Canton GlenOak 28 - Hoover 0
September 16, 2016
Ladson helps GlenOak run past Hoover
Joe Scalzo, fridaynightohio.com
NORTH CANTON His running back may be the one named Elijah, but it’s GlenOak coach Scott Garcia who’s looking like a prophet.
After Golden Eagle senior Elijah Ladson ran around, through and away from Hoover’s undersized defense for 197 yards and three touchdowns in a 28-0 win over the Vikings in Friday’s Federal League opener, Garcia had him stand up in front of his teammates and said, “Remember what I told you? You could be the best player in the county.”
Not bad for a guy who never played running back before this year — at any level.
“He’s a physically gifted kid,” Garcia said. “He’s a powerful, big, strong, fast back. He’s one of the better ones we’ve had and he played like it tonight.
“He played like a man tonight.”
The 6-foot, 213-pound Ladson — who scored on touchdown runs of 42, 18 and 25 yards — has an innate feel for running the ball, repeatedly waiting for holes to develop, then bursting through with a rare combination of power and speed. Ladson credited his natural position, outside linebacker, for helping him adjust to what only looks like his natural position.
GlenOak’s front seven did the same, piling up nine sacks against the undersized Vikings. Senior DT Steven Gilbert, who drew praise this week from Hoover coach Brian Baum, had three of those sacks and two more tackles for loss.
Senior JJ Olivera, getting his second start at quarterback after injuries to Tate Rhoads and Devin Flemming, completed just 4 of 14 passes for 72 yards, but made enough plays with his arm (including a 48-yard TD pass to Abe Billings) and his scrambling ability to keep the Vikings honest.
“They made plays when they had to, and we had some opportunities that we did not capitalize on,” said Baum, whose team also missed a 40-yard field goal. “Against like that with stout offensive and defensive lines, you’ve got to take advantage of opportunities when you have them.”
For the past two weeks, the Golden Eagles (3-1) have shown they can handle adversity.
“We’ve gone through a lot of things here this season, and the kids have bounced back,” Garcia said. “We have a long way to go, we go to Green next week, and we’ll just keep on moving.”