ELMA — Aberdeen and Elma both walked onto Davis Field on Friday knowing one of them would be getting its first win. When the night ended, the Bobcats had answered rather emphatically that it would be them.
It took one offensive play for Aberdeen to take the wind out of the Davis Field crowd on Friday. After Elma turned the ball over on downs to the Bobcats, Aberdeen junior running back Kylan Touch took a handoff, cut left and sprinted 42 yards into Elma territory. Touch scored on a 4-yard sweep three plays later and the Bobcats cruised to a 48-20 victory in the non-league contest.
Aberdeen (1-2) added two more scores in the first quarter and didn’t step off the gas. Touch scored on runs of 47 and 48 yards early in the second quarter to give the Bobcats a 35-0 lead with eight minutes left in the first half.
“We did good things offensively and defensively and had multiple standouts,” Aberdeen coach Kevin Ridout said. “It’s awesome to see the kids happy and see good things happen out there. We jumped out there early and we knew they are a quality coached team and have quality kids out there. We knew that they were going to bounce back there if we let down.”
Touch finished with 219 yards rushing on 15 carries and four total touchdowns, while senior receiver Braden Castleberry-Taylor finished with nine receptions for 135 yards.
Elma (0-3) kept the ball on the ground throughout the game to the tune of 52 rushing attempts and put together scoring drives of 11, 11 and 12 plays. However, the Eagles never rebounded from the early onslaught by the Bobcats.
“We have a lot of things to work on,” Elma coach Ron Clark said. “We are pretty young and they have some talent. I like the way we fought in the second half.”
Elma was led offensively by senior running back Ira Hartford, who rushed for 103 yards on 27 carries.
Aberdeen’s second touchdown came when quarterback Ben Dublanko lofted a ball to Elias Jimenez over the middle. The senior hauled in the pass and sprinted the final 20 yards to the end zone for a 39-yard touchdown play with 4:05 left in the first quarter.
Tate Heple would get the ball back for the Bobcats with an interception one minute later and Aberdeen put together a 7-play drive to the end zone. Dublanko found Touch on a bubble screen to score from 12 yards out to make the score 21-0 at the end of the first.
The next four minutes were the Kylan Touch show as the junior picked off a pass from Elma quarterback Avery Brown just 30 seconds into the quarter and ran 47 yards for a touchdown 16 seconds later. After a 3-and-out by Elma, Touch had runs of eight and nine yards before breaking a 48-yard run to the end zone to make it 35-0.
“(Kylan) is all over the place on offense and defense and making things happen,” Ridout said. “Him and Braden make a dandy duo and they are fun to coach. It is nice to have somebody that can make those plays.”
Elma was finally able to answer with an 11-play drive on the next possession capped by a one-yard run by AJ Brown. Avery Brown found Liam Baxter with a pass for the 2-point conversion.
Aberdeen got the ball back with just under a minute left in the first half and the Bobcats took a shot at the end zone. Dublanko found Castleberry-Taylor with a 9-yard pass in the end zone as the buzzer sounded to give the Bobcats a 42-8 lead at halftime.
“We knew that you give them an inch and they are going to take a mile so we could not let up on them,” Ridout said.
The second half was controlled mostly by the Eagles’ run game. Elma put together an 11-play drive, culminating on an 8-yard rush by Avery Brown with just under four minutes left in the third quarter.
AJ Brown picked off a Dublanko pass midway through the fourth quarter to setup the Eagles’ final scoring drive. Elma marched into Aberdeen territory in 12 plays and scored on a 4-yard pass from Avery Brown to Baxter.
The Bobcats needed just 34 seconds to answer with Touch finding a hole to run into the end zone from 10 yards out to cap the score at 48-20.
Jimenez finished with 76 all-purpose yards, while Dublanko had 186 yards passing.