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Eskomo football crush Agates in 48-20 win

If there were any questions that the Esko football team would falter on the road against Two Harbors, they were answered quite quickly Friday night when the Eskomos hammered the Agates 48-20.

If there were any questions that the Esko football team would falter on the road against Two Harbors, they were answered quite quickly Friday night when the Eskomos hammered the Agates 48-20.

Esko scored on their opening drive which consumed over two minutes. The drive ended when Ryan Vang dashed into the end zone from 30 yards out and Jeff Lindemood booted the extra point to give the Eskomos a 7-0 lead.

"I thought we came out ready to play," said Esko coach Bill Hudspith. "They are a dangerous team to play, especially up in Two Harbors. We didn't have any breakdowns on offense, and our defense established itself early in the game."

Esko's defense gave up a 62-yard touchdown run to Ryan Guentzel on the Agates first series of the game. After that, the Eskomos did a better job of containing the star running back.

Matt Grusznis and Vang scored on back-to-back runs of two and 46 yards, respectively, to push the Eskomo lead to 20-7 at the end of the first quarter.

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Steve Lewis caught an 18-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Jake Toman in the second quarter. Toman found Cody Townsend in the end zone for the two-point conversion after the Lewis touchdown, making the score 28-7 at halftime.

"On defense they started off changing from an even front to an odd front," explained Hudspith. "I think our player matchups gave them trouble."

Guentzel ignited his team, and the crowd, when he took the opening kick of the second half and raced 85 yards for a touchdown that cut the lead to 28-14. The buzz didn't last long because the Eskomos returned the favor on the ensuing kick when Townsend blazed his way to the end zone with a 75-yard kick return. Townsend's touchdown, and the extra point kick by Lindemood, gave Esko a 35-14 advantage.

Things settled down a bit after the Townsend kick return. Esko did pick up another third-quarter score when Toman found Richard Jubie streaking down field. The result was a 42-yard touchdown pass to make it 42-14 after the Lindemood kick.

"Toman appears to be picking up the offense very quickly," explained Hudspith of his quarterback. "He is now changing the play about 35 percent of the time, but we have a nice balance in scoring with more and more players scoring as the season progresses."

In the fourth quarter, Toman struck again, this time by finding the fleet-footed Lewis for a 21-yard touchdown strike. The Agates picked up a late touchdown, but by then the game was realistically over.

Defensively, the Eskomos were able to create five fumbles and an interception due to their hard-hitting mentality.

"This is probably one of the hardest hitting teams in the past 10 years here in Esko," remarked Hudspith. "The kids hit hard in all phases including offense, defense and special teams."

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Esko ran 53 plays and totaled 411 yards of offense. The Eskomos rushed for 259 yards and Toman was 14-for-19 which was good for 152 yards passing and three touchdowns.

Esko is 3-0 on the season and will play host to Duluth Marshall on Friday night.

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