NACC Champs! Red Devils Rout Rockford, Lock Down Another NCAA Bid

Photo courtesy of Summer Inselmann.
Photo courtesy of Summer Inselmann.

EUREKA -- The Eureka Red Devils are back in the playoffs. Eureka earned a 38-7 Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference victory over Rockford Saturday at McKinzie Field to secure the league's outright regular-season championship and automatic bid to the NCAA Division III playoffs.

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The Red Devils are 9-1 overall and finished their first season as an affiliate member of the NACC alone in first place with a 6-1 mark. Eureka has secured the program's third regular season of at least nine victories and its first nine-win season since 1995.

Saturday's victory also gave Eureka its second consecutive conference title and postseason berth after winning the outright Upper Midwest Athletic Conference crown in 2017. The Red Devils have now earned four national postseason playoff bids (1991, 1994, 2017, 2018) in program history.

Eureka hosted its annual Senior Day celebration prior to Saturday's contest, honoring 11 seniors and their families during their final game at McKinzie Field. The Red Devils have won on Senior Day in four of the last six seasons.

Le'Anthony Reasnover ran 25 times for 167 yards and four touchdowns. His final score, a 60-yard burst early in the fourth quarter, made him the third player in NCAA Division III history to score 600 career points. He'll enter next weekend's playoff game with 5,986 career rushing yards and 95 touchdowns. He also produced the 25th season of 2,000 rushing yards or more in Division III history and currently has 2,137 yards and 40 touchdowns in 2018.

Drew Barth (Minonk, Ill./Fieldcrest H.S.) was 15-for-20 for 143 yards and a touchdown. His favorite target was Dom Parks (East Moline, Ill./United Township H.S.), who made six grabs for 44 yards. Caleb Fauver (Catlin, Ill./Salt Fork H.S.) scored on a 26-yard strike from Barth midway through the second period.

The Eureka defense held the Regents to 240 yards, including just seven rushing yards on 18 carries. Cameron Lucas (Canton, Ill./Canton H.S./Upper Iowa) led the way with seven tackles, including 1.0 sack. Logan Noel (Westville, Ill./Westville H.S.) also recorded 1.0 sack and Trevon Moore (Aurora, Ill./Waubonsie Valley H.S.) had 2.0 tackles for loss and three pass breakups.

Reasnover got the hosts on the board with an 8-yard score at the 5:12 mark of the first quarter to cap a 10-play, 54-yard series for a 7-0 lead.

Shortly after RU missed a 22-yard field goal try, Barth found Fauver with the 26-yard touchdown that allowed the lead to swell to 14-0. Tanner Kuhne (Princeton, Ill./Princeton H.S.) later added a 27-yard field goal in the final minute of the half and the Red Devils led 17-0 at halftime.

The Red Devils began creating separation in the third quarter, moving in front 24-0 on Reasnover's 6-yard run with 7:43 left in the period. Less than six minutes later, Reasnover's 2-yard plunge made it 31-0.

Adam Ambrogio helped the Regents avoid the shutout with a 9-yard touchdown pass from Eric Mackey on the final play of the third quarter. Reasnover's electric 60-yard score closed out the scoring just 23 seconds into the final quarter.

Eureka will turn its attention to Sunday's NCAA selection show at 4:30 p.m. CST. The campus community is invited to join the Red Devils for a viewing party at Kep's Sports Bar and Grill at 313 Muller Road in Washington.