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The Lake News Online
  • Eldon shocks Pintos 38-0, headed to pigskin playoffs

  • Mustang Magic returned to the Eldon gridiron, propelling the hometown team to the state football playoffs for the first time since 1993. The Mustangs needed a win Thursday night against California to clinch a playoff spot, and win they did in 38-0 fashion.Eldon players unleashed war whoops and a cold bath o...
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  • Mustang Magic returned to the Eldon gridiron, propelling the hometown team to the state football playoffs for the first time since 1993. The Mustangs needed a win Thursday night against California to clinch a playoff spot, and win they did in 38-0 fashion.
    Eldon players unleashed war whoops and a cold bath over the head of coach Shannon Jolley just before the final gun in a game where just about everything went the Mustangs’ way. A 6-4 record and a trip to the postseason are a far cry from the 1-29 combined record Eldon posted in Jolley’s first three years at the school.
    “I feel like I want to jump out of my skin right now,” Jolley said. “What a deserving group of kids. I’m super excited for everybody.”
    A 38-0 score would indicate plenty of offensive push, but it was Eldon’s defense that came through in key situations, forcing turnovers and collecting sacks. The Mustangs held the Pintos to just 32 yards from scrimmage in four quarters. Seniors Brad Dinwiddie and Matt Pehle made back to back sacks on California quarterback Grant Burger early in the fourth quarter to force a turnover on downs that led to a 39-yard touchdown pass from Eldon quarterback Ryan Kliethermes to wide receiver James Ellis two plays later. Ellis’ defender was called for pass interference, but made the catch anyway and ran to the endzone.
    Jolley walked away happy with how physically his team played the game.
    “Practice this week went really well. We mixed things up this week, we hit a lot in practice this week—kind of on one of those premises of ‘what have you got to lose?’” Jolley said. “We really got after it tonight and we really swarmed to the football.”
    Lineman Taylor Sides made a sack late in the game that proved to be the end of any miracle comeback hopes for California.
    “Our defensive ends are athletic enough and we’re big enough up front that if we ever get people in that situation—which hasn’t happened that much—we feel real confident that we can put pressure on the passer, especially when he’s got to sit and you’ve got to get big yardage at a time,” Jolley said.
    On offense, Eldon launched an 8-minute drive in the first quarter and a 7-minute drive in the third quarter to keep California’s offense off the field. Dinwiddie scored three rushing touchdowns, unofficially rushing for 119 yards on 29 carries. Bruiser Logan Shinn scored a first-half touchdown and had an interception in the first half.
    “It’s just been a blessing for me to be involved for four years. When you talk about having a four-year plan you obviously want it to work in four years, but you take what you can get. We’re pleased with our kids’ effort this year. To come out, finish our final game like this and make the state playoffs is pretty unbelievable,” Jolley said.
    Page 2 of 2 - After the game, Jolley encouraged the Mustangs to celebrate, but to remember their upcoming playoff game on Nov. 2. Eldon will play on the road at 10-0 School of the Osage.