For Immediate Release
Nov. 11, 2010
Eureka Welcomes MacMurray For Senior Day
EUREKA, Ill. – The Eureka College football team will close the 2010 season this Saturday, hosting Upper Midwest Athletic Conference rival MacMurray in its annual Senior Day at noon at McKinzie Field. Eureka seniors Kolton Hammond (Astoria, Ill./Astoria H.S.), Keifer McComas (Allerton, Ill./Heritage H.S.) and Dillon Reed (Illiopolis, Ill./Sangamon Valley H.S.) will be honored during a ceremony prior to kickoff.
The Red Devils (1-8, 1-5 UMAC) will try to send the senior trio out on a high note after dropping a 62-27 decision at UMAC champion Greenville last Saturday. Despite the loss, the Red Devils put together their best passing effort of the season with 388 yards through the air to maintain their claim as the top-ranked passing team in the UMAC with 246.8 yards per game.
Sophomore quarterback Sam Durley (Roanoke, Ill./Roanoke-Benson H.S.) ranks second in the league with 122 completions, 1,843 passing yards and 12 touchdowns. More than half of his completions have been to Reed and junior Wes Schmidgall (Eureka, Ill./Eureka H.S./Culver-Stockton). Each receiver ranks among the top-seven in the UMAC in receptions and receiving yards. Schmidgall needs 153 receiving yards on Saturday to record his second consecutive 1,000-yard season.
MacMurray (0-9, 0-6 UMAC) is winless this season and comes to town on Saturday in search of its first-ever UMAC win and its first win of any kind since a 68-62 triumph over Crown on Oct. 30, 2009. Freshman Justin McAfee and sophomore Marcus Kay have split time at quarterback this season, combining to give the Highlanders the fourth-ranked passing offense in the UMAC at 203.1 yards per game.
While MacMurray allows 437.1 yards per game to rank eighth among UMAC teams in total defense, the Highlanders’ pass defense will provide a challenge for the Red Devils after allowing an average of just 183.4 yards through the first nine contests. A defeat on Saturday would send the Highlanders to their third winless season in the last four years.
Defensively, Saturday’s game will feature the top-two tacklers in the UMAC. MacMurray senior linebacker Kelsey Mankins made 20 tackles last Saturday against Westminster to pass Eureka junior safety Mike Minehan (Washington, Ill./Washington H.S./McKendree) for the league lead. Mankins has 114 tackles to hold a small advantage over Minehan’s 111 stops. Both players rank among the top-10 in total tackles in all of Division III.
The Highlanders have been a fixture on the Eureka football schedule for nearly three decades, as the two squads have met on the gridiron every year since 1985. MacMurray owns a 17-8 advantage in the all-time series, but the Red Devils have won two of the last three contests. Eureka will try to beat MacMurray at McKinzie Field on Saturday for the first time since Nov. 12, 1994 to end a seven-game home losing streak in the series. The Red Devils and Highlanders formerly played as league rivals in the Illini-Badger Football Conference and the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference before joining the UMAC as associate football members prior to the 2009 season.
The Red Devils are shooting for their first Senior Day victory since a 53-20 win over Concordia (Ill.) on Nov. 6, 1999. A victory would also give Eureka its first single-season home record of .500 or better since posting a 3-2 record at McKinzie Field during the 1997 season.
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