Always respect an Elder.
Especially Corn Elder.
The "Corn star" ran for 199 yards and four touchdowns Saturday night as Ensworth (Tenn.) rocked host Lexington Catholic 62-14 in the Republic Bank Bluegrass Bowl.
John Hardin routed West Jessamine 70-27 in the opener.
"I knew that if we came out and played hard, our line blocked well, quarterback played very well," a big win was possible, Elder said. "The coaches called great plays, so everything just worked out."
Ensworth, ranked No. 19 nationally by Rivals.com, piled up 635 yards of offense to Catholic's 313. On the ground, Ensworth pummeled the Knights 373-36.
"They have a good football team. We had a bunch of big plays defensively and offensively," Ensworth Coach Ricky Bowers said. "It seems like every time they had a chance to score, we intercepted or there'd be a fumble or whatever, so I thought our defense played really well."
Catholic (1-1) lost two fumbles and an interception.
"Even though the score was pretty lopsided, if we don't make the mistakes we made, we can hang in with about anybody," Coach Bill Letton said he told his Knights. "We've just got to get ourselves in a position where we're not making those mistakes."
Elder, a 5-foot-10, 165-pound senior who earned Mr. Football honors in Tennessee's Division II-AA last year, was named Player of the Game for the Tigers. His 199 yards came on 12 carries.
He also made four tackles, including a sack. He said that he was excited to be playing before the ESPNU cameras.
"You always get pumped if you play national TV," said Elder, who is uncommitted while he's "enjoying the recruiting process."
He was stopped for no gain on his first carry.
Then he scored the second and third times he touched the ball, on bursts of 30 yards up the middle and 55 yards around right end.
The latter gave the Tigers (2-0) a 14-0 lead just 4:37 into the game.
That's how it stayed until Elder struck from 28 yards out with 8:56 left in the half, pushing the lead to 21-0.
Catholic, after losing back-to-back fumbles and turning the ball over on downs, finally caught a break when Elder misplayed a punt. Marty Brown recovered for the Knights on Ensworth's 36.
Catholic (1-1) cashed in when Kyle Bolin passed to Sam Letton for a 21-yard touchdown.
The receiver, with Donovan Sheffield draped over him, made the catch just inside the right pylon.
Ensworth responded, though, with Andrew Bowers scoring on a 1-yard sneak with 3:41 left in the half. He started the scoring drive with passes of 30 and 31 yards on the first two plays.
Bolin had the Knights marching late in the half, moving from their own 44 to the Tigers' 16.
But then Sheffield picked off a tipped ball and returned it 98 yards for a touchdown and a 35-7 halftime lead.
Elder quickly made it 42-7, taking a pitch around right end for a 76-yard score on the first play from scrimmage in the second half.
The Tigers tacked on two TDs to lead 56-7 through three quarters and put the game in a running clock mode.
Bowers finished 11-for-23 passing, good for 250 yards.
Bolin was 27-for-40 with one interception. Of his 269 passing yards, 143 came on 12 catches by Knights game MVP David Bouvier.
Bolin also led Catholic rushers with 30 yards on nine carries and punted five times for 189 yards.
"What we did, we made it difficult for them to get it to the end zone," Bowers said of Catholic's passing game. "They caught it, but then we tried to punish the receivers — try to get the ball, knock the ball loose and we came up with some turnovers that way."
Trent Holt led the winners with five tackles. Catholic was topped by Cody Mitchell with 5.5.
"We responded pretty well from their early scores. Didn't hold our heads down and came back pretty good," Bill Letton said.
"Being a smaller team, we have to kind of load the box to try and help stop the run with the extra guy, and that puts our corners out on an island. They exploited that tonight, and that's actually a good thing for us because that's something that we'll have to improve on as the year goes on."
Ensworth (Tenn.) 62, Lex. Catholic 14
Ensworth (Tenn.) 14 21 21 6—62
Lexington Catholic 0 7 0 7—14
E—Corn Elder 30 run (Jake Estes kick); E—Elder 55 run (Estes kick); E—Elder 28 run (Estes kick); LC—Sam Letton 21 pass from Kyle Bolin (Anthony Kersey kick); E—Andrew Bowers 1 run (Estes kick); E—Donovan Sheffield 98 interception return (Estes kick); E—Elder 76 run (Estes kick); E—Jourdan Swett 30 pass from Bowers (Estes kick); E—Bowers 6 run (Lane Baker kick); LC—Bolin 1 run (Kersey kick); E—Chandler Telfer 1 run (kick failed).
Records—Ensworth 2-0, Lexington Catholic 1-1