TITUSVILLE, Pa. – Eisenhower played tough against the two-time defending District 10 champions, but in the end, Reynolds made plays in the most critical moments to come away with a 28-14 win in the D10 1A championship on Saturday.
Haydin McLaughlin came up with a pair of big plays defensively, then made another offensively as the Raiders claimed their third straight title.
Rewatch the game:
With time running out in the first half and Eisenhower (11-1) leading 14-6, the Knights had a 3rd-and-16 from their own 10. Shawn Pascuzzi tried to hit Garrett Jensen on a corner route. Pascuzzi’s pass was a bit high, and McLaughlin was able to get over the top of Jensen for an interception.
Jalen Wagner took the handoff on the next play, found the edge, and raced down the sideline for a 39-yard touchdown. Brayden McCloskey bulled his way in for the conversion to tie it at 14-14.
Then, in the third quarter, the Knights had taken the ball to the Raiders’ (11-1) 20 but were facing a 4th-and-12. Pascuzzi rolled to his right and threw a jump ball toward Kris Bunk. McLaughlin broke up the pass to force the turnover on downs.
The ensuing Reynolds possession bled into the fourth quarter. On the first play of the quarter, Wagner got to the sideline and outran the defense for a 57-yard touchdown to give Reynolds its first lead of the game.
McLaughlin put the finishing touches on the win by capping a 97-yard drive with a 31-yard touchdown reception on a fourth-down flea flicker.
Neither team was able to get much going offensively to start the game as they played to a scoreless first quarter.
Tucker Lindell opened the scoring on the second play of the second quarter with a 13-yard run to give Eisenhower a 7-0 lead.
Lindell TD run:
A 33-yard Wagner run set up Reynolds’ first touchdown. Wagner’s run got the ball down to the two, and McCloskey punched it in from there.
Eisenhower wasted little time responding as Benji Bauer raced 65 yards on the first play from scrimmage of the ensuing possession to give the Knights the 14-6 advantage.
Bauer 65-yard run:
Bauer finished with 14 carries for 101 yards and a touchdown. Keegan Eckstrom had five carries for 24 yards and Lindell finished with two totes for 14 yards and a score. Pascuzzi was just 2-9 through the air for four yards with an interception.
Wagner had 36 carries for 259 yards and two touchdowns. McCloskey was 4-7 for 88 yards and a TD. McLaughlin had all four catches.
Reynolds will move on to the PIAA quarterfinals and a matchup with District 9 champion Port Allegany at a date, time, and location to be announced.