A Highlander slaughterfest

Senior Joe Schroer leads the men of Elder on to the field for the first game of the 2015 season against neighborhood rival Oak Hills.


Senior Joe Schroer leads the men of Elder on to the field for the first game of the 2015 season against neighborhood rival Oak Hills.

In a packed Pit on Friday evening, The Elder Panthers started off their 2015 football campaign off with a throbbing against their West side rival Oak Hills. The game from the beginning wasn’t pretty, and that’s just how that Panthers wanted it.

The offense found their rhythm early and often in the first half, scoring 28 points in both the first and second quarter riding 56 into halftime. Senior quarterback Peyton Ramsey had an efficient outing going 11 for 15 with 175 yards and rushing for 81 yards including a 29 yard touchdown sprint against the Highlanders.

Seniors Nick Hall and Robby Oswald combined caught all of Ramsey’s 11 passes (Hall six, Oswald five). Although the Panthers looked great through the air, the ground game was brutal on the Oak Hill’s defense. Senior Ja’Vahri Portis was the head of the attack with 17 attempts for 114 yards and racked up four touchdowns on the night. In total, the Panthers rushed for 258 yards on 42 carries. (6.1 average yards per carry)

Senior offensive tackle Tommy Kraemer manhandled the Oak Hills defensive line and was impressed by the offense showing.

“The offense was explosive,” Kraemer told me. “It’s the first game and we need to work on some things from a technique standpoint but we really performed well for our first game.”

Mid way through the second quarter, Kraemer was involved in a scuffle with an Oak Hills defender while in the red zone. The end result, as you can imagine, involved the Highlander on his behind being thrown out of the back of the end zone by Tommy.

“Honestly I didn’t even hear the whistle and we were in a battle,” said Kraemer.

Tommy went on to tell me that the kid wouldn’t stop and continued to grab his face mask and ripped his helmet off, so it was only fitting that the kid should be taught some manners. There’s a lesson to all future defensive lineman that decide to mess with the five star 310 pound Notre Dame commit.

For how dominant the offense was Friday night, the defense also performed at a high level giving Oak Hills quarterback Jake Woycke trouble throughout the game. Elder picked off Woycke four times and senior linebacker Ryan Furniss was able to return one interception for a touchdown.

“It was a pretty awesome feeling being able to take it back after I picked him off,” Furniss said. “By far one of the greatest memories I’ll have in the Pit.”

Furniss also finished with six total tackles, tied for most for the Panthers with Senior Ben Allison.

Senior Macks Burke also picked off Woycke on two occasions and shutdown the Oak Hills receiving core.

“Overall from a defensive standpoint we just had a gameplan and stuck with it throughout the night and were able to keep them from doing what they wanted to do,” Burke said.

The Panthers were able to start their season off in a way that opened the eyes of everyone that may have had any doubts with the team. The Panthers will travel to Lakota West next Friday as Oak Hills will attempt to bounce back against Harrison. The final score of the Skyline Chili Crosstown Showdown game was 56-14.