No. 22 Elmhurst rolls past Loras with strong second half

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After a slow first half, the Elmhurst offense came alive in the second, including sophomore running back Josh Williams, the brother of 2012 Gagliardi Trophy winner Scottie Williams.
Photo by Larry Radloff, d3photography.com 

ELMHURST, Ill. - The Elmhurst College football team outscored Loras 28-6 in the second half en route to a 35-9 season opening victory.

After a sluggish opening half, the Bluejays outgained Loras 322-141 in the second half while rolling to the victory.

Elmhurst, ranked 22nd in the D3football.com Top 25, sputtered in the opening half, turning the ball over twice, including on the Loras goal line. The Duhawks capitalized on an Elmhurst fumble in the opening quarter, grabbing a 3-0 lead on a Louie Oswald 30-yard field goal.

Elmhurst jumped out in front late in the second quarter. A partially blocked punt gave the Bluejays possession at the Loras 35-yard line. Joe Camiliere capped a four-play scoring drive with a 17-yard touchdown run on an option keeper. The Bluejays led 7-3 at the half.

The second half was a different story as Elmhurst scored on its first four possessions against the Duhawks. The Bluejays took the opening kick and dove 77 yards in nine plays with Camiliere hitting Will Caspers on a three-yard touchdown pass to put the Bluejays on top 14-3.

After a Loras punt, the Bluejays used an eight-play, 65-yard drive to go up 21-3 after Camiliere connected with Vince Gabrys on a 12-yard touchdown pass.

Loras found the end zone early in the fourth quarter as the Duhawks' Nate Carrier capped a 69-yard drive with a six-yard touchdown run.

The Bluejays answered back with a 70-yard drive capped by a Josh Williams' one-yard touchdown plunge. Following a Loras interception, Williams capped a 78-yard drive with his second one-yard touchdown run to make the final score 35-9 in favor of the Bluejays.

Elmhurst finished the game with 488 yards of total offense, including 302 yards on the ground. 

The Bluejays held Loras in check for most of the game, allowing just 247 yards of offense, including just 36 rushing yards. Elmhurst held the ball for more than 37 minutes of the game.

Williams led the Bluejays on the ground, carrying 19 times for 97 yards and two touchdowns. Tyler Smith rushed nine times for 77 yards while Andrew Tubek carried 12 times for 74 yards.

Camiliere finished 14-of-19 through the air for 186 yards and two scores. Caspers and Smith hauled in three passes apiece.

Carrier led Loras' ground attack with 20 carries for just 32 yards. Dylan Jones finished 17-of-32 for 211 yards and two interceptions.

Robbie Dunn and Nate Riffle finished with seven tackles apiece to lead the Elmhurst defense. Dunn added a tackle for loss while Riffle made a leaping interception near the sideline. Alec Giles also recorded a pick for the Bluejays while Mark Evangelista totaled four tackles and recovered a fumble.

Elmhurst travels to Trine University on Saturday, Sept. 14. Trine started off the season with a 19-3 win against Manchester.

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