Temple got off to a fast start and sputtered for significant stretches yet ultimately withstood a sturdy test from host Ellison 56-27 on Thursday night in a wild District 12-6A outing At Leo Buckley Stadium.
The victory was the fourth straight for Temple (4-2, 3-0), which now has won 11 district games in a row overall.
The Wildcats led 29-7 late in the first quarter before Ellison (2-4, 1-2) tallied the next 14 to make it 29-21 by halftime. Temple, though, outscored the Eagles 27-6 after the break.
Running back Samari Howard posted a season-high 207 yards rushing and three total touchdowns for Temple. Mikal Harrison-Pilot and Devan Williams each had a TD catch, Tavaris Sullivan a 2-yard TD run, Reese Rumfield was 11-of-30 passing for 202 yards and Danis Bajric made field goals of 23 and 27 yards.
Danis Dominick Allison rushed for 151 yards and two scores for Ellison.
The Eagles appeared to get within nine points late in the third but a play that initially was ruled a TD was reversed to LeMichael Thompson’s interception as the two players tumbled out of the back of the end zone. The Wildcats scored 14 straight from there.
The sequence was a microcosm of a first half that had everything, including three touchdowns of 65 yards or more among 50 points and seven combined turnovers.
Temple scored all 29 of its first-half points in the first 9 minutes of the opening period, leading 14-0 just 3 minutes in through Harrison-Pilot’s sparkling 72-yard TD catch and run and KeAndre Smith’s 12-yard TD reception.
Ellison cut it to 14-7 with Allison’s first of two long scoring jaunts, a 75-yarder right up the middle just 3:26 into the contest.
Temple went up 21-7 when Howard ended up wide open out of the backfield for a 29-yard TD catch, and it was 29-7 following his 3-yard TD run and subsequent 2-point pass to Tomas Torres with 3:46 left in the quarter.
The Eagles scored the next 14 points on a 3-yard keeper by Kyler Villalba and Allison’s 65-yard run on third-and-2 at the 10:44 mark of the second quarter.
The teams then combined for five turnovers and three punts until halftime.
Taurean York and Andre Anderson each forced a fumble, Faylin Lee, Smith and Harrison-Pilot had recoveries, and Naeten Mitchell recorded an interception for Temple in the first half, in which Ellison’s Steve Albert and Tyrone Osberry had a pick apiece and Jha’Mauri Erilus caused a fumble that was recovered by Matthew Moore.