The Elder Panthers raced out to an early 17-0 lead, but then had to hold off the Middletown Middies in order to pick up the win in Thursday night’s Crosstown Showdown matchup at Nipper Stadium as they prevailed 20-14.
Elder (1-0) started their scoring off when kicker Matt Murray drilled a 27-yard field goal. The Panthers padded their lead early in the second quarter when senior Chris Schroer hit paydirt from eight yards out to take the lead to 10-0 with 10:58 remaining in the half.
Six minutes later Andrew Sportsman pulled in a 35-yard TD pass from Peyton Ramsey as Elder went up three scores.
Middletown (0-1) couldn’t do much offensively, but were able to put some points on the scoreboard before the half as EJ Colson returned the ensuing kickoff 99 yards to cut the deficit to ten.
Murray would add a 26-yard chip shot to give Elder a 20-7 advantage at the half.
The defenses would go on lockdown from there as neither offense could muster much out of the locker room.
Brad Carr put the Middies within six points as he returned an interception 42 yards to the house to cut the lead to 20-14 midway through the third quarter. However, those would be the final points for either team on the night.
Schroer led all players with 182 yards and a touchdown on 34 carries (5.4 ypc) and Sportsman finished with seven for 159 yards and a receiving TD.
Middletown quarterback Allante Simmons completed 3-of-6 passes for 46 yards and added 101 rushing yards on 17 carries in the loss.
Elder will look to make it two in a row as they welcome Upper Arlington to The Pit next week while Middletown returns home to battle Springfield.