It’s a different guy every week. The Ellison defensive unit has a knack for forcing turnovers and sometimes scoring.
“Our defense is playing really good, and I have to give hats off to the staff and players,” Ellison coach Trent Gregory said. “They played tenaciously and swarmed the ball all night and we look for that to continue.”
Friday, desperate for a win after 22 straight losses, the Eagles got another defensive score. But while the defensive streak will continue so will the losing streak, as the Lions defeated Ellison 28-14.
The Eagles’ defense hammered the Lions, forcing four fumbles and recovering three to go with three total sacks. Reginald Ford returned a fumble 40 yards for the Eagles’ first points — making it back-to-back weeks that Ellison’s defense crossed the goal line.
“Reggie is a playmaker, but we have different players stepping up all the time,” Gregory said. “I hope they can keep this scoring streak going.”
They may need to because the offense sputtered again for most of the night.
“This offense can be very explosive — one play is all we need,” Gregory said. “The kids understand that and all we need to do is run the offense ef-
One play showed what Ellison (0-3) could become under Gregory. The Eagles lined up in the pistol formation and junior quarterback Jacob Ledford took the snap and almost immediately got crushed as he launched a deep pass to Hayward Clay.
Clay was double covered, but it didn’t matter. The senior wide receiver leaped in the air, snatched ball and somehow avoided the two defenders before he sprinted 45 yards to the end zone and cut the Lions’ lead to 21-14.
“We had him doubled, but one guy was too far in front and the other too far over the top,” Waco head coach Marty Herbst said. “(Clay) made a tremendous play.”
Ledford finished 11-of-20 passing for 99 yards and a touchdown and two turnovers — an interception and a fourth-quarter fumble in his own end zone that Waco recovered for the final touchdown.
Ellison’s defense forced two first-half fumbles but the offense did not capitalize.
Anthony Harding ripped the ball from the Lions’ Phillip Roper at the 14-yard line and moved the pile to the Waco 6. But during the subsequent drive, the Eagles only managed one positive play — a 2-yard run by Vincent Lobendahn.
A Ledford incomplete pass was followed by a trick-play that failed. Junior running back Deon Burch went in motion and looked as if he was going to receive the direct snap but the center sailed the ball over his head and the Eagles lost 11 yards before Reggie Jackson fell on the ball. Burch missed wide left on the 34-yard field goal attempt.
“We’re just making too many mental mistakes on the offensive side of the ball and we have to establish a running game so we can we use the play-action pass,” Gregory said. “But we’ll be fine. We are going to get them fixed.”
Waco did move the ball on Ellison, but three passes made the difference. Lions quarterback Traynham Moore found receiver Tyler Taylor three times for long touchdowns — 63, 43 and 34 yards, respectively.
“You keep fighting and working hard, good things will happen,” Gregory said. “We will get this done.”