Fourth Quarter Effort Lifts Eureka Over Knox

Fourth Quarter Effort Lifts Eureka Over Knox

EUREKA, Ill. – Eureka College freshman running back LeAnthony Reasnover (Momence, Ill./Momence) rushed for 160 yards and two touchdowns, including the 1-yard game-winning touchdown rush with 6:07 left in the game, sending the Red Devils to a 32-21 victory over Knox in the fourth annual Lincoln Bowl, Saturday afternoon at McKinzie Field.

The Red Devils got on the board first in Saturday's season opener. On the opening drive for the Prairie Fire, quarterback Matt McCaffrey was sacked, then fumbled, caused by sophomore defensive end Ray Vogel (Bartonville, Ill./Limestone) and senior defensive tackle Austin Blair (Newton, Ill./Newton) fell on the loose ball at the 1-yard line.

Reasnover would find the endzone two players later on a 1-yard plunge into the endzone, giving the host an early 6-0 lead. The touchdown was the first collegiate touchdown for the talented freshman running back.

After a Knox punt and Red Devil fumble, the Prairie Fire would even the score when McCaffrey would take the quarterback keeper up the middle for a 69-yard touchdown run.

Eureka tacked on another score before the end of the first quarter to regain the lead. Junior quarterback Conrad Schumann (Rodgau, Germany/Claus-von-Stauffenberg) found sophomore wide receiver Jeremiah Vance (Havana, Ill./Havana) for a 35-yard touchdown pass and catch. The touchdown reception was Vance's first of his collegiate career.

Facing a one-score deficit, Knox would take their opening drive of the second quarter down to the Eureka 16-yard line after a pair of long pass completions. Sophomore linebacker Chris Friend (Washington, Ill./Washington) pressured McCaffery on 3rd and long, causing the Prairie Fire to settle for a 33-yard field goal. The field goal cut the Red Devils lead to 13-9.

After a turnover on downs by Eureka to start the second half, the visitors engineered a 9-play, 53-yard drive, capped by a touchdown pass from McCaffery to Tallen McWilliams, to take their first lead of the contest, 15-13.

Junior cornerback Ricky Martinez (Yorba Linda, Calif./JSerra Catholic) gave the Red Devils field position in Knox territory after taking the ensuing kickoff 59 yards to the KC 39-yard line. After a 27-yard run from Reasnover, a penalty set the Red Devils back, forcing EC to settle for a 25-yard field goal from junior kicker Tyler Winders (Pekin, Ill./Pekin). The field goal pushed the Red Devils back in the lead, 16-15, with 3:11 remaining in the third quarter.

The Prairie Fire would go three-and-out on their next series, giving the Red Devils the ball back at their own 24-yard line. Schumann again found Vance again for a 35-yard reception, moving the ball into Knox territory as the third quarter came to a close. Again the Red Devils' drive would stall, causing Eureka to settle for a Winder's field goal, this time from 29-yards out.

Knox would only take six plays on the next possession to find themselves in the red zone. Needing a stop, Martinez would pick off McCaffery's pass on first-and-goal to swing the momentum in Eureka's favor.

Eureka would be unable to capitalize on the turnover, going three-and-out in their next series, but sophomore punter Collin Aimone (Spring Valley, Ill./Hall) booted the punt over the return man's head, settling at the Knox 14-yard line for a 71-yard punt.

After allowing just one yard of offense on the visitor's next series, Martinez would again come up big for the Red Devils, returning the punt 58 yards to the Knox 1-yard line. Reasnover would dive into the endzone on the first play of the series to give the Red Devils the game-winning touchdown and his second rushing touchdown of the contest.

Sophomore defensive back Ross Royal (Gibson City, Ill./Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley) intercepted an errant throw from McCaffery on the first play of the drive for the visitors, returning the pick all the way to pay dirt and extending the Red Devil's lead to 32-15.

Knox would cut the deficit to 32-21 but would fail to get the ball back on the onside kick attempt.

Eureka will begin Upper Midwest Athletic Conference play next Saturday, traveling to New Ulm, Minn. for a 1 p.m. bout with Martin Luther College.

Notes:


--Reasnover's 160 yards on the ground is the most by a Red Devil since Nick Lindsey rushed for 150 yards against Crown on Nov. 7, 2009.

--Schumann, recording his first collegiate start at quarterback, finished the day 11-for-24 for 143 yards, a touchdown and one interception. The junior also rushed nine times for 35 yards.

--Vance led all Red Devil receivers with a pair of catches for 70 yards and touchdown.

--Friend finished the day with 10 total tackles, including one tackle for a loss. Blair and sophomore defensive back Antonio Greenwood (Momence, Ill./Momence) each had 8 and 6 tackles a piece.

--Martinez finished the day with three tackles, one interception, a 58-yard punt return and a 59-yard kick return.

--Aimone punted the ball three times for 157 yards, good enough for a 52.3 net average.

--The victory allowed the Red Devils to maintain possession of the Abraham Lincoln Bowl trophy. The two schools began playing for the traveling trophy in 2012.