The rivalry between Elkton and Bohemia Manor in football has always been heated, so they decided to take the heat up a notch this year by dubbing the annual tilt “The Battle of 213”, with a sledgehammer titled similarly to be given to the yearly winner.The first half of the matchup lived up to the billing, but the Golden Elks dominated in the second half for a 33-14 win.
“Sometimes it takes getting punched in the mouth to wake up the monster. They punched us. They woke us up,” said Feeney about heading into halftime down 14-13 to the Eagles. “We had zero doubts that we were not gonna come out of the locker room and execute, defensively especially. We game planned for what they would throw at us all week and we reminded them of that in the locker room. Told them there were no adjustments to make, just do your job.”
While Bohemia Manor gave the Golden Elks all they could handle in the first, doing something no other team has done this year, Elkton wasn’t daunted. The Eagles marched down the field and scored twice on a defense that hadn’t given up more than one defensive score to any opponent.
The two Bohemia Manor touchdowns by Bobbie McLennan didn’t set well with Feeney or his Elkton defense. “It is exactly what we expected them to do. It was a one-point deficit and if we can’t overcome that I don’t know what kind of football team we are,” said Feeney. “We challenged them to overcome the deficit. They did, they responded. We challenged them to be a better football team the second half and they did that.”
The Bohemia Manor defense seemed to have Elkton’s main threat reined in for the first half, but Raiquon Estep broke out in the second half with three of his four rushing touchdowns on the evening.
“When we were in the locker room they were screaming really loud. Fenney was like ‘Hey, this a good game right now, but who is gonna pull it through. Are we gonna have players that fall asleep or wake up?’We had players that woke up,” said Estep about the dominating second half performance by his fellow Golden Elks. “This year we have a lot of players, that are athletes who can compete at any level. Our whole line is way better, they give me everything. I wouldn’t be anything without them.”
For Feeney, beating Bohemia Manor was a chance to build momentum. His players had a different, additional, motivation. “Our Seniors wanted that. They did not want to be the first group that lost the sledgehammer.So, that is something they were playing for,” said Feeney. “I am very proud. Any time you can beat Bo Manor late in the season on their field that is a momentum gainer and we absolutely build on.”
Bohemia Manor Coach Joe Graf looked at the loss as a speed bump in an otherwise successful season. “This game is once a year, but this one is done and over with. We are still gonna be a 2- seed in the 1A East. Come Monday, this game is done and we move on to who we face the rest of the year,” said Graf. “Elkton is a very good football team, and I have to give a lot of credit to those kids and coaches. It was a difficult but good test for us and will absolutely help us build going into the last two games and playoffs because we are gonna see similar teams as those.”