Elida 5 Ft. Jennings 0

The rains cleared off long enough for the Elida Fall Classic games to be played Thursday evening. The pitch at Elida Middle School was in good condition considering nearly an inch of rain fell during the day.  The first game between Ottoville and Bluffton ended in a 1 - 1 tie with the Big Green advancing on a 4-3 penalty kick win. Joel Beining (Ottoville) and Eli Bourassa (Bluffton) were credited with the goals in regulation.

The second match of the evening would see host Elida take on Ft. Jennings. The Bulldogs enter the 2014 season as one of the favorites to win the Western Buckeye League. A fast start to their season is important to propel them on their way in that title chase. The Bulldogs, led by senior tri-captains Adam Ordel, Garrett Brinkman and Chase Watson (all Grand Lake United players as well) would not disappoint.

Ordel got the scoring started before the crowd hardly had time to settle into its seats when he corralled a poor goal kick and found the net at the 3:03 into the match.  Just minutes later Ordel scored again after being played in behind the Ft. Jennings defense by Jerod Houston.

Houston got in on the action a few minutes later when he took a penalty kick placing it just to the left of the Musketeers goal keeper to give the Bulldogs a 3-0 first half lead.  Houston would also draw the first yellow card of the evening. This being noteworthy because of the sheer number of yellow cards handed out during the match which eventually saw Ft. Jennings playing a man down due to one player receiving two yellow cards.

In the second half Austin Morrison continued the Bulldogs assault on goal when he lofted a cross from the right wing that floated into the goal at the upper 90 of the back post. And finally Chase  Watson played a low cross from the right wing through the penalty area to Blain Hunter to finish the scoring.

Elida's Garrett Brinkman cleanly handled the two shots that came his way while also playing well in a sweeper keeper role scooping up through balls and allowing the Elida back line to relieve pressure by dropping the ball back to him.

Although they faced an over matched opponent this was a solid opening win for the Bulldogs. The next test for Elida comes in the finals of the Fall Classic against Ottoville at 7:00 pm on Saturday at Elida.

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