Elizabeth Forward clinches conference title with resounding win over Southmoreland

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Friday, October 22, 2021 | 10:09 PM


The Southmoreland football team hit visiting Elizabeth Forward with some big body blows in the early part of Friday’s Class 3A Interstate Conference game Friday at Russ Grimm Field in Alverton.

However, the Warriors took those body shots, then delivered plenty of their own as Elizabeth Forward recovered from a shaky start to post a 56-13 win.

With the win, Elizabeth Forward (7-2, 5-0) clinched the conference championship with one week left in the regular season.

“It’s a huge win for us,” Elizabeth Forward coach Mike Collodi said. “We had some guys banged up earlier in the season, but we’re clicking on all cylinders right now.”

Elizabeth Forward won its sixth straight by rattling off 49 unanswered points against the Scotties after trailing 13-7.

Zachary Boyd led Elizabeth Forward with three receiving touchdowns and a defensive score.

“Boyd is unbelievable,” Collodi said. “Week-in and week-out, he produces for us and he had a huge game for us.”

The Scotties put a scare into EF early. Coming into the game, the Warriors had given up just one conference touchdown all season. But the Scotties scored on their first two possessions.

Southmoreland (6-3, 3-2) took the opening kickoff and took the lead when JJ Bloom hauled in a 25-yard touchdown pass from Anthony Govern.

Elizabeth Forward tied it at 7-7 when Kyle Flournoy raced in on a 9-yard run.

But on the ensuing kickoff, the Scotties took the lead back as Bloom broke several tackles in the middle of the field and returned the kick 88 yards down the left sideline for a 13-7 Southmoreland lead.

However, the Warriors closed the first half with 28 unanswered points. Southmoreland turned the ball over four times in the game and three times in the first half.

“We killed ourselves,” Southmoreland coach Dave Keefer said. “We had three turnovers in the first half, and it led to three touchdowns. We were in it early, but you have to play a near-perfect game against a team like that.”

Down by six, the Warriors’ next two touchdowns came on one-play drives as Zachary Boyd grabbed a 65-yard touchdown strike from Zion White. White then connected on a 35-yard touchdown pass to Keilly Rush.

Elizabeth Forward scored twice in the second quarter to take complete control.

Boyd recovered a fumble and raced 76 yards for a touchdown. Then, with 18 seconds left in the half, Sean Soukup made a great catch on a Charles Nigut pass that went 29 yards for the score and a 35-13 halftime lead.

The Warriors sealed the win with three touchdowns in the second half.

John DiNapoli scored on a three-yard run and Boyd caught a 16-yard touchdown strike from White in the third quarter.

Boyd and White hooked up again on a 67-yard touchdown through the air in the fourth quarter.

Boyd finished with four catches for 192 yards. White completed 5 of 10 passes for 227 yards and four touchdowns. Kyle Flournoy finished with 123 yards on 15 carries for the Warriors.

“I’m so proud of the guys and the way they responded (after being down early),” Collodi said. “They are confident and they trust each other. This group is great.”

The Warriors close the regular season against Yough. The Scotties will play at South Park in a game that could determine the playoff fate of each team.

“We just have to forget about this one,” Keefer said. “It hurts tonight, but we have to come back tomorrow and get ready for South Park. We have to use this loss as motivation.”

Watch an archived broadcast of this game on Trib HSSN.

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