Monday, October 18, 2010

This week in Ross football history...1970


Week nine of the 1980 season saw the Little Giants hosting the Pioneers of Elyria. The 1960's were a decade of football excellence for Elyria and the '70 editon of the Pioneers was no different. Elyria was a defensive power allowing just 43 points in the first eight games of the 1970 campaign as they posted a 6-2 record coming into Harmon Stadium to face the Little Giants.

Ross meantime had slumped to 4-4 on the season after rolling out to a 4-1 mark after the first five games. The Little Giants limped into the game against Elyria losers of three in a row. Findlay, Lorain Senior and arch-rival Sandusky had pushed the purple and white back down to the .500 mark.

The Pioneers struck first. The vaunted Elyria defense put the points on the board three minutes into the game on a 42 yard fumble recovery. Rick Nelson picked up the Little Giants bobble and ran the ball into the end zone with 9:43 left to go in the first. The PAT was good and the Pioneers led 7-0.

Ross proved they too, could capitalize on mistakes. Rob Lytle recovered a ball that both Elyria deep receivers bobbled on a punt which gave the Little Giants the ball at the Pioneer 28 yard line. Tom Liggins bulled his way into the Red and Whites endzone seven plays later for the first of his two TD's. Bill Burkett ran in the two point PAT and the Little Giants led the powerful Pioneers 8-7.
Ted Kreilick then recovered an Elyria fumble on the Ross 14 yard line as the second quarter ticked away and the Little Giants went into the locker room at the half with that one point lead.

The second half saw a tremendous defensive effort, but not by the Pioneers. The Little Giants held Elyria to just one first down and a total of 20 yards in the second half. The Ross offense ran over the Pioneers with Tommy Liggins leading the way. Liggins scored on a 34 yard TD run to put Ross up 14-7. The extra point attempt failed and the scored remained 14-7.

While the scoring was done, the Ross offense was not. Ross ate up the clock on a long drive that started at their own three and ended at the Pioneer 19 chewing up 1o minutes of time and keeping the ball out of the hands of the Elyria offense. The Little Giants drive stalled and Ross was forced to punt. The Pioneers were running out of time and were forced to go to the air to try to come back. That proved a mistake as Little Giant defender Mike Ruland intercepted a Pioneer pass and returned it to the Elyria 40 where he fumbled the ball and they recovered the ball. That would be the final play of the game however. With four seconds left the game erupted into a fistfight that emptied both benches and required school officials, coaches, stadium officials and Fremont police to bring things under control. The officials ended the contest by sending both teams to their locker rooms and the Little Giants moved to 5-4 on the season with a 14-7 win.

For the game Tommy Liggins led all rushers with 124 yards. Bill Burkett added 75 yards for Ross in the contest. For the game the Little Giants offense ground out 218 yards while holding the powerful Pioneers to a total of 100.

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