Heart Stopper: Reasnover Wills Eureka Past Concordia, 48-45

Photo courtesy of Angi McBurney-Heiken.
Photo courtesy of Angi McBurney-Heiken.

MEQUON, Wis. -- With the game on the line and the ball in his hands, Le'Anthony Reasnover (Momence, Ill./Momence H.S.) wouldn't let Eureka lose. The All-American spun away from contact behind the line of scrimmage and raced to the end zone for the game-winning 4-yard touchdown run on third-and-goal with 19 seconds remaining in the Red Devils' stunning 48-45 Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference win at Concordia (Wis.), Saturday afternoon in Mequon, Wis.

The Red Devils are 8-0 overall and alone in first place in the NACC standings with a perfect 5-0 league mark. Eureka extended its school-record regular-season win streak to 16 games and needs one win over the final two weeks of the regular season to clinch at least a share of the NACC title and its second consecutive NCAA playoffs bid.

Saturday's win was Eureka's first over Concordia since Sept. 30, 1995 and snapped EC's 12-game losing streak in the series with the Falcons.

The game-winning carry -- his 48th and final rush of the afternoon -- allowed Reasnover to finish the day with 320 rushing yards and tie his own NACC single-game record with five rushing touchdowns. Reasnover now owns both 300-yard rushing games in program history.

Reasnover ended the game with 5,503 career rushing yards, 13th-most in NCAA Division III history. His five touchdowns increased his career scoring total to 546, fourth-most in Division III history. His 198 points scored in 2018 broke his own single-season Eureka record of 194 set last season and are within 66 points of tying Nate Kmic's (Mount Union) single-season Division III record.

Reasnover's big day came as part of the Red Devils' team rushing total of 429 to tie the single-game school record set in 68-7 win versus Dubuque on Oct. 22, 1994. Peyton Doughty (Cincinnati, Ohio/Newton H.S.) ran for 39 yards, James Douglas III (Orlando, Fla./Deltona H.S./Cornell) added 28 yards and Drew Barth (Minonk, Ill./Fieldcrest H.S.) ran six times for 26 yard and a fourth-quarter touchdown.

Barth finished 9-for-18 for 123 yards and touchdown through the air to Caleb Fauver (Catlin, Ill./Salt Fork H.S.), who led the Eureka receiving corps with three grabs for 57 yards. Reasnover made three catches for 40 yards and Dom Parks (East Moline, Ill./United Township H.S.) finished the afternoon with two receptions for 20 yards.

Trevon Moore (Aurora, Ill./Waubonsie Valley H.S.) came up big in the secondary with a pair of interceptions and two additional pass breakups. Macae Skaggs (Farmington, Ill./Farmington H.S.) made a team-best seven tackles, Genesis Forrest (Normal, Ill./Normal West H.S.) logged a tackle for loss and Austin McCarty (Oakwood, Ill./Oakwood H.S.) and Jon Jackson (Peoria, Ill./Richwoods H.S./St. Francis) teamed up for a sack late in the first half.

Eureka was forced to play from behind for much of Saturday's contest, allowing a pair of CUW touchdowns in the first five minutes of the contest to trail 14-0. Barth's 44-yard throw to Fauver made it 14-7 just 54 seconds into the second quarter, but the hosts answered with Jacob Mason's 33-yard field goal and the Concordia lead was 17-7 with 12:29 left in the half.

Reasnover scored his first touchdown of the day at the 6:22 mark of the second quarter to finish a 6-play drive and pull EC within 17-13. CUW responded again, this time on a 7-yard score from Josh Turner and the Falcons took a 24-13 lead into intermission.

Reasnover scored three times in the third quarter, but it wasn't until his 2-yard scoring rush in the final minute of the frame did the Red Devils take their first lead, 34-31.

The lead changed hands four times in the fourth quarter. Aaron Nixon connected with Jake Riportella on a 24-yard touchdown and a 38-34 advantage with 13:29 to go. Barth moved the visitors back in front, 41-38, with his 5-yard run less than three minutes later. CUW took its final lead on another Nixon touchdown throw, a 19-yard strike to Tanner Hill for a 45-41 cushion with 8:36 left.

Down four, Eureka was forced to punt on its next series. The Red Devils' defense rose to the challenge moments later, forcing three straight Nixon incompletions from the Eureka 27 for a turnover on downs. Eureka followed with a decisive 12-play, 73-yard march that covered 4-minutes, 26-seconds on its way to the game-winning score. Reasnover carried eight times on the drive and also hauled a 19-yard throw from Barth to help the Red Devils convert on third-and-11 into CUW territory.

Eureka will take its final road trip of the regular season next Saturday for a 1 p.m. start at Lakeland in Sheboygan, Wis.