HOWARD — Limiting Marmaton Valley to just 16 total yards for the game, West Elk cruised to a 50-0 victory over the Wildcats in the season opener for both teams Friday night at Pat Simmons Stadium.

“This was a good first step for our team,” said WEHS coach Chris Haag. “Our guys put in all the extra work during the whole offseason. This is something we’ve been waiting on since last November. It was fun for us to come out and dominate in all facets of the game. We definitely stepped up to the challenge.”

The win gave the Patriots a 1-0 overall record on the season. But, more importantly, they were able to snap an eight-game losing skid that dated all the way back to a season-opening victory at Marmaton Valley a year ago. It was the longest losing streak in the WEHS program since dropping nine in a row between the 1998 and 1999 seasons. West Elk finished last season at 1-8, which was the fewest wins in a season in nearly two decades.

WEHS set the tone early in Friday’s contest. Nic Moreno put the Patriots on the scoreboard with an 11-yard run. That was part of a 36-point opening quarter for the host team, which included touchdown runs of 43 and 52 yards by Devin Loudermilk and two more scores by Moreno of eight yards each.

West Elk put the game away before halftime. Moreno ran in his fourth score of the evening on a five-yard scamper. Loudermilk then capped things off with a two-yard dive into the end zone to put the game away at halftime.

The Patriots finished the game with 231 total yards, including 222 on the ground. Loudermilk had a game-high 118 yards rushing on seven carries. Moreno also finished with 10 attempts for 78 yards.

West Elk will remain at home on Friday when it entertains South Central Border League foe Udall. Meanwhile, Marmaton Valley (0-1) will hit the road for a second straight week in its Three Rivers League opener at Oswego.

(Photo courtesy of Lynne Miller)