Skip to content

Elk Mound pulls out first win of the season over Port Edwards

PORT EDWARDS — Taking an 0-4 record to face off against the 3-1 Port Edwards football team for an afternoon game last Friday, Elk Mound used a strong fourth quarter defense to hold off the Blackhawks and earn a 27-25 win.

Port Edwards, with an enrollment of 130 students, plays in the Central Wisconsin Ten Conference and just happened to have the leading passer in the state with Collin McCarville. McCarville had thrown for over 1,000 yards with 15 touchdowns and just four picks in the first four games of the season but Elk Mound held him to just 133 yards on 19 of 30 passing and held the Blackhawks to just 158 yards of total offense.

The Mounders chose to grind out yards on the ground as quarterback Dane Lew threw only two passes in the game completing them both. After falling behind 15 seconds into the game when Ethan Saylor returned the opening kickoff back 78 yards, the Mounders went to work on offense and moved the ball down the field with Noah Zurbuchan finally scoring from three yards out. A kick by Lew made it 7-6 for Elk Mound at the end of the first quarter.

With Zurbuchan, Hunter Adleman and Lew carrying the ball, Elk Mound added to their lead when Adleman crossed the goal line from eight yards out and with Lew’s kick it was 14-6. But it appears the Mounders will have to shore up their kickoff return coverage as they allowed Saylor to run another one back for 74 yards with 6:54 to go in the half. They stopped the two point conversion attempt for the second time which would prove to be pretty important later in the game. Elk Mound responded less than two minutes later when Zurbuchen broke loose on a 50 yard run to paydirt and the Lew kick made it 21-12 at the intermission.

McCarville connected on a short scoring pass to Chris Montag early in the third quarter to cut the Mounders’ lead to 21-16 with an extra point kick. Elk Mound was held scoreless in the third but at the 10:09 mark of the fourth Zurbuchen scored on a five yard run. Lew missed his first kick of the game but Elk Mound had a 27-16 lead at this point. After McCarville hit Saylor for a 45 yard score less than a minute later, it was time for the Mounder defense to step up. They stopped yet another two yard conversion attempt, then stopped Port Edwards four times on their next possession to escape with the win.

“We shut down the state’s leading passer and found a way to win the game,” Mounder coach Dave Lew said. “It feels great and I am proud of the effort our boys gave on both sides of the ball. I hope this game gives them the confidence they need to compete and finish our conference schedule.”

Zurbuchen rushed for 144 yards in 25 carries, Adleman added 93 yards on 22 attempts and Lew picked up 68 yards on 13 carries.

Elk Mound will resume conference play at Colfax this Friday night.