finally break through again, this time on a beautiful 22 yard bullet from Tidrow, which yet again found his trusted wideout Chapman. After a failed two point conversion, the Elks lead stood at 14-0.
The Bulldogs would not lay down, as the would come back in the fourth quarter to put their first and only points on the board. Sullivan, the Bulldogs quarterback, would find pay dirt from one yard out.
Elkhart running back Jackson Denney would have a big second half for the Elks, gaining 45 yards on six carries, one a 12 yard touchdown run. While the yardage may not pop, the strength and grit on his runs was unflappable. With each carry you could see the "want" draining from the Bulldog defenders to step up to make the tackle on the hard running Denney.
The Elks will be on the road this week, as they will be battling the Hearne Eagles. The Eagles are 0-2 on the season. The game will be played at 7:30 p.m. Friday Sept 8, at Eagles Stadium.