EUREKA, Ill. – Sophomore wide receiver Austin Zirkle (Gilman, Ill./Iroquois West) hauled in three touchdown receptions, most by a Eureka receiver since Jake Bane tallied three at Knox on Sept. 1, 2012, lifting the Red Devils to a thrilling 29-26 Upper Midwest Athletic Conference victory over Crown College on Senior Day, Saturday afternoon at McKinzie Field.
Sophomore quarterback Colton Johnson (Lewistown, Ill./Lewistown [Olivet Nazarene]) completed 12-of-21 attempts for 196 yards and a pair of touchdown passes. The numbers are all career-marks for Johnson, including his first touchdown pass as a Red Devil. Johnson was making his second career start under center.
Fellow classmate and quarterback Dontai Johnson (Chicago, Ill./Argo) completed 2-of-4 passes for 19 yards, including the game-winning touchdown toss.
Freshman running back LeAnthony Reasnover (Momence, Ill./Momence) rushed 27 times for 105 yards and a score, his 12th of the season, moving him into sole possession of 4th place for single-season rushing touchdowns in EC history.
Zirkle led the Eureka receiving core with four grabs for 58 yards, including the game-winner on 4th-and-3 from seven yards out with 5:23 to play. Sophomore wide out Jeremiah Vance (Havana, Ill./Havana) added two catches for 45 yards.
Defensively, the Red Devils held the Storm rushing attack to 61 yards on 32 attempts for 1.9 yards per rush. The stout rush defense has allowed only 77 yards on the ground over the last two weeks. Eureka registered 9.0 tackles for a loss and a pair of sacks, one from sophomore defensive end Trever Zeibert (Monee, Ill./Peotone) and the other from sophomore defensive end Ray Vogel (Bartonville, Ill./Limestone). Zeibert added a game-high 2.5 tackles for a loss. Sophomore linebacker Chris Friend (Washington, Ill./Washington [St. Xavier]) led the defense in tackles with nine. Senior linebacker Ty Cowin (Astoria, Ill./Astoria) provided seven stops in his final home contest.
Senior defensive back Jordan Blair (Lanark, Ill./Eastland [Rockford]) intercepted his fifth pass in a Red Devil uniform and added three tackles.
Eureka said goodbye to 14 seniors during a pregame ceremony on the field, including eight Red Devils that were four-year members of the EC football team.
The Red Devils will continue UMAC play next Saturday, traveling to Minnesota-Morris in Morris, Minn. for a 12 p.m. contest at against the Cougars.