No passing. No punting. No extra-point kicks. It could be called the Elk River Way.
Elks coach Steve Hamilton is happy just to call it "effective." Fourth-ranked Elk River used its power-T offense to pile up 488 rushing yards Saturday against visiting Monticello. The Elks never punted and converted all five of their two-point conversions as they advanced in the Class 5A, Section 6 playoffs with a 40-28 victory.
"It worked in Georgia, it worked in Michigan and it's worked here," said Hamilton, who has coached in those states and guided the Elks to the 5A state title in 2016. "We pride ourselves on playing relentless and at a level that wears the other team out. That's the goal."
Elk River (8-1) wasted little time in wearing out the Magic. Facing a Monticello team that played its playoff opener just four days earlier, the Elks drove 76, 71, 59 and 65 yards on their four first-half possessions. They finished all four drives with rushing touchdowns as they built a 32-14 lead.
Senior Adam Nelson scored the first touchdown from 12 yards out to tie the game at 8-8. Nelson's 24-yard score later gave the Elks a 40-20 advantage with 1:11 left in the third.
Sophomore Carter Otto finished with a game-high 203 yards and a touchdown. Nelson added 158 yards on 19 carries.
Monticello senior quarterback Ethan Bosacker threw two touchdown passes and surpassed 2,000 passing yards for the season. But the four-game winning streak for the Magic (5-5) came to an end.
The Elks won 54-35 when the teams met in Week 2. "Our defense has gotten a lot better since week 2," Hamilton said. "The offense struggled a little in the second half. and the defense responded. It was great to see."