Eureka Wins Fifth Straight in 30-19 Victory Over Greenville

Photo courtesy of Jonathan Troyer.
Photo courtesy of Jonathan Troyer.

EUREKA, Ill. – The Eureka College football team ran its Upper Midwest Athletic Conference win streak to five games in a 30-19 victory over Greenville, Saturday afternoon at Pete FioRito Stadium at McKinzie Field. Junior running back LeAnthony Reasnover (Momence, Ill./Momence H.S.) scored three rushing touchdowns to improve his 2017 total to 16, breaking EC's modern-era single-season record.

Reasnover broke the previous single-season mark of 14 set by Derrick Harris during his junior season in 1991. Reasnover is the only player in program history to have three different seasons with at least 12 rushing touchdowns. He also extended his own career program record for rushing touchdowns, ending the day with 40.

Saturday's victory gave Eureka five straight wins for the second consecutive season and the fifth time since 1978. The Red Devils have also won at least five games in three consecutive seasons for the first time since doing so in four consecutive seasons from 1994 through 1997.

The Red Devils started strong, forcing a GU three-and-out and following with a 60-yard drive that took less than two minutes. Reasnover set the tone with 14 rushing yards on three carries and then hauled in a 46-yard touchdown throw from Drew Barth (Minonk, Ill./Fieldcrest H.S.) to give EC a 6-0 lead. The play marked Reasnover's second career receiving touchdown.

A Eureka turnover gave the Panthers a short field on their first scoring drive, but not before lightning in the area forced a 44-minute delay in which McKinzie Field was cleared of all coaches, student-athletes and spectators. Four plays after action resumed, GU quarterback George Harris found Derek Griefzu with a 24-yard touchdown pass. The point-after attempt was blocked, leaving the score tied 6-6.

Reasnover's 1-yard touchdown run shortly after the start of the second quarter gave the Red Devils a 13-6 lead. The Eureka defense stood tall for the remainder of the half, forcing consecutive punts and ending another GU series when Macae Skaggs (Farmington, Ill./Farmington H.S.) collected Harris' deflected pass for his third interception of the season. Tanner Kuhne (Princeton, Ill./Princeton H.S.) extended EC's lead to 16-6 with a 37-yard field goal, the longest successful try of his career, as time expired in the first half.

Eureka's lead ballooned to 23-6 on Reasnover's third touchdown of the day, a 9-yard run for a 23-6 cushion with 8:07 to play in the third quarter. The Panthers answered on the ensuing possession with a 9-play, 68-yard drive punctuated by Harris' 3-yard touchdown throw to Greifzu to trail 23-12 with 4:16 left in the third period.

The Red Devils put the contest out of reach on the next series. Reasnover ran six times for 32 yards on the drive, including a 3-yard run for his fourth score of the day, to give the hosts a 30-12 cushion in the final minute of the third quarter.

The EC defense forced a punt and a turnover on downs on Greenville's first two series of the fourth quarter. The Panthers managed to put together a 13-play, 70-yard drive that ended when Harris hooked up with Sean Brooks for a 3-yard touchdown pass as regulation time expired. Bradley Stubbs made the extra point and the final margin was set at 30-19.

Eureka produced a balanced offensive effort, led by 93 rushing yards from Reasnover. The quarterback duo of Barth and Nick Holman (Metamora, Ill./Metamora H.S./St. Ambrose) went 11-for-20 for 170 yards. Seven different Red Devils hauled in a reception, including a team-high three for Dom Parks (East Moline, Ill./United Township H.S.).

Chris Friend (Washington, Ill./Washington H.S./St. Xavier) was all over the field for the EC defense, setting a new career high with 21 total tackles. Skaggs tacked on 12 and a solo sack while Josh Mead (Tampico, Ill./Bureau Valley H.S.) tallied 11 tackles, seven of which were unassisted. Collin Aimone (Spring Valley, Ill./Hall H.S.) collected his second career interception in the third quarter. Trever Zeibert (Monee, Ill./Peotone H.S.) finished the day with five tackles and was also credited with two pass breakups and a quarterback hurry.

Greenville put up 289 yards of total offense. Harris went 13-for-26 for 147 yards and three touchdowns, but was intercepted twice and sacked twice. Jonny Pruiett led a group of nine GU rushers with 17 carries for 55 yards and Greifzu led all players with four receptions.

Eureka will look to win its sixth in a row next Saturday at 1 p.m. against unbeaten MacMurray in Jacksonville, Ill. The Red Devils beat the Highlanders at McKinzie Field last season, 28-13. 

NOTABLES: Eureka now trails the all-time series with Greenville, 20-11. The two schools have met in football every season since 1987 … Saturday's win was EC's first over the Panthers at McKinzie Field since Oct. 5, 2002, ending a streak of eight consecutive home losses to GU … Eureka is 5-2 or better through seven games for the third time in the last five seasons … Eureka is now 35-34 all-time in UMAC games, the first time in nine seasons the Red Devils have had an all-time UMAC record over .500 … Eureka held possession for 30:54 Saturday. The Red Devils have led the time of possession battle in 17 consecutive games, a stretch in which EC is 13-4.