[By Anthony Hawthorne, Special to ETSN.fm]

CARTHAGE -- Elysian Fields coach Eric King said his team’s defense was tired of hearing people talk about their performances of late.

They showed it Saturday night.

The Elysian Fields defense held Arp's high-powered running game to 154 yards and Trevor Spear had another spectacular performance as the Yellow Jackets avenged a 30-point September loss to the Tigers, winning 30-20 at Bulldog Stadium.

Elysian Fields (10-3) plays District 9-2A Division II rival Hughes Springs (12-0) at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Longview's Lobo Stadium in the 2A Division II Region III final. The Yellow Jackets again aim for revenge since Hughes Springs gave them their only league loss, 55-14.

Spear led the way once again through the air and on the ground in what seems to be a weekly occurrence, completing 10 of 19 passes for 238 yards, three touchdowns, and two interceptions while running 21 times for 113 yards and a score.

Arp's Michael Roberson runs with the ball during the Tigers' 30-20 loss to Elysian Fields on Saturday in Carthage. (Jeff Stapleton, ETSN.fm)

The Yellow Jacket defense, which struggled the previous two weeks to stop the run in wins vs. Winona (67-54) and Deweyville (24-22), all but shut down Arp's running trio of Michael Roberson, Marcalas Johnson and Mikechell Potts.  Roberson, lining up as quarterback the majority of the game, managed just 22 yards on 10 carries, while Johnson added 51 yards. Potts finished with 80 yards on 14 carries. The passing game was ineffective at best, throwing four interceptions, three of which went to Zane Barge.

"We've been working hard all week and just keying on certain things they do in their offense," said EF coach Eric King. "The first time we played them we just didn't play very well. ... We just saw some things we thought we could capitalize on."

The Yellow Jackets gained control of the game late in the second quarter behind several big plays by Spear.

The senior quarterback accounted for all three first-half scores, two occurring after throwing interceptions on consecutive possessions. After scoring from a yard out on a keeper that gave the Yellow Jackets a 12-6 advantage, Spear got a final chance just before half after forcing a Tiger punt. The Yellow Jackets advanced the ball to midfield and with two seconds left, Spear hit Christian Smith on a swing pass. The do-it-all wide-out did the rest, weaving through defenders for a 49-yard score and a huge momentum burst to give the Yellow Jackets an 18-6 lead at the break.

"The offense wants (Spear) to do well. The line blocks for him. The backs block for him, the receivers downfield," King said. "It's just a great team effort. All 11 kids on offense and defense played their butts off tonight."

Elysian Fields' Christian Smith scores on a 49-yard touchdown swing pass as the first-half clock expires during the Jackets' 30-20 win vs. Arp on Saturday in Carthage. (Jeff Stapleton, ETSN.fm)

Turnovers killed Arp’s (9-3) chances in the second half with three interceptions and a fumble killing drives. Elysian Fields took advantage. Barge’s third pick of the game set up a one-yard score from Colby Simmons to push the advantage to 24-6 late in the third.

Arp answered with a drive capped by Roberson's one-yard touchdown run, but Spear and Nathan Hall then combined to deliver the dagger.

Facing third-and-11 at their own 40 with a 24-12 lead, Spear hit Hall across the middle on a rollout and the senior wide-out took off. Barge delivered a huge block downfield to spring Hall for the 60-yard touchdown and 30-12 lead halfway through the fourth quarter.

Roberson caught a 15-yard touchdown pass late, and the Tigers got a two-point conversion to cut EF's lead to 30-20, but the Jackets got their second onside kick recovery of the fourth on the ensuing kickoff. Elysian Fields executed its own successful onside kick after tying the game 6-6 in the first quarter.

Elysian Fields head coach Eric King celebrates his team's 30-20 victory vs. Arp on Saturday in Carthage. (Jeff Stapleton, ETSN.fm)


Class 2A Division II Region III

Elysian Fields 30, Arp 20

Bulldog Stadium, Carthage

Elysian Fields -- 6  12  6  6
Arp -- 6 0 0 14 -- 20

First Quarter
ARP – Michael Roberson 1 run (kick failed) -- 7:03
EF – Nathan Hall 25 pass from Trevor Spear (kick failed) -- 3:39
Second Quarter
EF – Trevor Spear 1 run (kick failed) -- 1:38
EF – Christian Smith 49 pass from Spear (conversion failed) -- 0:00
Third Quarter
EF - Colby Simmons 1 run (conversion failed) -- 1:25
Fourth Quarter
ARP - Michael Roberson 1 run (kick failed) -- 9:26
EF – Nathan Hall 60 pass from Spear (kick failed) 6:48
ARP – Michael Roberson 15 pass from Bonner (run good) -- 2:52

                                  EF                   ARP

First Downs                16                   12
Total Yards                424                 222
Rushes-Yards          49-186           37-154
Pass Yards                 238                 68
Comp-Att-Int             10-19-2          7-14-4
Penalties-Yards         11-93             2-30
Fumbles-Lost             1-1                  2-2
Punts-Avg                  4-39                2-37.5

Rushing – Elysian Fields: 
Trevor Spear 21-113, Tanner Davis 14-51, Lonzo Macon 3-23, T.J. Clark 2-0, Christian Smith 3-6, Nathan Hall 1-(-1), Colby Simmons 5-12. Arp: Mikechell Potts 14-80, Marcalas Johnson 12-51, Chase Bonner 1-1, Michael Roberson 10-22.
Passing – Elysian Fields: Trevor Spear 10-19-2 238. Arp: Chase Bonner 7-12-2 68, Michael Roberson 0-2-2.
Receiving – Elysian Fields: Nathan Hall 3-95, Lonzo Macon 3-45, Christian Smith 2-77, T.J. Clark 1-21, Tanner Davis 1-0. Arp: Michael Roberson 3-17, Mikechell Potts 1-12, Marcalas Johnson 1-(-4), Jeremy Shelton 1-37, Jonathan Guevara 1-10.