Knights Rout Braves, Win Region 5 Title

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RUSSELL, Pa. – Owen Trumbull threw for 252 yards and six touchdowns in the first half and Eisenhower clinched the Region 5 title with a 61-8 win over visiting Iroquois Friday.

(Photo by Brian Hagberg. Eisenhower’s Cael Black and Owen Trumbull display their shirts for winning Jim Kelly Player of the Game powered by the Allegheny Grille of Foxburg honors following a win over Iroquois Friday, Oct. 9, 2020. Black was the Week 1 winner, while Trumbull took home Week 3 honors, and Week 5 honors with a 252-yard, six touchdown performance.)

The win moves Eisenhower to 5-0 on the year and puts the Knights in complete control of their playoff destiny. A win at Seneca next week would secure the No. 1 seed in the District 10 Class 1A playoffs, and homefield advantage.

Trumbull connected on his first nine passes, including a 78-yard strike to Caleb Robinault, and six of his 10 completions went for touchdowns. All told, the Knights scored 61 points and totaled 500 yards on just 31 offensive plays.

The question about whether the Knights could lock up the region title was put to rest rather quickly.

After forcing an Iroquois (3-2) punt on the opening possession, Eisenhower needed just three plays to find the end zone.

A pair of Cael Black runs move the Knights from their own 46 to the Iroquois 20. Trumbull connected with Zane Alexander on a crossing pattern and Alexander turned the corner and raced in for the 7-0 lead.

The Eisenhower defense forced a 3-and-out and a 62-yard Trumbull run gave Eisenhower a first down on the 11. Black took a pitch around the left side and into the end zone to make it 14-0 with four minutes to go in the first quarter.

(Photo courtesy Steve Younger. Eisenhower’s Owen Trumbull runs away from a pair of Iroquois defenders during their game at Eisenhower High School, Friday, Oct. 9, 2020. Trumbull had 82 rushing yards to go along with his 252 passing yards and six touchdowns to earn Jim Kelly Player of the Game powered by the Allegheny Grille of Foxburg honors.)

The Knights recovered a fumble on the ensuing kickoff and two plays later Black took a dump off from Trumbull 46 yards for a touchdown.

Iroquois took the next possession all the way down to the Eisenhower 22, but turned the ball over on downs.

On the next play, Robinault made a double-move and Trumbull put the ball right in Robinault’s hands down the sideline for a 78-yard touchdown and a 27-0 lead after one quarter.

Trumbull appeared to have a 16-yard touchdown run, but was ruled just short. His pass on the next play was tipped at the line of scrimmage, but fell into Trevor Welker’s waiting arms for a touchdown.

The Knights forced another 3-and-out and Antonio Rodriguez’ punt to an Eisenhower bounce to set the Knights up on the Iroquois 37. A quick pass to Dillon Benson, plus a personal foul penalty after the play, moved the Knights to the 12. Two plays later, Trumbull found Robinault streaking across the back of the end zone for his second touchdown grab of the game.

With a 41-0 lead, Eisenhower got the ball back with just under 1:30 to go in the half. Black had a 22-yard run to get the ball down to the Iroquois 39. On third down, Trumbull fired to Benson in the end zone, Benson made a diving grab to give the Knights a 47-0 halftime advantage.

Benji Bauer and Steven Reilly had touchdown runs in the second half of 15 and 11 yards, respectively, to close out the Eisenhower scoring.

Iroquois quarterback Ethan Klinzing plunged in from the 1, then ran in the conversion, with 11 seconds left to spoil the Eisenhower shutout.

Until the Braves’ final drive, the Knights had held them to just 81 yards of offense. Iroquois went 85 yards on its final possession.

Black finished with 70 yards and a score on five carries. Trumbull had 82 rushing yards. Benson had four catches for 91 yards and a touchdown and Robinault had two grabs for 82 yards and two scores. As a team, Eisenhower ran the ball 16 times for 245 yards.

The Braves had 45 runs for 166 yards. Klinzing was 0-8 passing for the game. Dante Carr and Michael Hoopsick each had 15 carries with Carr gaining 55 yards and Hoopsick 52. Antonio Rodriguez had 14 totes for 41 yards.

The Knights travel to Seneca next week.