Having been outscored 108-7 in the first two games of the 2019 season, heading into a Week 3 match-up against unbeaten Ellsworth, Sacred Heart head football coach Garrett Galanski was hoping to see improvement from his squad. While the end result on Friday night saw the Knights on the losing end again, positive steps were taken. Sacred Heart led early, but then cooled off and the running game of Ellsworth, particularly from quarterback Morgan Kelley proved too much for the Knights to handle as the the Bearcats won on their homecoming, 38-13.
The Knights (0-3) scored both of their touchdowns in the opening quarter. With 7:47 on the clock, quarterback Mac Hemmer found running back Jared McCartney in the open in the flat and McCartney did the rest, reaching pay-dirt from 20 yards out and the PAT put the visitors in front 7-0.
Sacred Heart would then recover a fumble deep in their own territory as the Bearcats were driving for the tying score. However, Ellsworth (3-0) would equalize moments later as Hemmer was intercepted by Kash Travnichek who returned the pick 20 yards for a touchdown and a 7-7 tie at the 3:25 mark.
The Knights would respond right away as Landon Power took the ensuing kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown and a 13-7 lead following a failed PAT. For Sacred Heart unfortunately, that would be it from a scoring standpoint.
Ellsworth senior Morgan Kelley torched the Knights on designed quarterback runs, and capped three second quarter drives with touchdown runs of 17, eight and three yards. The big period enabled the Bearcats to take a 28-13 lead into halftime.
Sacred Heart found it difficult to move the football the rest of the way, but to their credit, the defense hung tough throughout most of the second half. Neither team scored in the third quarter.
In the fourth, Ellsworth got a 29-yard field goal from Alberto Socorro De La Fuente to make it 31-13 and Bearcat running back Luke Sharp capped the scoring with a two-yard TD run.
While the Bearcats’ homecoming king was running back Clayton Vague, the big man on campus on Friday night was Kelley. He carried the ball 26 times for 195 yards and those three second quarter touchdowns. Ellsworth as a team amassed 354 yards on the ground and 416 total yards. Sacred Heart was led by McCartney on the ground as he rushed for 58 yards on 14 carries plus the receiving score. Hemmer threw for 73 yards.
The Knights are still searching for that first win and hope to nab it next week when they host Hillsboro. Ellsworth travels to Minneapolis in Week 4.