ELLINWOOD — The high school football game stayed close until the final seconds, but Medicine Lodge beat Ellinwood 30-20.
Late turnovers let the Indians leave Ellinwood with their first win of the season, improving to 1-6 overall, 1-2 in Class 2A District 5 action, while the Eagles fell to 0-7, 0-2.
“To be honest with you, we wanted the ball first,” said Ellinwood head coach Dusty Beam, whose team led for most of the game. “We wanted to get out there and move it, and of the most part, I thought we did our jobs. I felt like we play lights-out defensively tonight.”
Ellinwood let the game slip away in the final quarter.
Leading 20-14 with 10 minutes remaining and the Eagles driving to the Indians 11, back-to-back false start penalties against Ellinwood left it with a first-and-20.
Eagles quarterback Patrick Ringering threw an interception in the wet weather as Ellinwood was trying to pass its way out of the situation.
Medicine Lodge quarterback Logan Berthoff rushed for a 2-yard touchdown with 2:35 remaining in the fourth quarter, capping a 93-yard drive that ate nearly eight minutes of the clock.
Berthoff finished with a team-leading 57 rushing yards.
The Eagles’ next drive ended with an interception as well, and Medicine Lodge’s BryantWornkey scored on a 1-yard plunge with 17 seconds remaining.
“Stupid penalties, I thought in the last couple of games, we’d gotten away from that,” Beam said. “It crept up on us again. It’s like we panic. When we’re in the drive seat, it’s like, ‘What do we do next?’
“If you look at two of their touchdowns, it’s a big play and a short field. You take two of those big mistakes away and we win.”
Ellinwood was in the driver’s seat for most of the game, scoring six points in the first quarter on a 7-yard pass from Patrick Ringering to Kyle Jenks.
Berthoff responded with an 8-yard pass to Wornkey early in second quarter for a TD.
Ringering, who was starting at quarterback because of Jared Oelke being out for the season with a back injury, completed a 26-yard aerial to Tanner Swank for a score, making it 14-6 after a conversion.
After Ringering threw an interception, Berthoff threw a 48-yard pass into the arms of Nathan Liebham for a touchdown, leaving the scored knotted at 14 at half.
“He’s a great kid,” Beam said of Ringering. “Still, with the injuries up front, it doesn’t allow us to do what we want. If we could have been in our traditional Wing-T, it could’ve been different. Still, you play with the cards you’ve been dealt.”
Ringering, who rushed for 135 yards, punched in a 2-yard score in the third quarter. He completed 5 of 16 passes for 85 yards.
Ellinwood travels to La Crosse next Friday for another district matchup.
HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL
Class 2A District 5
Medicine Lodge 30, Ellinwood 20
Medicine Lodge 0 14 0 16 — 30
Ellinwood 6 8 6 0 — 20
Ellinwood — Kyle Jenks 7 pass from Patrick Ringering (run failed), 4:29.
Medicine Lodge — Bryant Wornkey 8 pass from Logan Berthoff (run failed), 6:08.
Ellinwood — Tanner Swank 26 pass from Ringering (Swank pass from Ringering), 3:30.
Medicine Lodge — Nathan Liebham 48 pass from Berthoff (Berthoff run), :44.
Ellinwood — Ringering 2 run (pass failed), 6:37.
Medicine Lodge — Berthoff 1 run (Wornkey run), 2:35.
Medicine Lodge — Wornkey 2 run (Wornkey run), :17.