Elgin makes it 2 straight over Larkin
For the first time since 2010, Elgin won the Town Jug for two years in a row Friday night at Memorial Field by defeating crosstown rival Larkin, 21-18.
As has happened many times in the 58 years of competition, the game's outcome was uncertain until the final horn.
With less a minute to play, Larkin started it last drive on its own 42-yard line. The possession ended quickly as Maroon Darien Jackson picked off Dontrell Maxie's pass.
Hampered by penalties on its subsequent possession, Elgin found itself in a fourth-and-17 situation with eight seconds left on the clock.
The Maroons decided to go for the first down. Elgin quarterback Jeffrey Lomax handed the ball off to Alexander West, who ran around in the backfield, dodging Royal tacklers until the clock ran down.
"Alex came up with that last play. He said 'Hey coach, we're up by three. Let me run around and if I have to take a safety I will,'" said Elgin coach Anthony Mason.
Larkin (0-6, 0-6 Upstate Eight) got on the board first on its initial possession of game. Chevelle Clements completed an 11-play drive that chewed up 87 yards and six minutes of the first quarter, with a 39-yard touchdown run. The two-point conversion failed.
Elgin (4-2, 4-2) took the lead on its second possession. Lomax crossed the goal line on a 1-yard keeper. Guillermo Falcon's successful PAT put the Maroons up 7-6 with 2:11 left in the first frame.
Elgin widened the lead to 14-6 on its first drive of the second quarter. Giovoni Griffin, who alternated with Lomax under center, completed an 82-yard pass to Noah Mack at the 8:34 mark.
With 16 seconds left in the half, the Maroons turned the ball over on downs on their own 33-yard line. The Royals wasted no time, scoring their second TD on the first play of the succeeding possession. Jarmion Stubbs leapt in the end zone sandwiched between two Elgin defenders to pull in a 33- yard pass from Maxie with six seconds left until halftime.
Elgin extended its lead to 21-12 with 7:40 left to play in the fourth quarter. Griffin scampered 20 yards for the score.
Aided by a Elgin double penalty, Larkin narrowed the gap to 21-18 on their next possession. The fouls put the Royals at Elgin's 31-yard line to start the drive. Six plays later, Stubbs scored on a 2-yard plunge. Again, Larkin was unable score on a 2-point attempt.
The last time the Maroons won back-to-back games against Larkin was in 2009 and 2010. The Royals still hold a 35-23 advantage. The jug was not presented to Elgin at the game due to COVID19 protocols. The trophy will be awarded later next week at a school assembly.