Elusive Elks ramble to upset

  • Article by: DAVID LA VAQUE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 27, 2012 - 9:17 PM

Denis Bardashevskiy was more than a handful for Rogers, racking up 370 of the Elks' 514 rushing yards.

Elk River junior running back Denis Bardashevskiy switched to a smaller-sized jersey for the playoffs, hoping a tighter fit would make him harder to grab.

He was dressed for success on Saturday, spurring the Elks to a wild 53-42 upset at No. 7 Rogers in the Class 5A, Section 6 semifinals. Bardashevskiy ran 25 times for 370 yards, including five touchdown runs totaling 287 yards. Elk River finished with 514 rushing yards.

Offensive assistance came from an unlikely place. Third-string junior quarterback Clay Elrod entered the game in the third quarter and energized Elk River (5-5) with a 26-yard touchdown run that cut the Elks' deficit to 35-33 and prevented the Royals (7-2) from pulling away.

"I wanted to come in and finish the job the first two guys were doing," Elrod said.

His called his touchdown a byproduct of the Elks' shell game offense, one designed to hide the ball and befuddle defenses.

"Their guy actually had a hold of me on that play, but he didn't think I had the ball so he let go and I just kept going," Elrod said. "We practice hiding that ball as best we can. They never knew where it was."

The ball kept showing up in Bardashevskiy's hands and then in the end zone. He wore No. 32 in the regular season, averaging 136 yards per game and scoring 10 touchdowns. Donning No. 15 for the playoffs, he has posted two-game totals of 581 yards and six touchdowns.

"The No. 32 was baggy and defenses would grab my jersey a lot," Bardashevskiy said. "This one is a small, and it's a good, tight fit. They can't grab cloth anymore."

Despite an offense predicated on fooling defenses, little trickery was involved on Bardashevskiy's touchdown runs of 81, 22, 25, 69 and 90 yards, Elrod said.

"Our line went to work, they got him big holes and he's a fast Russian," Elrod said.

Bardashevskiy moved to the United States from Russia at 12 months old and speaks fluent Russian and English.

Rogers scored to cut Elk River's lead to 53-42 in the fourth quarter, then recovered the ensuing onside kick. But a Jordan Meyer sack turned the Royals over on downs.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


Buffalo 12/28/14 12:00 PM
New England
Cleveland 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Dallas 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville 12/28/14 12:00 PM
San Diego 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
NY Jets 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Chicago 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia 12/28/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
New Orleans 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Carolina 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Detroit 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Oakland 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Arizona 12/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
St. Louis 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Cincinnati 12/28/14 7:30 PM
Marshall 52 FINAL
Northern Ill 23
Navy 17 FINAL
San Diego St 16
Central Mich 48 FINAL
Western Ky 49
Fresno State 6 FINAL
Rice 30
Illinois 12/26/14 12:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Rutgers 12/26/14 3:30 PM
North Carolina
NC State 12/26/14 7:00 PM
Cincinnati 12/27/14 12:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Duke 12/27/14 1:10 PM
(15) Arizona State
Miami-Florida 12/27/14 2:30 PM
So Carolina
Boston College 12/27/14 3:30 PM
Penn State
(25) Nebraska 12/27/14 7:00 PM
(24) USC
Texas A&M 12/29/14 1:00 PM
West Virginia
Oklahoma 12/29/14 4:30 PM
(18) Clemson
Arkansas 12/29/14 8:00 PM
Notre Dame 12/30/14 2:00 PM
(22) LSU
(13) Georgia 12/30/14 5:45 PM
(20) Louisville
Maryland 12/30/14 9:00 PM
(9) Ole Miss 12/31/14 11:30 AM
(6) TCU
(21) Boise State 12/31/14 3:00 PM
(12) Arizona
(8) Miss State 12/31/14 7:00 PM
(10) Georgia Tech


question of the day

Poll: Do you like the Twins' offseason moves so far?

Weekly Question





Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters