AURORA— Ely Head Coach Louis Gerzin found plenty to like and plenty to work on as the Timberwolves fell 20-6 to Cromwell here last Friday. The game, originally scheduled to be played in Ely, …
AURORA— Ely Head Coach Louis Gerzin found plenty to like and plenty to work on as the Timberwolves fell 20-6 to Cromwell here last Friday. The game, originally scheduled to be played in Ely, was moved at the last minute as workers were putting the finishing touches on new facilities at the Ely school campus.
Home field advantage could have made the difference in a game that was closer than the final score suggested. “We played a tough first half,” said Gerzin. “It was a few minor breakdowns in the second half that cost us.”
Ely had little trouble moving the ball throughout the contest and they put the first points on the board early in the second quarter as Erron Anderson ran it in for six. Ely mounted a number of other drives during the game that mostly fell short on miscues. “We were moving the ball well, but we had a fumble on their six-yard line in the third quarter and eight or nine penalties, along with a few dropped passes, that killed drives,” said Gerzin.
Meanwhile, the Cardinals got on the scoreboard midway through the second quarter. The teams headed into the break knotted at six.
Gerzin credits Cromwell for making the changes it needed to turn the tide in the second half. They added eight more points early in the second half and made the conversion to go up 14-6.
Cromwell added six more early in the fourth quarter to pad their margin and the Timberwolves couldn’t turn the tide.
Gerzin, now in his second year as Ely’s head football coach, attributed some of the day’s troubles to opening day jitters. Ely’s opening game, originally set for Sept. 2, was canceled, so Friday’s contest was Ely’s season debut. Gerzin said he expects to see big improvements as some of the younger players get more playing time in the weeks to come. For now, he said, they’ll be relying on their most experienced core group, like senior Erron Anderson and junior Jason Kerntz, both of whom earned all-district honors last year as running backs.
Kerntz had a huge day on Friday, racking up 133 yards rushing, while Anderson posted 64 yards and 7 yards receiving, one of them for the Wolves’ only touchdown. Gavin Marshall also added 30 yards on the ground.
“Erron and Jason really ran the ball well on Friday,” said Gerzin. They’ll also be relying on senior quarterback Gunnar Hart, who is showing promise behind center. Hart, who was a utility player for the Wolves last year, moved into the quarterback slot and is showing poise in the pocket and some mobility as well.
On defense, Deegan Richards led the Wolves with seven tackles. Gerzin said he was also impressed with the play of sophomore Alex Meriman, who posted six and a half tackles and two interceptions. Meriman, who got a little junior varsity playing time as an eighth-grader two years ago, didn’t go out for football last year, but had an impressive debut on the varsity squad on Friday. Anderson added five and a half tackles, while Marshall and Chase Anderson each tallied four and a half.
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