Dominic Elder Jr. had a nose for the end zone last Friday.

Elder, a junior running back at North Oconee High School, scored three touchdowns during the Titans’ 56-21 victory over Miller Grove High School. That win propelled North Oconee into the second round of the state playoffs.

The running lanes were open early and often for Elder, who credited the Titans’ offensive linemen for his success.

“Them five guys up front led the way all year and [last week],” Elder said.

By the end of the night, Elder had 135 yards rushing on 20 carries, good for an average of 6.75 yards per carry.

His performance led an electric showing by the North Oconee offense, which had its way with Miller Grove’s defense all game.

It was nothing new for the Titans to see Elder have success. He emerged as their top runner earlier this season and, more often than not, his name is among the standouts in the box score.

Elder said he’s taken great care to continue improving as the season progressed.

“I've been staying healthy, drinking a lot of water, going to cryotherapy every Thursday,” Elder said.

North Oconee head coach Tyler Aurandt praised Elder’s work this year and said the Titans are fortunate to have the running back tandem of Elder and fellow senior Rodrick Finch in their arsenal.

“I don't know that there's anything that can take the place of having a good, strong back,” Aurandt said. “As physical as he runs and the style of runner that he is, he just brings something to the table that a lot of kids can't bring. You put him in and he runs physical and you throw Rod in there and give Dom a break and Rod complements him very well. A heavy dose of Dom mixed in with Rod every few plays is a really good combination for us right now.”

This Friday, the Titans will host Spalding County in the second round.

When asked about his goals for the rest of the season, Elder kept his answer simple.

“We want a ring.”

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