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ELMWOOD – Cold temperatures didn’t stop Elmwood-Murdock from producing a toasty scoring performance against Southern on Friday night.

The Knights posted 24 points in the first quarter and went on to defeat the Raiders 60-36. Elmwood-Murdock generated 406 yards in the game and enjoyed a balanced offense. The team scored four times through the air and added four rushing touchdowns during the night.

Elmwood-Murdock (5-1) and Southern (4-2) had both entered the game with lofty credentials. The Knights had scored 38 or more points in four of their previous five contests, and Southern had reached the 54-point mark three times. Bruning-Davenport-Shickley had given both schools their only setback of the season. B-D-S had defeated Southern 40-26 and Elmwood-Murdock 52-20.

Fans watched both teams give the scoreboard a workout in the first quarter. Elmwood-Murdock jumped ahead when Drake Spohr connected with Noah Willey on a 19-yard touchdown pass. Willey ran past the cornerback and hauled in an over-the-shoulder catch in the end zone.

Southern responded with a 60-yard drive on its first series of the game. SHS quarterback Carson Borzekofski avoided a sack and burst away from a pile of players at the 24-yard line. He sprinted down the Southern sideline for a touchdown run. E-M’s Jared Drake recovered a fumble on the two-point conversion play to keep it 8-6.

E-M then burst ahead with its offense and defense. Drake capped a scoring drive with an eight-yard touchdown catch near the righthand pylon, and Willey then intercepted a pass on Southern’s next possession. He returned the interception 29 yards for a pick-six.

Southern’s Braden Klover scored a 49-yard touchdown late in the first quarter, but the Knights doused that momentum in the second period. Noah Arent began the scoring spree when he took a handoff and began to run to the right against the Raiders. He spotted an opening in the defense, cut back to the left and raced 16 yards to pay dirt.

The Knights then scored twice within 100 seconds. Spohr tossed a short pass to Drake in the left flat with just over two minutes to go. Drake made several defenders miss and dashed 46 yards into the end zone.

E-M made it 42-12 after Arent recovered a fumble on the ensuing kickoff. Spohr launched a long pass downfield that went toward the hands of a Southern defender. The cornerback bobbled the football and Willey grabbed it in the air for a 45-yard touchdown.

Southern tried to claw some of the momentum back on the final play of the half. Borzekofski threw a pass downfield with no time remaining. Riley Wegner won a 50-50 battle for the ball and ran over the goal line for a 50-yard score.

Elmwood-Murdock sealed the victory by dominating the third quarter. Drake and Spohr produced touchdown runs of 45 and 19 yards, and Arent tacked on a touchdown from the 1-yard line. Southern created the final margin with a pair of fourth-quarter scores.

Turnovers played a key role in the outcome. Elmwood-Murdock forced four giveaways in the first half and ended the game with two interceptions and three fumble recoveries. Willey and Spohr each made interceptions and Drake fell on a pair of fumbles. Arent, Spohr and Tyler Marlatt all recovered fumbles for the Knights.

Drake helped E-M’s offense with 145 yards on 25 carries. Arent collected 58 yards on 15 attempts and Spohr ran 12 times for 52 yards. Spohr also went 5-of-9 through the air for 142 yards and four touchdowns.

Willey caught a pair of passes for 67 yards and Drake made two catches for 53 yards. Arent finished with one reception for 27 yards.

Arent ended the night with five solo and six assisted tackles. Drake made four solo and seven assisted stops, Spohr tallied three solo and ten assisted tackles and Marlatt had three solo and eight assisted tackles. Willey made three solo and three assisted stops and Carson vonRentzell tallied one solo and five assisted tackles.

Southern                   12   8   0 16 – 36

Elmwood-Murdock    24 18 18   0 – 60

Scoring Summary

1st Quarter

EM – Drake 24 pass from Spohr (Drake run), 10:10

SHS – Borzekofski 24 run (run no good), 6:44

EM – Drake 8 yard pass from Spohr (Spohr run), 3:23

EM – Willey 29 interception return (Drake run), 1:45

SHS – Klover 49 run (run no good), 0:42

2nd Quarter

EM – Arent 16 run (run no good), 9:50

EM – Drake 46 pass from Spohr (run no good), 2:01

EM – Willey 45 pass from Spohr (pass no good), 0:22

SHS – Wegner 50 pass from Borzekofski (Klover run), 0:00

3rd Quarter

EM – Drake 45 run (run no good)

EM – Spohr 19 run (run no good)

EM – Arent 1 run (run no good)

4th Quarter

SHS – Southern run (run good)

SHS – Southern run (run good)

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