Klekas-led Elko Indians roll Dayton Dust Devils
Elko Daily Free Press
ELKO — The young Elko Indians opened the 2016 season with an impressive 37-0 shutout win over Dayton Friday night at Warrior Field, spoiling the Dust Devil coaching debut of Pat Squires.
The loss was Dayton’s 11th straight, and the Dust Devils have just one TD in the last 11 games.
The initial Dayton drive of the game went nowhere, and the Dust Devils’ punt only traveled to the 37-yard line — setting Elko up with great field position.
The Indians methodically marched downfield with runs by junior Gavin Byington, senior quarterback Eric Klekas and senior quarterback Emmitt Johnson.
Byington capped the drive with a 3-yard plunge off the left tackle, giving the Indians a 6-0 lead with 7:13 left in the opening period.
Dayton’s second drive of the ball game was much more effective. Dayton drove the ball to Elko’s 30, but the drive ended when Dylan Torgerson’s pass on fourth down fell incomplete.
Elko drove 70 yards on the ensuing drive to take a 12-0 lead as Johnson made a nice run to the left sideline, and Byington followed with two long runs to the Dayton 8. After a penalty, Johnson ran for nine yards and then threw a 14-yard scoring pass to tight end Kyrin Allen with 58 seconds left.
Dayton advanced the ball near midfield on the ground and with the help of a personal foul, but the drive ended when Jeron Yopps swatted a pass.
The Indians’ drive stalled at the Dayton 21. Klekas, after a great ball fake, scampered 21 yards for a score to make it 18-0 with five minutes left in the half.
Torgerson completed a pass near midfield, but the drive bogged down. Dayton punted down to the Elko 20.
Elko went next to nowhere with a short run and two incomplete passes. The Indians went into their rugby punt formation. Byington rolled to the right and with no defenders in the vicinity, he turned upfield and gained 20 yards to the 44.
Klekas threw a pass to Allen, who made an acrobatic catch at the Dayton 31. Senior Trenton Frietag also reeled in a leaping grab on the next play, setting Elko up at the 18-yard line with 22 seconds remaining in the first half. After three incomplete passes, Klekas kicked a 35-yard field goal to make it 21-0 at the half.
With six minutes remaining in the third quarter, senior nose guard Trevor Basaraba jarred the ball free from Torgerson.
Junior Skyler Brown picked up the loose ball and returned the fumble 20 yards for a touchdown.