Eureka Win Streak Ends at Lakeland, 56-55

Photo courtesy of Michelle Curl.
Photo courtesy of Michelle Curl.

PLYMOUTH, Wis.Le'Anthony Reasnover (Momence, Ill./Momence H.S.) produced his third career 300-yard game to break his own single-season Eureka rushing record and scored five touchdown to match his own single-game Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference record, but a two-point conversion attempt to win the game in the final minute came up short in the Red Devils' 56-55 league setback at Lakeland, Saturday afternoon in Plymouth, Wis.

The defeat ends Eureka's regular-season win streak at 16 games, the longest such streak in school history. Despite Saturday's loss, Eureka has clinched at least a share of the NACC title in its first season as an associate member of the eight-team conference.

Reasnover rushed for 316 yards on 49 carries to bump his 2018 total to 1,970, breaking his own single-season school record of 1,875 last fall. He also broke Eureka's single-season rushing touchdown record with 36 and the Red Devils' single-season scoring record with 228 points. The 228 points in 2018 are fourth-most in a season in NCAA Division III history and his 576 career points are now third-most in the history of Division III.

Additionally, Reasnover's career rushing total of 5,819 is now 11th on the all-time NCAA Division III list and puts him on track to try to become the 10th 6,000-yard rusher in Division III history.

Eureka finished Saturday's game with 557 yards of total offense. Drew Barth (Minonk, Ill./Fieldcrest H.S.) completed 13 passes for 199 yards and two touchdowns. Dom Parks (East Moline, Ill./United Township H.S.) logged 88 receiving yards on a career-high seven receptions.

Macae Skaggs (Farmington, Ill./Farmington H.S.) led the defense with eight total tackles and 1.0 tackle for loss.

Eureka raced to 21-0 lead in the first four minutes of the game thanks to a pair Reasnover scores and a 33-yard fumble return by Jon Jackson (Peoria, Ill./Richwoods H.S./St. Francis). The Muskies answered with a 7-yard touchdown run from Charl'Tez Nunnery and the EC lead was 21-6 after one quarter.

LU clawed within 21-14 when Nunnery found Brice Kensey with a 57-yard strike with 13:25 left in the half. The two squads went on to trade touchdowns four more times before intermission. Reasnover scored on a 1-yard run and Parks hauled in a 17-yard score from Barth. Lakeland also scored twice, including a 40-yard connection between Nunnery and and Mason Prunick with just eight seconds left before halftime. Eureka led 35-26 at the break.

Another big scoring play from Nunnery to Prunick at the 9:09 mark of the third quarter slashed the LU deficit to 35-32, but Reasnover responded with a 3-yard score to cap an 11-play, 58-yard series for a 42-32 lead.

Eureka later held a 10-point lead and possession late in the third quarter, but the Muskies' defense got in on the action when Washington Vivanco returned an interception 13 yards for a touchdown and the Eureka lead was slashed back to 42-40.

Reasnover scored his fifth and final touchdown of the afternoon with 17 seconds left in the third quarter to push the visitors' cushion back to 49-40, but the Muskies quickly responded with Larry Rivers's 5-yard touchdown and LU was within one, 49-48, with 14:55 to go in the game.

Hanging on to the one-point lead, Eureka held a possession for 18 plays and 70 yards that claimed nearly 10 minutes from the clock, but a fourth-down play at the Lakeland 11 proved unsuccessful with 2:30 left in the game. The Muskies responded with an 89-yard march and took their first lead of the game when Michael Moreau broke free for a 21-yard touchdown and a 56-49 lead with 56 seconds left.

The Red Devils had one final push. James Douglas III (Orlando, Fla./Deltona H.S.) returned the ensuing kickoff to the Lakeland 44. Three plays later on 4th-and-5 from the LU 39, Barth found Caleb Fauver (Catlin, Ill./Salt Fork H.S.) with a touchdown throw to the corner of the end zone to pull the Red Devils within 56-55 with 18 seconds to play. Eureka ultimately went for the win with a 2-point conversion attempt, but Reasnover was bottled up short of the goal line. EC couldn't regain possession on the ensuing onside kickoff and the Muskies kneeled out the clock.

Eureka will return to McKinzie Field next Saturday to host Rockford at 1 p.m. The Red Devils will host their annual Senior Day ceremony prior to kickoff. EC can clinch the NACC's automatic bid to the NCAA Division III playoffs with a victory over the Regents.