Trying to snap a season-long losing streak, the Ellison Eagles continued to bury themselves with mistakes.
Despite four first-half trips to the red zone, Ellison came away with zero points thanks to three lost fumbles and a costly interception in the end zone as Georgetown rolled Ellison’s losing streak to 11 games with a 27-6 season-opening defeat Friday at Leo Buckley Stadium.
“Tonight, mistakes cost us, and mistakes are going to cost you in a game, and unfortunately we had too many,” Ellison senior tailback Isiah Cowan said. “But we’re going to come back next week, we’re going to come back against Manor and we’re going to get a win.”
Ellison finished with 221 yards of total offense, but couldn’t seem to stop the Georgetown connection of quarterback Jake Hubenak and receiver Ryan Bedford, who connected eight times for 137 yards and a touchdown. Hubenak finished 18-of-30 for 246 yards and three scores, including a nail-in-the-coffin 13-yard touchdown run with 4:57 left in the fourth.
The lone bright spot for Ellison could be finding a quarterback, two for that matter.
Ellison started out well with dynamic senior DeSoto-transfer Rasheed Dashiell under center, moving the ball consistently down the field, moving into the red zone on four of its first five possessions. But junior Trent Jones came in with 5 minutes left in the third and provided a passing spark not present in the first half, leading Ellison on an 11-play, 65-yard scoring drive on his second series.
“Two very great quarterbacks, two of the very best quarterbacks I’ve ever been around,” said Cowan, who led Ellison with 41 rushing yards on 12 carries.
Jones (6-of-12 for 55 yards passing) also provided the play of the game, when on fourth-and-goal from the 3-yard line he pitched the ball to Cowan as he was being sacked, and Cowan busted into the end zone for Ellison’s only score with 10:22 to play in the fourth.
“We went with Trent in there in the second half because we felt like he has a little quicker release, and since we weren’t getting as much protection as we wanted, he can get it off a little quicker,” Ellison head coach Buddy McBryde said.
Georgetown started the scoring after taking advantage of a muffled punt that was recovered by Nick Kreider at the Georgetown 18 and advanced to Ellison’s own 6. Four plays later, Tyler Moody burst through for a 2-yard touchdown with 2:59 left in the first quarter for a 7-0 lead.
“The (muffed) punt that we had was the big turning point,” McBryde said. “It was his first time out here at Buckley, a big high punt into the lights and (he) misjudged it. We taught them to get away, but he misjudged it.”
Ellison’s turnover woes continued on the ensuing drive as Dashiell was intercepted in the end zone after leading Ellison on an 11-play, 55-yard drive.
Georgetown then moved down field with ease, highlighted by a 53-yard pass from Hubenak to Bedford to the Ellison 24. After a 15-yard run by Moody, Hubenak and Bedford connected again for an 8-yard touchdown strike A two-point try failed and Georgetown led 13-0 with 9:15 left in the second quarter.
Each team traded 3-and-outs, but an errant pitch from Dashiell on Ellison’s next possession was picked up and returned 25 yards by Georgetown linebacker Brandon Boone to Ellison’s 44. Hubenak hit a wide-open Kreider for a 29-yard touchdown on fourth-and-7 to put Georgetown up 20-0 with 3:40 left in the half.
“It cripples you, but in the second half, we responded well,” Cowan said. “And I couldn’t be more proud of my teammates. It was frustrating, but we’re going to keep fighting.”