MOUNT PLEASANT, Iowa -- Eureka College junior running back LeAnthony Reasnover (Momence, Ill./Momence) tied a single-game program record with six rushing touchdowns and broke the Red Devils' career rushing touchdown record in the process, driving the Red Devils to a decisive 49-18 Upper Midwest Athletic Conference triumph at Iowa Wesleyan, Saturday night at Bob Evans Field in Mount Pleasant, Iowa.
Reasnover finished with 179 rushing yards and six touchdowns on 26 carries, increasing his career rushing touchdown total to 36 and breaking the previous modern-era school record of 34 set by Derrick Harris between 1991 and 1993. Reasnover's six scores on Saturday equaled Eric Leiser's single-game Eureka record set against Concordia (Wis.) at McKinzie Field on Nov. 2, 1991.
The Red Devils controlled Saturday's game from start to finish, grabbing a 7-0 lead at the 5:03 mark of the first quarter when Reasnover scored from 23 yards out. The Tigers immediately responded when Joseph Mosley returned the ensuing kickoff 83 yards for a touchdown. The Red Devils blocked the extra point attempt and stayed in front, 7-6.
After a Eureka punt gave IWU possession at its own 34, Eureka's Macae Skaggs (Farmington, Ill./Farmington H.S.) collected his second interception on the defensive line in the last three weeks, returning the ball 33 yards to the IWU 3. Reasnover took advantage of the short field, punching in a 3-yard run for a 14-6 lead with 1:14 left in the period.
An IWU fumble setup Eureka's third scoring drive of the day. Reasnover rushed four times for 42 yards, including an 8-yard touchdown that bumped the Red Devils' cushion to 21-6 with 13:10 remaining before halftime. A fourth scoring run by Reasnover came less than three minutes later, this time from seven yards out, to make it 28-6 in favor of the visitors.
The Tigers showed signs of life midway through the second quarter on a 61-yard touchdown throw from Alex Payne to Jacob Santos. Another failed point-after attempt left the score 28-12.
The frantic scoring pace continued until halftime. Reasnover's 12-yard score, his 35th career rushing touchdown to break Eureka's all-time record, pushed the Eureka lead to 35-12 at the 5:30 mark. Payne answered with a 21-yard touchdown pass to Rudy Amezcua with 2:16 left. The Red Devils fumbled the ensuing kickoff, but the Tigers couldn't take advantage of a short field and ultimatley trailed EC at halftime, 35-18.
Reasnover picked up where he left off after intermission, extending the EC advantage to 42-18 and tying Leiser's record with a 22-yard score with 9:57 left in the third quarter. Cooper Elam (Farmington, Ill./Farmington H.S.) finished the scoring for EC with his first career touchdown, a 1-yard plunge with just 2:09 left in the game.
The Red Devils rolled up 26 first downs and 418 yards of total offense. Nine different Red Devils combined for 317 yards rushing, while Drew Barth (Minonk, Ill./Fieldcrest H.S.) went 6-for-13 and logged 93 of EC's 101 passing yards on the night. Reigning UMAC Special Teams Player of the Week Tanner Kuhne (Princeton, Ill./Princeton H.S.) was perfect on seven point-after attempts.
Eureka, which led the nation last season and entered the contest ranked second in Division III in time of possession in 2017, held the ball for 37:35 on Saturday.
Trever Zeibert (Monee, Ill./Peotone H.S.) led another strong EC defensive effort that limited IWU to 170 yards, 61 of which came on Payne's touchdown throw in the second quarter. Zeibert had 10 tackles, 5.0 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks. Ray Vogel (Bartonville, Ill./Limestone H.S.) tacked on nine stops and 2.0 sacks. The Red Devils combined for 10 tackles for loss and a season-high six sacks.
Eureka will now turn its attention to its annual homecoming game, a 1 p.m. UMAC kickoff next Saturday against Westminster at McKinzie Field.