Coming off an 8-2 season, great things were expected of the Eureka College Red Devils in 2017, but an 0-2 start brought the doubters out, before the team dominated Minnesota-Morris last weekend. Saturday, Eureka looked to keep the momentum going, and thanks to a 131-yard, 3-touchdown performance by LeAnthony Reasnover, the Red Devils grounded out a 44-20 victory over Crown College. That moved the team to 2-2 and dropped the Storm to 0-4.
Eureka would take the lead on their first possession of the game. After Crown was forced to punt, the Red Devils took over at their own 43. Nick Holman completed two quick passes, one of 11- and the other of 20-yards bookending a run by Reasnover to put the ball at the Crown 23. With second and 12, the Red Devils running back created some room and ran 16-yards to the Crown seven. On the next play, Reasnover broke to the right and raced for the end zone to put his team ahead 7-0.
The Storm were forced to punt on their next possession, but their defense made a big play to give them the ball back. On third and 2 at the Crown 35, Holman kept the ball and looked for the first down, but he was stopped. The Eureka quarterback fumbled and it was recovered by Daniel Lee. Damien Jeffries ran the ball on the next two plays, getting the Storm a first down at their own 49. On the next play, quarterback Taylor Watkins found David McIntosh for the 51-yard touchdown to tie the game.
The Red Devils responded on their next possession to retake the lead. Reasnover helped lead a 10-play, 62-yard drive that lasted nearly five minutes, as he carried the ball five times for 28-yards. The big play of the drive came on fourth and 4 at the Crown 20, when Holman found Caleb Fauver for 11-yards making it first and goal at the nine. On the next play, Reasnover was handed the ball and he raced to the end zone to make it 14-7.
Eureka found the end zone once again on their next possession. Starting from their own 23, they moved to their own 43 where they faced a third and 5. Holman then went back to pass and found Rhett Rondinelli who went the distance for the 57-yard touchdown to make it 21-7. That would be the score at the half.
In the third quarter, the Eureka College Red Devils took complete command of this contest. Starting from their own 30, Reasnover carried the ball on the first two plays of the possession, moving to the 42. On the next play, Holman found his favorite big play target once again, hitting Rondinelli for 58-yards and a score to extend the lead to 21.
The Red Devils would score again on their second possession of the half. After forcing a punt that gave them the ball at their own 44, the Eureka running back carried the ball three straight times, each time gaining four-yards. On third and 8 at the Crown 42, a pass interference call gave Eureka a fresh set of downs and they took advantage. Reasnover gained six-yards on the next play, then ran for 21-yards and the touchdown, his third of the game to make it 35-7.
Crown received the kickoff, but an illegal blocking call put them back near their own goal line, at the three. Watkins pass to McIntosh went incomplete and, on the next play, Jeffries was stuffed in the end zone for a safety to make it 37-7.
Eureka received the ball on the free kick and they would reach the end zone once again. Starting from the Storm 48, the Red Devils ran a methodical 11-play, 48-yard drive that took 6:31 off the clock. After Reasnover carried the ball on the first two plays, Nasir Phillips relieved and helped lead the team down the field. He carried the ball six times, eventually scoring from four-yards out to make it 44-7.
The Storm showed a lot of heart, mounting a rally in the fourth quarter. Just before the third quarter ended, Crown received the ball at their own 23 and began a 9-play, 77-yard drive that would eventually reach the end zone. Watkins looked great on this drive, hitting Marlon Brown for a 24-yard reception on third and six, and later converting another third down when he found McIntosh for 12-yards. On first and goal at the five, Derek Chicoate took the ball and burst outside before racing for the end zone to make it 44-13.
Crown would score again on their next possession. Watkins began the drive with a strike to McIntosh for 34-yards to the Eureka 34. Seven plays later he would find McIntosh again, this time for nine-yards and the touchdown to make it 44-20. Sadly, that would be as close as they would get.
LeAnthony Reasnover rushed for 131-yards and 3-touchdowns on 24-carries. Nick Holman passed for 183 and 2-scores only needing to complete 8 of 11 pass attempts. Rhett Rondinelli caught four of Holman’s completions for 146-yards and 2-TDs.
For Crown, Taylor Watkins completed 9 of 25 passes for 179-yards and 2-touchdowns. Derek Chicoate led the ground game with 54-yards and a score. David McIntosh had 6-receptions for 137-yards and 2-TDs. Jeremiah Jones led the defense, recording 14-tackles.
Next Saturday, the Crown College Storm will welcome Minnesota-Morris to town. Kick-off is scheduled for 6 P.M.
By Robert Pannier