CEDAR VALE — It has been several years since the West Elk Patriots have had these kind of struggles during a football season.
For the first time in seven years, WEHS has dropped five straight games. This time, the Patriots fell victim to Eight Man I-District 1 co-leader Cedar Vale/Dexter as they dropped a 46-0 decision to the Spartans. The contest was called at halftime due to the eight-man mercy rule.
“Hats off to Cedar Vale/Dexter,” said WEHS coach Chris Haag, whose squad was the defending District 1 champion heading into the season. “They have a good team over there. We have owned them in recent years, so they were fired up to play us. We weren’t gonna roll over. I was happy with the way we started the game. We just had so many young guys on the field. They were pretty shellshocked at the beginning. They finally settled down. We’ve just go to find a way to get this thing figured out.”
The Patriots are experiencing their toughest stretch of games in recent memory. In fact, West Elk has now lost five straight games overall for the first time since a five-game skid that spanned between the 2010 and 2011 seasons. It is the longest such losing streak in a single season for WEHS since dropping five consecutive games during the 2008 campaign.
Although West Elk still has an outside shot of the playoffs, it is definitely running out of time with only two weeks left on the regular-season schedule. WEHS — 1-5 overall — now faces must-win situations in its final two games, starting with Friday’s home contest against Flinthills. The Patriots and Mustangs are both winless in district play at 0-3. FHS, which is also 1-5 on the season, is coming off a 58-8 home loss to Sedan.
WEHS definitely had its hands full facing a Cedar Vale/Dexter squad that remained tied atop the district standings with Central of Burden at 3-0. The Spartans improved to 5-1 overall on the season.
The Spartans had control of things from the opening kickoff. Running back Brogan Myers put CVD on the board with a 69-yard touchdown run that was part of a 30-point quarter for the host team. That included a 32-yard strike from Clayton Henderson to Cole Criss and a pair of touchdown runs of five and 10 yards by Henderson.
The Patriots could get nothing going offensively the entire contest. In fact, WEHS was held to just 64 total yards, including a net of 15 yards rushing on 22 carries.
Meanwhile, Cedar Vale/Dexter put the game away before halftime. Myers ran in his second touchdown of the game on a 15-yard run in the second quarter. Then just before the intermission, Jimmy Rock scampered 45 yards for another score. Wyatt Kelley ran in the conversion and gave the Spartans enough of a cushion to end the contest at halftime.
CVD had 316 total yards in the contest, including 284 on the ground by way of 24 carries. Myers led the way with 13 attempts for 157 yards and two touchdowns.