For Immediate Release
Oct. 8, 2010
Eureka Set to Return To Action Saturday at Westminster
EUREKA, Ill. – The Eureka College football team will be back in action after its longest in-season layoff in more than five years when the Red Devils take on Westminster in an Upper Midwest Athletic Conference Game Saturday afternoon at Priest Field in Fulton, Mo. at 1 p.m. The Red Devils are 0-2 all-time against the Blue Jays, dropping a 42-25 decision in Fulton in 2008 and falling 35-34 in last season’s homecoming game at McKinzie Field.
Eureka, who hasn’t played since a Sept. 25 loss to Minnesota-Morris at McKinzie Field, will be looking for its first victory of the season and its first-ever victory against Westminster. The Blue Jays are 2-2 this season and were also idle last week after dropping a 36-6 decision at Washington (Mo.) on Sept. 25. The Westminster defense is currently yielding 21.8 points and 279.8 yards per game, the lowest averages among the nine UMAC teams. In the Blue Jays’ lone UMAC game this season, Westminster couldn’t overcome a 20-point fourth quarter deficit in a 20-14 loss at Minnesota-Morris on Sept. 11.
Westminster previously played football in the UMAC from 2002-2007, winning back-to-back league titles in 2003 and 2004. The Blue Jays left the UMAC when the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference revived football competition in 2008, but returned to the UMAC last fall with previous SLIAC foes Eureka, Greenville and MacMurray when the SLIAC dropped football again after the 2008 season.
While Eureka’s individual statistics have not changed since the Sept. 25 homecoming game, a week away from the gridiron has allowed junior safety Mike Minehan (Washington, Ill./Washington H.S./McKendree) to climb even higher in the national rankings of one defensive category. Minehan made 24 tackles against Minnesota-Morris to earn UMAC Defensive Player of the Week honors on Sept. 28 and bump his season average to 15.75 tackles per game. As of last week, that figure ranked fourth in all of Division III. Following last weekend’s slate of Division III games, Minehan’s average has jumped up to rank second in the nation behind Kyle McGivney of Luther (Iowa), who averages 20.75 tackles per game.
SOCCER: When the Eureka-Westminster football game concludes Saturday afternoon, the SLIAC and UMAC rivalry will shift to the soccer pitch in Fulton where the Blue Jays will host Eureka in a soccer doubleheader starting with the women’s game at 5 p.m. at Westminster Field. The Eureka women’s team is hoping to avenge a 3-2 defeat against the Blue Jays from last season at Traister Field, a game in which Westminster scored the game-winner with less than 10 minutes remaining. The men’s game is slated to begin at 7 p.m. The Red Devils are 0-3-0 all-time against Westminster and dropped their lone previous match in Fulton, a 4-3 decision on Oct. 26, 2008.
VOLLEYBALL: The Eureka volleyball team will try to start another SLIAC win streak on Saturday when the Red Devils play back-to-back league matches in Elsah, Ill. Eureka will play Principia at 11 a.m. before squaring off against Greenville at 1:30 p.m. Eureka had its school-record four-match SLIAC win streak snapped in a five-set loss to Fontbonne last Saturday. The upcoming match against Principia marks Eureka’s first meeting with the Panthers this season. Eureka, who dropped five straight contests to Principia after joining the SLIAC in 2007, swept the season series from the Panthers in 2009. The Red Devils are 0-1 against Greenville this season after falling in three sets to the Panthers at the Reagan Center on Sept. 14.
For More Information Contact: