MORRIS, Minn. – Eureka College junior running back LeAnthony Reasnover (Momence, Ill./Momence H.S.) ran for 203 yards and three touchdowns, leading an EC ground attack that churned up 365 rushing yards and lifting the Red Devils to a 48-20 Upper Midwest Athletic Conference victory at Minnesota Morris, Saturday afternoon at Big Cat Stadium in Morris, Minn.
Eureka's 365 rushing yards were fifth-most in a game on record in program history and the Red Devils' best effort since putting up 429 yards on the ground in a home victory over Dubuque on Oct. 22, 1994. Reasnover, who entered the game ranked 17th nationally in career rushing yards among active players and 26th nationally in rushing yards in 2017, now has two career 200-yard rushing games.
The Cougars stunned the Red Devils on the first play of the afternoon from scrimmage, picking up 38 yards on a reverse pass that pushed the hosts all the way to the Eureka 21. The EC defense recovered to hold UMM to a 34-yard field goal from D3football.com preseason All-American John Hoff and the Minnesota Morris lead was 3-0 just 2-minutes, 39-seconds into the game.
The score remained 3-0 after a Collin Aimone (Spring Valley, Ill./Hall H.S.) punt and a pair of Eureka field goal tries proved unsuccessful. Reasnover ultimately got the Red Devils on the board when his 3-yard plunge capped a 6-play, 39-yard drive and pushed the visitors to a 7-3 lead with 5:20 left before halftime. The Eureka a defense followed with a swift 3-and-out, setting the stage another Reasnover 3-yard touchdown run in the final minute of the half. Eureka led at the break, 14-3.
Minnesota Morris inched closer after a special-teams gaffe on the opening kickoff of the third quarter gave the Cougars a short field. UMM ultimately settled for another field goal from Hoff and the Eureka lead was trimmed to 14-6 at the 12:51 mark of the quarter.
Eureka quickly put the game out of reach just moments later. After a holding penalty put Eureka in a 1st-and-20 hole to start its ensuing series, Reasnover broke free for an 83-yard touchdown sprint and a 21-6 cushion, the longest rush of his career and the longest rush by the Red Devils during the Kurt Barth coaching era.
A blocked punt gave Eureka a short field on the next series. The Red Devils extended their lead to 27-6 when Nick Holman (Metamora, Ill./Metamora H.S./St. Ambrose) connected with Rhett Rondinelli (Chesterton, Ind./Chesterton H.S.) for a 22-yard strike. The play was Holman's first collegiate touchdown throw and Rondinelli's first career touchdown reception.
The lead Eureka lead ballooned to 41-6 after touchdown rushes by Nasir Phillips (Aurora, Ill./East Aurora H.S.). The scores were the first two of Phillips's career.
Colton Johnson (Lewistown, Ill./Lewistown H.S.) delivered Eureka's final score of the day when his read-option keeper resulted in a 48-yard touchdown rush, his first career score on the ground.
Eureka finished the afternoon with 479 yards of total offense, its third straight 400-yard effort to begin the season and its highest output since rolling up 530 yards at Martin Luther on Sept. 12, 2015. Johnson had 69 yards on five rushes, Phillips logged 40 yards on six carries and Holman tacked on 38 yards on six totes. Holman made his Eureka debut under center in the second quarter and finished 5-for-7 for 79 yards and a score.
The EC defense was equally impressive, stifling UMM throughout the day to the tune of 176 yards, eight first downs and a 0-for-11 effort on third down. Ross Royal (Gibson City, Ill./Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley H.S.), Ray Vogel (Bartonville, Ill./Limestone H.S.) and Jesse Brunoehler (Sandwich, Ill./Sandwich H.S.) shared the team lead with five tackles apiece. Macae Skaggs (Farmington, Ill./Farmington H.S.) returned his first collegiate interception 27 yards to setup a Eureka scoring drive and also assisted on a sack with Zecharias Hall (Urbana, Ill./Urbana H.S.). Six different players had a tackle for loss, led by 1.5 from Colby Brannock (Heyworth, Ill./Heyworth H.S.).
Eureka will return to McKinzie Field next Saturday for a noon kickoff with UMAC opponent Crown.
NOTABLES: Eureka now leads the series with Minnesota Morris, 5-3 … Eureka has also won five straight over UMM, the Red Devils' second-longest active win streak against any opponent (Martin Luther) … The 28-point margin of victory was Eureka's largest on the road since shutting out Iowa Wesleyan 35-0 on Oct. 17, 2015 … Eureka led in time of possession for the 13th straight game … Jalen Armstrong (Metamora, Ill./Metamora H.S./Millikin) rushed three times for seven yards, the first of his Eureka career … Dom Parks (East Moline, Ill./United Township H.S.) led EC with three receptions for 56 yards … Johnson's 48-yard run was longer than all of his previous career rushes combined ... Eureka punted only twice Saturday … Eureka is now 20-4 under Barth when holding the opponent to fewer than 300 yards … Saturday's win was Eureka's 13th in 40 tries under Barth when the opponent scores first.