For Immediate Release
Football -- Sept. 22, 2011
Series History: First Meeting
SETTING THE STAGE
The Eureka College football team will take its farthest western road trip in program history when the Red Devils travel to Aberdeen, S.D. on Saturday for a 7 p.m. kickoff against the Presentation Saints at Swisher Field. The contest marks the first-ever meeting between the Red Devils and Saints.
Eureka will carry a 1-1 overall record and a 1-0 UMAC mark into Saturday’s contest at Presentation.
The Red Devils beat Crown last Saturday at McKinzie Field, 23-6, to win their conference opener for the first time since 2005. The effort by the Eureka defense marked the fewest points allowed since 2002 and the fewest yards allowed (219) since 2005.
Eureka’s defense currently leads the 10-team UMAC in first downs allowed (13.5 per game) and opponents’ 3rd down conversation rate (25%).
Offensively, the Red Devils rank third in the UMAC in passing offense (221 yards per game).
The 2011 campaign marks the first season of football at Presentation, a Catholic-Christian college of approximately 720 students founded in 1951 in Aberdeen, S.D.
The Saints are 0-2 overall in their inaugural season. They dropped the first game in program history on Sept. 3, a 39-13 setback against Trinity Bible in Aberdeen.
Presentation traveled to St. Paul, Minn. last Saturday to play its first-ever UMAC game, falling 55-0 to host Northwestern (Minn.).
The Saints rank at or near the bottom of most UMAC statistical rankings and have been plagued by 12 turnovers through their first two games. Only Martin Luther (-14) has a worse turnover margin among UMAC teams than Presentation (-9).
The Saints were picked to finish last in the UMAC according to a preseason coaches poll conducted last month.
THE HEAD COACHES
Eureka College athletics Hall of Famer Kurt Barth is currently in his third season as the head coach of the Red Devils in 2011.
Since being hired as the 12th head coach in program history in December 2008, Barth has rejuvenated the EC football program and installed one of the most prolific passing offenses in the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference and all of NCAA Division III.
Barth has never coached a game against Presentation, but is 3-2 when coaching the Red Devils against a first-time opponent.
Former NCAA Division II Southwest Minnesota State assistant head coach Andy Carr is in his first season as head coach of the Saints.
Carr coached for two seasons at SMSU, serving as the Mustangs’ run-game coordinator, offensive line coach and recruiting coordinator. He also owns collegiate coaching experience as an assistant at Northern State (2000-02) and St. Anslem (2006-07).
Carr earned a B.A. in Professional Studies & Elementary Education from Winona State University in 2000. He was a four-year member of the Winona State football team, earning all-conference honors three times. He was a member of two Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference championship teams and served as team captain in 1999. In 2005, he was selected to the Winona State University All-Century football team.
He also earned an M.S. in Education, Teaching and Learning from Northern State University in 2002.
THE ALL-TIME SERIES
With Presentation starting its football program in 2011, the Red Devils and Saints have never met in football before.
GOING FOR 2-0 IN THE LEAGUE...
After Eureka won its UMAC opener versus Crown last Saturday, the Red Devils can move to 2-0 for the first time in three tries as a member of UMAC with a win in Aberdeen on Saturday.
The victory over Crown was the Red Devils’ first triumph in a conference opener since taking a 32-13 decision from Concordia (Ill.) in the 2005 Illini-Badger Football Conference opener. The Red Devils fell to 1-1 in the IBFC one week later with a 64-0 loss at Lakeland.
This Saturday, the Red Devils will be trying for their first 2-0 start in conference play since 1994. That year, Eureka started the IBFC schedule with five straight wins before closing the league slate with a 7-1 mark.
...AND GOING FOR 2-1 OVERALL
With a win on Saturday at Presentation, Eureka can move to 2-1 overall for the second time in three years under head coach Kurt Barth.
The Red Devils have started 2-1 or better 29 times in school history, but have only accomplished the feat twice (2004, 2009) since the turn of the century.
“GO WEST, YOUNG MAN”
When the Red Devils hop on the bus Friday morning and depart for Aberdeen, they will be embarking on the farthest western road trip in the 108-year history of Eureka College football.
Historically, Eureka has traveled west beyond the Illinois state border to play 27 games in the state of Iowa, 22 games in Missouri and five games in Minnesota, but this weekend’s matchup with Presentation marks the Red Devils’ first trek to South Dakota.
Saturday’s game against the Saints will replace Eureka’s trips to Lamoni, Iowa for games against Graceland in 1960 and 1977 as the farthest western road trip in program history.
PUTTING IN THE MILES
While Saturday’s trip to Presentation is the farthest west the Red Devils have ever traveled, it will narrowly miss becoming the longest road trip a Eureka football team has ever taken.
According to the mileage calculator at RandMcNally.com, Eureka’s 755-mile road trip to play then-SLIAC foe LaGrange in LaGrange, Ga. on Nov. 1, 2008 is the longest football trip in school history. Senior cornerback Rosney Beverly was the only current Red Devil to play in that game.
This weekend’s trip to South Dakota is listed as a 746-mile journey.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Senior free safety Mike Minehan was named the UMAC Defensive Player of the Week and junior punter Jordan Jefferson was chosen as the league’s Special Teams Player of the Week, the conference office announced last Tuesday afternoon. The duo played a large role in Eureka’s 23-6 UMAC win over Crown last Saturday.
Minehan made 15 total tackles, 1.0 tackle for loss and a broke up a pass. The weekly UMAC award is his third after previously earning the honor on Sept. 28, 2010 and Oct. 19, 2010. Minehan, who leads all UMAC players with 14.0 tackles per game, is the active Eureka leader with 331 career tackles.
The weekly honor from the conference is the first of Jefferson’s career, as his punting gave the Red Devils a significant edge in the field position battle last Saturday. He averaged 41.2 yards on six punts versus the Storm, putting two of his punts inside the 20-yard line. His 56-yard punt midway through the fourth quarter was his longest of the season and his 47-yarder pinned Crown at its own 2-yard line in the final minute of the game.
ANOTHER BIG DAY FOR DAWSON
After making only four catches for 60 yards during his first two seasons in the Eureka football program, junior wideout Matt Dawson is emerging as one of the Red Devils’ top receiving threats through the first two games of his junior season.
The 5-foot-10 Goodfield native set career-highs for the second consecutive game with five catches for 64 yards. Included in the performance was an outstanding 39-yard catch-and-run through traffic midway through the second quarter, the longest reception of his career.
Through the first two games of 2011, Dawson leads the Red Devils and ranks fifth among UMAC players with nine receptions.
A FIRST FOR STEVENSON
Sophomore defensive end Matt Stevenson was in the right place at the right time for his first career interception last Saturday versus Crown.
After the Red Devils had taken their first lead of the game (13-6) early in the second quarter, Crown responded by taking its next six plays from scrimmage to drive inside Eureka’s 30-yard line and threaten to tie the game or regain the lead.
On fourth down at Eureka’s 28-yard line, the first-year starter from Minonk dropped into coverage and stepped in front of an errant throw from Crown quarterback Wes Safford to end what turned out to be Crown’s last real scoring threat of the afternoon at the 17-yard line.
‘30’ IS THE MAGIC NUMBER
While the Red Devils have put up large point totals as the UMAC’s top passing offense since Kurt Barth’s arrival in 2009, last Saturday’s defensive awakening could prove large for Eureka’s future success.
Eureka forced two turnovers, didn’t allow Crown to enter the red zone after its first drive of the game and limited the Storm to just 219 yards of total offense on 65 plays.
The Red Devils held Crown to six points for the game, the sixth time since the beginning of the 2009 season Eureka has held its opponent under 30 points. In those previous six outings, the Red Devils have posted a 5-1 record. The lone loss in that group of games was a 20-13 loss to Greenville on Oct. 3, 2009.
Video of Saturday’s game will be broadcast live via the internet at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/pcsaints-athletics.
The game will be broadcast locally in Aberdeen on the radio on KABD-FM 107.7. That audio broadcast will also be available to be streamed on the internet at dakotabroadcasting.com.
As always, the very best source for updated information on Eureka College athletics is the official Eureka athletics website, www.eureka.edu/athletics.
Eureka fans may also receive instant updates by following the Red Devils on Twitter. Visit the official Eureka College athletics Twitter page at twitter.com/eurekareddevils to receive up-to-the-second “tweets” on Eureka athletics and use the hashtag #ecreddevils to join the conversation.
Eureka College seniors Alex Hess, Mike Minehan and Wes Schmidgall have each been selected to the D3PRODAY.com Preseason All-America Third Team, according to an announcement from the website in late August.
D3PRODAY.com is the nation’s first and only Division III Pro Day and Combine for seniors after the regular season. D3PRODAY.com Preseason All-Americans represent the board’s best seniors in Division III. The selection board is made up of pro scouts, NFL and CFL agents and former NFL coaches and players.
For More Information Contact: