EUREKA, Ill. – The Greenville Panthers scored 22 unanswered second half points en route to a 35-14 Upper Midwest Athletic Conference victory, Saturday afternoon at McKinzie Field on the campus of Eureka College.
The Red Devils started fast, engineering an 8-play, 56-yard drive capped by a 7-yard LeAnthony Reasnover (Momence, Ill./Momence) rushing touchdown. The score was Reasnover's his eighth rushing touchdown of the season.
Greenville answered on their ensuing drive. Panther quarterback Jacob Tibbetts scored from 20 yards out on an option keeper to bring the visitors within one after a failed point after attempt.
Early in the second half, junior quarterback Conrad Schumann (Rodgau, Germany/Claus-von-Stauffenberg) pushed the host lead to 14-6 with a quarterback dive from the one yard line. The touchdown was the finished product of a 15-play, 56-yard drive that took 6:55 off the clock.
However, the Panthers answered the deficit late in the second quarter. Sophomore punter Collin Aimone (Spring Valley, Ill./Hall) pinned the Panthers at their own 1-yard line to begin their series. Greenville crafted a 10-play, 99-yard drive that resulted in a 16-yard touchdown rush by running back Hamid Camara. The score cut the Eureka lead to 14-13 at intermission.
After both teams exchanged punts on their first two series of the second half, the Panthers found life on their third series. On the first play of the drive, quarterback Jacob Battaglia found tight end John Dudley for 42-yard gain, moving the ball into EC territory. Four plays later the Panthers took their first lead of the contest behind a Chase Stamatis rushing touchdown. Greenville now led, 20-14 with 4:57 left in the third.
Eureka was unable to pick up a first down on their next possession, punting into the wind from their own 26-yard line. The Panthers began their next series with the ball near midfield.
Battaglia, using his legs, rushed for a 30-yard touchdown on the third play of the drive to increase the visitors lead to 27-14 with just under two minutes remaining in the third quarter.
Greenville capped their 22-point unanswered run late in the fourth quarter on a Camara 1-yard score, stamping the final touches on 21 point victory.
Schumann finished the day 11-for-30 for 179 and a trio of interceptions. His favorite target on the day was sophomore wide receiver Austin Zirkle (Gilman, Ill./Iroquois West) who caught three passes for 58 yards.
Reasnover tallied 47 yards on the ground in limited action, while Schumann added 46 yards on 12 carried.
Defensively, the Red Devils were led by sophomore linebacker Chris Friend (Washington, Ill./Washington) who notched a career-high 14 tackles. Senior linebacker Marcus Washington (Peoria, Ill./Morton) was next with a career-best 13 stops, including one tackle-for-loss.
Eureka will be back at home next Saturday in a 1 p.m. contest against UMAC rival Westminster. The contest against the Blue Jays will also represent Eureka College's Homecoming.