For Immediate Release
Nov. 13, 2010
Eureka Rolls Past MacMurray on Senior Day, 42-21
EUREKA, Ill. – Eureka College freshman linebacker Jake Carls (El Paso, Ill./El Paso-Gridley H.S.) made a team-high 13 tackles and picked off a pair of MacMurray passes, leading the Red Devils to their first Senior Day victory in more than a decade in a 42-21 Upper Midwest Athletic Conference triumph over the Highlanders, Saturday afternoon at McKinzie Field.
MacMurray (0-10, 0-7 UMAC) struck first on its second series of the game. After an interception in the end zone by freshman Daylon Henderson ended Eureka’s drive, the Highlanders marched 80 yards on just seven plays for a 7-0 lead. Freshman quarterback Justin McAfee completed three passes of 13 yards or more on the drive, including a 13-yard touchdown throw to freshman Da’Marcus Austin to put the Highlanders on the board.
The Red Devils (2-8, 2-5 UMAC) answered quickly, needing just seven plays that covered three-minutes, 17-seconds to force a 7-7 tie. Sophomore quarterback Sam Durley (Roanoke, Ill./Roanoke-Benson H.S.) competed back-to-back passes to junior tight end Alex Hess (Washington, Ill./Washington H.S.), including a 26-yard completion to set up first-and-goal, before freshman running back Corey Dawson (Farmington, Ill./Farmington H.S.) punched in a 7-yard touchdown run with 3:44 left in the first quarter.
Eureka freshman defensive back Shane Loizon (Frankfort, Ill./Lincoln-Way East H.S.) recorded the first of Eureka’s four interceptions on MacMurray’s first drive of the second quarter, setting up Eureka’s second touchdown drive of the game. Durley had a pair of 17-yard completions to senior wideout Dillon Reed (Illiopolis, Ill./Sangamon Valley H.S.) during the 11-play drive before finishing the scoring drive himself with a 1-yard quarterback sneak for a 14-7 lead with 8:53 left in the second quarter.
Carls had his first interception of the day on the next MacMurray trip, but the Red Devils gave the ball back on a lost fumble just five plays later at their own 33-yard line. The short field allowed the Highlanders to tie the game with 2:40 left in the half. Facing second-and-goal at the Eureka 4-yard line, McAfee fumbled as he pushed toward the goal line, but the freshman quarterback fell on the loose ball in the end zone for a touchdown to force a 14-14 tie.
With all three timeouts remaining in the final 2-minutes, 32-seconds of the half, Eureka squeezed 10 plays into span of 129 seconds for their third touchdown of the game. Freshman quarterback Dylan Westlake (Astoria, Ill./Astoria H.S.), who entered the game after Durley left with an injury, threw his first career touchdown pass when he found junior receiver Wes Schimdgall (Eureka, Ill./Eureka H.S./Culver-Stockton) in the back of the end zone with an 11-yard catch-and-throw. The score gave Eureka a 21-14 advantage with just 23 seconds left in the half.
The Red Devils nearly stretched their lead to two scores on the final play of the half when Carls intercepted McAfee for the second time at the Eureka 43-yard line. Carls covered 44 yards on a wild return across the field before the Highlanders made a touchdown-saving tackle at their own 13-yard line. Eureka carried the 21-14 lead into intermission.
On the opening series of the second half, the Eureka defense needed just three plays to intercept McAfee for the fourth time. McAfee’s pass was dropped and eventually batted into the air, allowing sophomore strong safety Darin Meierhofer (Minonk, Ill./Fieldcrest H.S.) to swoop in for his fourth career interception at the MacMurray 30-yard line.
Sophomore running back Ethan Lord (Dupo, Ill./Dupo H.S./Iowa Wesleyan) carried four times for 19 yards on the ensuing possession before Hess squeezed into the end zone from the 1-yard line on fourth-and-goal to push the Red Devils in front, 28-14, with 9:18 left in the third quarter.
The Red Devils promptly forced a turnover on downs on their next defensive opportunity to set the stage for another scoring drive by the Eureka offense. Westlake found Hess for a 24-yard completion and Dawson carried three times for 26 yards, including a 13-yard touchdown run, to stretch the hosts’ lead to 35-14 with 6:35 left in the third.
Eureka punted only three times during the game and wasn’t forced to punt for the first time until early in the fourth quarter. Sophomore Jordan Jefferson (Normal, Ill./Normal West H.S.) answered that call with a career-long 62 yard punt. His next punt in the fourth quarter traveled 44 yards before being down at the MacMurray 2-yard line.
With the Highlanders pinned at their own 2-yard line, the Eureka defense scored its first touchdown of the season when it forced a fumble in the end zone that was recovered by freshman defensive back Ben Mills (Manito, Ill./Pekin H.S.). MacMurray senior wideout Marc Randle lost the handle on the ball in the end zone after catching a pass on a bubble screen, allowing the Red Devils to take a 42-14 lead.
MacMurray completed the day’s scoring when McAfee found Randle for a 2-yard touchdown pass with 6:27 left in the contest.
The Eureka offense turned in its most balanced effort of the season, running for 141 yards and picking up 208 yards through the air. Dawson led a group of six Eureka players with 55 yards on 11 carries. Hess made five catches for a team-high 70 yards, while Reed also grabbed five balls for 59 yards in his final collegiate game. Senior wide receiver Keifer McComas (Allerton, Ill./Heritage H.S.) had two receptions for 29 yards in his last game. Kolton Hammond (Astoria, Ill./Astoria H.S.) also played his final collegiate game on Saturday, earning a starting assignment on the offensive line for the 10th time this season.
Carls led the Eureka defense with 13 stops, followed closely by junior free safety Mike Minehan (Washington, Ill./Washington H.S./McKendree with 10 tackles. Minehan also returned a pair of kickoffs for a total of 29 yards.
Randle matched a UMAC individual season-high with 13 catches for 103 yards and the fourth quarter touchdown. McAfee threw a career-high 43 times and matched a career-best with 24 completions. He finished the day with 217 yards through the air and an additional 24 yards on the ground on 12 carries. Senior linebacker Tobias Alaribe made a game-high 15 tackles, including seven solo stops.
The win gave the Red Devils their first Senior Day victory since a 53-20 victory over Concordia (Ill.) on Nov. 6, 1999. Eureka’s win was also its first at home over MacMurray since Nov. 12, 1994, snapping a seven-game home losing streak to the Highlanders. The win gave Eureka a 2-2 home record in 2010, the first time the Red Devils have had a home record of .500 or better since 1994.
The Red Devils finished the season with a 2-8 overall record and a 2-5 mark in league play.
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