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Five turnovers doom "GN". Fall 35-15 to Ellington.

POSTED October 26, 2014
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney

"GN" running back Paxton Franklin takes a toss during first half action on Saturday in Winsted. Franklin ran for 109 yards but five team turnovers hurt the 'Jackets in a 35-15 loss to Ellington.

WINSTED:  When your day starts with a six play, 80-yard scoring drive in just under three minutes after taking the opening kickoff could be just about the best way to start a game.

That’s exactly what the Gilbert/Northwestern Yellowjackets did to open their game against Ellington to go up 7-0.

To make it even better, every yard was gained on the ground, 54 of them by senior running back Paxton Franklin who opened with gains of 15, 15 and 11 before the Purple Knights had a chance to catch his jersey number.

In a game they had to have if the wanted to keep up in the Pequot Uncas Division with the likes of Canton (6-1, 6-0 in league), Avon (5-2, 5-1 in league) and the Knights (5-1, 4-1 in league), the start was picture perfect.

Unfortunately for the home team on Homecoming weekend, turnovers, something that has plagued this team throughout the 2014 campaign again reared their ugly heads five times and as a result, the Yellowjackets fell to the Purple Knights by a 35-15 final.

With three overall losses, the team from Winsted (4-2, 4-3 overall) may have seen their postseason chances go by the way of the fumble. Making the playoff with three losses is not impossible but highly unlikely.

Ellington has two very good players who were known coming in.

Juniors Christian Rider and Mark Hickman have accounted for most of the Knights offense this year with Rider playing a portion of the time behind center, Hickman when Ellington ran their Wildcat formation, which they ran very well.

Hickman ran for 113 yards on 22 carries and two rushing touchdowns of 20 and 74 yards in the first half.  

After stopping “GN” on their second drive on downs, the visitors marched 70-yards in six plays, the last 20 by Hickman to knot things at seven.

On their next play from scrimmage though, Franklin was hit and fumbled for the first of five turnovers his team would commit.

Six plays later, the Knights cashed in on a one yard run by Rider to go ahead for good. It was the start of a 22-point second quarter that put this game away.

In fact, the ‘Jackets would turn the ball over, either on downs or via turnover, on three consecutive possessions which led to the Knights taking control.

Franklin would end the day with 113 yards on the ground but after the fast start, the Knights keyed on the talented back.

Ellington would only outgain the 'Jackets by a 247-230 margin but with no yards passing for the home team and the five givaways, it's hard to win any game. 

The road does not get any easier for the “GN” team by any means with a home game against league leading Canton next week followed by games with North Branford and Avon still left on the schedule.

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