JACKSONVILLE, Ill. -- Eureka College junior LeAnthony Reasnover (Momence, Ill./Momence H.S.) went for a career-high 274 rushing yards to highlight the Red Devils' first 400-yard rushing game since 1994 and the EC defense held the nation's 11th-ranked offense more than 170 yards below its season average in a 37-20 Upper Midwest Athletic Conference win at MacMurray, Saturday afternoon in front of an overflow crowd at Freesen Field in Jacksonville, Ill.
The Red Devils have won six games in a row in for the second straight season and for the seventh time overall in program history. All six wins on Eureka's current streak have been by 11 points or more, the second such stretch in 127 years of Eureka College football. Saturday's win also ended MacMurray's bid for its first perfect regular season since 2002 and snapped the Highlanders' streak of 13 consecutive wins since last season's loss to the Red Devils at McKinzie Field.
Eureka stunned the standing-room-only Homecoming crowd early when Reasnover took a handoff 62 yards to the end zone for his 41st career rushing touchdown and a 7-0 lead just 16 seconds into the game. Macae Skaggs (Farmington, Ill./Farmington H.S.) maintained Eureka's momentum when he collected his fourth interception of the season at the MacMurray 35. The Red Devils made it 13-0 later in the first quarter when Reasnover finished a 9-play, 68-yard drive with a 5-yard touchdown.
The hosts slowly battled back to force a 13-13 tie. Marquez Ellison's 1-yard plunge made 13-6 in the final two minutes of the first quarter. Ellison later pulled the Highlanders into a 13-13 tie on a 4-yard touchdown at the 9:08 mark of the second quarter.
The Red Devils regained the lead in the final two minutes before halftime. One play after a Josh Mead (Tampico, Ill./Bureau Valley H.S.) interception gave EC a short field, Nick Holman (Metamora, Ill./Metamora H.S./St. Ambrose) found Josh Kuse (Heyworth, Ill./Heyworth H.S.) for a 36-yard touchdown pass and a 20-13 advantage.
Eureka kept the pressure on the Highlanders midway through the third quarter with perhaps its most dominant scoring drive of the season. Reasnover carried 12 times on the series, including a 1-yard scoring rush, to highlight a 13-play, 94-yard drive that chewed nearly seven minutes off the clock and gave the Red Devils a 27-13 cushion.
Just two plays after Reasnover's third touchdown of the day, MacMurray's Nathan Randle kept the hosts in the game with a 70-yard scoring throw to Demetrius Curry to trim the EC lead to 27-20.
The Highlanders' push wouldn't be enough. Tanner Kuhne (Princeton, Ill./Princeton H.S.) gave the Red Devils breathing room with a 34-yard field goal, the fourth of his career, for a 30-20 advantage with 8:44 left in the game. Trevon Moore (Aurora, Ill./Waubonsie Valley H.S.) put the game further out of reach with his second career interception just five plays later and Nasir Phillips (Aurora, Ill./East Aurora H.S.) later found the end zone from 13 yards out for a 37-20 lead.
Reasnover's 274 rushing yards were third-most on record by a Red Devil and the highest total since Brett Dyche ran for 286 yards at Concordia (Ill.) on Sept. 26, 1985. Reasnover ended Saturday's contest with 3,201 career rushing yards to become Eureka's second 3,000-yard rusher of the modern era. He needs 104 more rushing yards to surpass Derrick Harris' all-time Eureka rushing record of 3,304 rushing yards.
Reasnover now has 1,227 rushing yards in 2017, a new personal high and third-most in a season by a Red Devil since 1978.
The Red Devils' team total of 402 rushing yards on Saturday was second-most on record in program history, trailing only a 429-yard effort versus Dubuque on Oct. 22, 1994. Eureka finished Saturday's contest with 460 yards overall.
Kuhne made three extra points Saturday to break Eureka's single-season record for extra points. Kuhne now has 36 successful point-after kicks, breaking the previous mark of 34 set by then-freshman Travis Huber in 2009.
Chris Friend (Washington, Ill./Washington H.S./St. Xavier) made 12 tackles to lead a Eureka a defense that limited the Highlanders to 317 yards, well shy of its incoming season average of 493.4 yards per game. The Highlanders' especially tough rushing attack, which averaged 250.4 yards entering Saturday's game, sputtered to just 65 yards on 36 attempts – an average of 1.8 yards per carry.
Eureka will return home next Saturday to host current league leader St. Scholastica for Senior Day. Kickoff on the FieldTurf at McKinzie Field between the Red Devils and Saints is scheduled for noon
NOTABLES: MacMurray now leads the all-time series, 20-13, but the Red Devils have won seven of last 11 meetings since 2007 … The Red Devils are 35-33 all-time in UMAC games … Eureka is now 31-6 under Kurt Barth when leading at halftime, 35-2 when leading after three quarters and 33-3 when allowing 20 points or less … Eureka held possession for more than 38 minutes Saturday, its 18th consecutive game with more possession time than its opponent … Orlando Moore (Peoria, Ill./Peoria H.S.) led the Red Devils with 1.5 sacks Saturday, the first sacks of his collegiate career … Moore broke up four MacMurray passes.