For Immediate Release
Sept. 11, 2010
Red Devils Stumble at St. Scholastica, 38-21
DULUTH, Minn. – Eureka College junior tight end Alex Hess (Washington, Ill./Washington H.S.) ran for a pair of touchdowns in the first of quarter of Saturday’s game at St. Scholastica, but the Saints forced seven Eureka turnovers and scored 28 unanswered points on their way to a 38-21 win over the Red Devils at Malosky Stadium.
The Red Devils (0-2) needed just 69 seconds to force St. Scholastica (2-0) to go three-and-out on the first series of the game. Eureka sophomore quarterback Sam Durley (Roanoke, Ill./Roanoke-Benson H.S.) found Hess on the first play of the ensuing possession with a 21-yard completion, igniting a five-play, 74-yard touchdown drive that was capped by a 2-yard run by Hess for a 7-0 lead.
The hosts responded quickly, tying the game less than three minutes later when quarterback Alex Thirry hooked up with Travis Nehowig for a 31-yard score to tie the game at 7-7.
Eureka and St. Scholastica traded interceptions over the next three possessions before the Saints settled in and took their first lead of the game. Cole Karsky, who made the first field goal in school history in last week’s victory over Lawrence (Wis.), was successful again when his 23-yard attempt was good for a 10-7 St. Scholastica lead with 1:16 left in the first quarter.
The Red Devils took their second lead of the game on their next trip down the field, taking six plays to drive 49 yards to set up a 5-yard touchdown plunge by Hess and a 14-10 lead with only 28 seconds left in the first quarter. Durley completed three passes on the drive, all of which went for at least 10 yards.
After the Eureka defense forced punts on back-to-back St. Scholastica possessions, the Red Devils stretched their lead to two scores when junior quarterback Jordan Krone (Minonk, Ill./Fieldcrest H.S./Greenville) threw a 67-yard touchdown pass to junior wideout Wes Schmidgall (Eureka, Ill./Eureka H.S./Culver-Stockton) for a 21-10 lead with 7:14 left before intermission. Schmidgall made the catch on a short route in traffic before turning and outrunning the Saints’ defense to the end zone for his first touchdown of the season and 17th touchdown reception as a Red Devil.
Eureka appeared poised to take an 11-point lead into intermission after a short punt with less than a minute remaining, but the Saints took advantage of the solid field position and scored their second touchdown of the game when Jake Olson hit Keegan O’Neill with a 43-yard touchdown strike with just four seconds left in the half. The Red Devils led 21-17 at halftime.
St. Scholastica forced a three-and-out on the first Eureka possession of the second half and needed only two plays to regain the lead. Olson found O’Neill again, this time with a 57-yard throw, for a 24-21 lead with 12:00 left in the third quarter.
The Saints would never look back, pitching a shutout in the second half on their way to the win. In the second half, the Red Devils punted twice, lost two fumbles and threw a pair of interceptions as St. Scholastica built a three-possession lead. Nehowig ran for a score for the Saints in the third quarter and Olson found Jonny Bennett with a 28-yard touchdown throw on the first possession of the fourth quarter to end the scoring.
Durley was 14-for-25 for a career-high 190 yard in his second straight start. Krone made a touchdown throw for the second consecutive game. Schmidgall led the Red Devils with 100 receiving yards, while Hess and senior Dillon Reed (Illiopolis, Ill./Sangamon Valley H.S.) each made a game-high six catches.
Junior strong safety Mike Minehan (Washington, Ill./Washington H.S./McKendree) made 13 tackles for the second straight week and recorded a solo sack to lead the defense. Sophomore Darin Meierhofer (Minonk, Ill./Fieldcrest H.S.) intercepted a pass in the first quarter.
The Red Devils will prepare for another lengthy road trip next Saturday, traveling north to face Wisconsin-Stout in Menomonie, Wis. The Red Devils and Blue Devils will kick off at 2 p.m. Wisconsin-Stout beat Eureka last season, 40-6, in the first meeting between the two schools.
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