Elsik leads Cardinals past Blazers

Valley View defensive back Jay Morman (13) closes in on Farmington running back Caden Elsik during Friday night’s Class 5A state football playoff game at Central Dealerships Stadium. Elsik ran for three touchdowns to lead Farmington to a 28-7 victory.

JONESBORO — Caden Elsik ran for three touchdowns Friday night to lead Farmington to a 28-7 victory over Valley View in the Class 5A state football playoffs.

The Cardinals (5-5) advance to play defending state champion Pulaski Academy (9-0) in the first round next week.

Farmington took the lead for good after Valley View failed on a fake punt at its own 40-yard line in the second quarter. The Cardinals scored five plays later when Elsik took an option pitch 12 yards to the end zone.

Valley View (5-5) drove inside the Farmington 5-yard line in the final minute of the first half, only to lose a fumble on the final play as the Cardinals maintained a 14-7 lead.

Elsik gave the Cardinals a 21-7 lead when he scored on a 1-yard run to finish an 11-play, 48-yard drive with 3:08 remaining in the third quarter.

Farmington stopped Valley View twice inside the 10-yard line in the second half. The Cardinals drove 98 yards in 12 plays for their final touchdown, finishing the drive on Tate Sutton’s 13-yard pass to Gavin Shadden in the last minute of the game.

The Cardinals drove 64 yards in 10 plays after receiving the opening kickoff. Elsik scored on a 4-yard run with 8:25 left in the first quarter.

Valley View’s only scoring drive came after the Blazers stopped the Cardinals on downs at their 38 late in the first quarter. Carson Winters scored on a 7-yard quarterback keeper to complete a six-play drive and pull the Blazers into a 7-7 tie with 9:30 remaining in the second quarter.