EUREKA, Ill. – Eureka College sophomore running back LeAnthony Reasnover ran for 130 yards, including a 60-yard touchdown on the day's first play from scrimmage, setting the tone for the Red Devils' 38-7 Upper Midwest Athletic Conference romp over Martin Luther, Saturday afternoon at McKinzie Field.
The 31-point win marked Eureka's largest margin of victory at McKinzie Field since a 53-20 Illini-Badger Football Conference drubbing of Concordia (Ill.) on Nov. 6, 1999. The decision also gave eighth-year head coach Kurt Barth his 31st career victory to tie John Tully (1990-94) for second place on the program's all-time wins list. Barth needs just five more victories to match Ralph McKinzie (1921-37) for the all-time Eureka record.
Coupled with last Saturday's win at Knox in the fifth annual Lincoln Bowl, Eureka is 2-0 overall for the second consecutive season and the third time in the last four campaigns. Saturday's decision also marked the third straight year in which the Red Devils opened the UMAC slate with a win.
Reasnover's 60-yard scamper pushed the Red Devils to a 7-0 cushion just 13 seconds into the contest. The EC lead swelled to two possessions, 14-0, later in the frame when junior quarterback Colton Johnson (Lewistown, Ill./Lewistown H.S.) found freshman Brandon Vinson (Hoffman Estates, Ill./Conant H.S.) with a 13-yard strike at the 7:35 mark of the first quarter.
A 25-yard field goal from senior Tyler Winders (Pekin, Ill./Pekin H.S.), the 16th of his career, pushed the Eureka lead to 17-0 just three plays into the second quarter.
Moments later, the Eureka defense forced its second turnover of the afternoon when senior Tyler Railey (Minonk, Ill./Fieldcrest H.S.) intercepted MLC quarterback T.J. Babinec and returned the play 30 yards for a score and a 24-0 advantage for the hosts.
Freshman quarterback Drew Barth (Minonk, Ill./Fieldcrest H.S.) made it 31-0 midway through the second quarter when his quarterback sneak on 4th-and-1 turned into a 28-yard touchdown scramble. The Red Devils carried the 31-0 cushion into the locker room.
The Red Devils scored their final touchdown of the afternoon at the 5:39 mark of the third quarter when Vinson hauled in his second touchdown of the day, a 34-yard strike from Barth for a 38-0 lead. The play marked Barth's first career touchdown throw.
The Knights spoiled what would have been Eureka's first shutout at McKinzie Field in nearly two decades when Babinec found space on a 13-yard touchdown run with 5:27 left in the contest.
Eureka rolled up 364 yards of offense for the day. Reasnover ran for 130 yards on 20 carries, pacing a group of seven EC backs to gain 241 yards. Vinson led all players with 56 receiving yards to go along with his two scores.
Barth, Johnson and freshman Aaron Cantwell (Momence, Ill./Momence H.S.) combined for 9 completions and 123 yards through the air. Barth tacked on 79 rushing yards on just eight carries. Winders was a perfect 5-for-5 on extra-point attempts.
Defensively, the Red Devils stifled the Knights throughout the contest. MLC gained just 140 yards of total offense, 81 of which came on its fourth-quarter scoring drive. Junior Trever Zeibert (Monee, Ill./Peotone H.S.) logged a game-high nine tackles, including 3.5 tackles for loss. He teamed up with senior linebacker Dakota Padilla (Sandwich, Ill./Sandwich H.S.) for the Red Devils' only sack of the day. Junior Antonio Greenwood (Momence, Ill./Momence H.S.) added a first-quarter interception for the hosts. The secondary yielded just 25 passing yards for the afternoon.
A total of 24 different Red Devils made a tackle, seven of which made at least five stops.
Eureka, which celebrated the 25th anniversary of its undefeated 1991 NAIA playoff squad during a halftime ceremony, will try to move to 3-0 for the first time since 1991 when it visits perennial UMAC power St. Scholastica next Saturday in Duluth, Minn. Kickoff is scheduled for noon.