FORT HOOD — The best offense may be a good defense, but a good defense can’t do it all — even the likes of the ’85 Bears needed help from its offense to win.
The Ellison Eagles defense did their best impersonation of the vaunted Monsters of the Midway, but the offense only mustered 80 total yards and Ellison lost for the 22nd straight time, 34-14 to the Manor Mustangs on Friday night.
The Eagles lone first-half touchdown came when Manor fumbled the ball on its 24-yard line and senior defensive lineman Anthony Harding scooped up the loose ball with one arm and sprinted 24 yards into the end zone.
“Harding has a cast on his right hand so he picked it up with his left arm and took off,” Ellison head coach Trent Gregory said. “Our defense really played well today but we’ve got to get better — the whole team.”
A complete lack of offensive production curtailed the Eagles’ defensive effort.
Ellison had minus-7 total yards and just one first down during the first half despite the defense forcing three turnovers and only allowing 14 points.
After the Eagles’ (0-2) first possession, junior quarterback Jacob Ledford entered the game for injured senior starter Trenton Jones and completed 6-of-8 passes for 42 yards but tossed two picks, while Deon Burch and Sedderian Chambers combined for 12 yards on 11 carries in the first half.
“We focused on the (running game) all week with our offensive line, but we were not very productive in the first half,” Gregory said. “We came back in the second half and had that one great drive that showed flashes of what we are capable of.”
During the drive, Chambers stepped up. The senior running back toted the rock four times for 27 yards and a touchdown on the lone Eagles’ offensive score of the evening on his way to a team leading 63 yards on 15 carries.
“(Chambers) is a bull. We have to find ways to get him the ball and let him pick up those strong yards,” Gregory said.
The offensive line struggled to open holes for the Eagle backs to run through and Ellison routinely hurt itself with penalties — gathering 50 yards worth during the first two quarters.
“Our team worked really hard this week, and when Jones went down Ledford stepped in and did the best he could, but we struggled,” Gregory said. “All our players understand that they are one snap away from being in the ball game and (Ledford) prepared that way this week.”