Posted: Oct 12, 2018
EUREKA -- The unbeaten Eureka College football team will play on the road for the first time since Sept. 1 when the Red Devils travel north to the Chicago suburb of River Forest, Ill. on Saturday for a 1 p.m. Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference kickoff versus Concordia (Ill.).
Saturday's game renews one of the Red Devils' longest-tenured rivalries in program history. Eureka and Concordia have met 38 times since 1938, a series Eureka leads 23-15. The Cougars won the most recent meeting, a 34-21 triumph in River Forest on Sept. 12, 2009.
The only remaining unbeaten team in the NACC and one of only 26 undefeated teams left in NCAA Division III, Eureka takes a 5-0 overall record and a 2-0 league mark into Saturday's game at Concordia.
The Red Devils have won 13 consecutive regular-season game dating back to a 48-20 victory at Minnesota Morris on Sept. 16, 2017. The current win streak is the Red Devils' longest regular-season stretch without a defeat in program history.
Led by All-American running back Le'Anthony Reasnover, the Eureka rushing offense ranks fifth in the country with 313.4 yards per game. Reasnover's 4,700 career rushing yards are the most among active Division III running backs and his 851 rushing yards in 2018 rank fourth nationally. Reasnover's 18 total touchdowns this season are second-most in Division III.
The Red Devils average 41.2 points as a team, 29th-most among Division III teams. The total production of 477.8 yards per game ranks second in the league and 24th in the country.
Through the first half of season, the Eureka defense allows a NACC-best 307.6 yards per game. Junior linebacker Austin McCarty has a team-high 32 tackles, freshman linebacker Cameron Lucas paces the team with 5.0 tackles for loss. Senior safety Colton Fauver has been a stopper in the secondary, ranking 33rd in the country with 0.6 interceptions per game. Fauver's eight career interceptions are fifth-most among Eureka defenders since 2000.
In the midst of a major program renassance that culminated in the program's first-ever NCAA playoffs bid last year, Eureka entered the 2018 season with 86 student-athletes on the roster. Thirty-three letterwinners from last season's championship squad have returned for 10th-year head coach Kurt Barth, the winningest head coach in 127 years of Eureka College football.
More than 50 newcomers have joined the program for 2018, another massive recruiting haul for Barth, who regularly welcomes large groups of student-athletes.
HOMECOMING KINGS: EUREKA FINISHES WISCONSIN LUTHERAN
Le'Anthony Reasnover continued his blitz on the Eureka football record book with 283 all-purpose yards and six touchdowns in the Red Devils' 54-35 NACC victory over Wisconsin Lutheran last Saturday afternoon at McKinzie Field. The victory marked Eureka's third consecutive victory on homecoming weekend and its seventh homecoming win in the last eight seasons.
Reasnover's six total touchdowns – five rushing, one receiving – increased his career scoring total to 456. According to the NCAA Division III record book, Reasnover now ranks tied for 13th in NCAA Division III history in points scored. His Saturday included 29 rushes for 207 yards and a pair of receptions for 76 yards.
Drew Barth added 200 yards of total offense thanks to 134 yards through the air and 66 rushing yards on 12 attempts. He threw two touchdowns. Joe Hughes tacked on 69 rushing yards and a touchdown on only five rushes, an average of 13.8 yards per carry. The Red Devils put up 499 yards of total offense.
Austin McCarty led EC in tackles for the second consecutive weekend with eight stops. Amari Smith logged 2.0 tackles for loss and Cameron Lucas tallied a solo sack in the fourth quarter.
Concordia is 1-4 overall and 0-2 in NACC play to tie for seventh place in the current league standings. The Cougars' lone win was a 36-10 home victory over Beloit in the season opener on Sept. 1. CUC has lost its two league games at Lakeland (61-28) and versus Aurora (35-30) last week.
The Cougars average 477.2 yards per game, less than a yard fewer than Eureka for the claim as the league's top offense. Junior running back Lance Moise is the nation's top rusher through the first five games, totaling 1,063 yards, 10 touchdowns and 8.6 yards per carry. Griffin Beaudette has been the Cougars' primary options at quarterback, going 54-for-104 for 516 yards, three touchdowns and interceptions. Freshman Jordan Sepulveda has also seen significant time under center. CUC has throw for 875 yards and seven touchdowns overall.
Concordia allows a league-worst 516.8 yards per contest including 290.2 on the ground. Senior linebacker Rodolfo Payan has 53 tackles, one of six Cougar defenders with at least 22 tackles. The CUC defensive unit has combined for 24 tackles for loss and six sacks.
Mike Juscik is in his first season as head coach of the Cougars. The 1994 Ball State graduate previously served as the program's defensive coordinator.
Concordia University Chicago is located in River Forest, Ill., approximately 11 miles west of Chicago. The undergraduate enrollment is approximately 1,500. The Cougars, who previously competed alongside the now-defunct Northern Illinois-Iowa Conference, have been charter members of the NACC since 2006.
THE ALL-TIME SERIES
Eureka and Concordia will meet for the 39th time on Saturday. The Red Devils are 23-15 against the Cougars all-time. EC enjoyed a dominant stretch in the series in which the Red Devils won 16 of 21 games from 1985 through 2005.
The two schools competed every year as rivals from 1976 through 2007 in old Illini-Badger Football Conference. The Red Devils and Cougars also met twice in non-conference action (2008-09) after the Cougars' departure to the NACC following the folding of the IBFC in 2007.
The Red Devils are 11-8 against Concordia in games played in River Forest and will be looking for their first win at Concordia Stadium since a 22-7 triumph on Sept. 25, 2004.