RUSSELL, Pa. – Through four games this season, the Eisenhower football team has run roughshod over its opponents. If the Knights are able to do it for a fifth time tonight, they’ll secure the Region 5 championship.
(Photo courtesy Steve Younger. Eisenhower running back Cael Black runs through a hole during a game at Union City, Friday, Oct. 2, 2020. If Black and the Knights defeat Iroquois tonight, they’ll win the Region 5 title.)
Eisenhower returns home for a matchup with second-place Iroquois. The Braves are the lone team standing between the Knights and an outright Region 5 title.
Eisenhower, at 4-0, leads the region. Iroquois, at 3-1, still has a chance to win the title if the Braves win out and the Knights lose out. The two could also share the title if Iroquois wins its final two games and Eisenhower defeats Seneca next week.
None of those scenarios matter if the Knights come away with a win over the Braves.
The teams met at Iroquois in Week 2 and Eisenhower came out firing on all cylinders. Four first half turnovers helped the Knights to a 27-0 first quarter advantage, on their way to a 55-6 victory.
Eisenhower’s defense has been stifling all season. The Knights have allowed just 12 points through four games and have racked up 10.5 sacks and 45.5 tackles for loss. Jared Beers leads the way with 3.5 sacks and 9.5 TFL, while Cael Black has a pair of sacks and eight TFL. Benji Bauer holds the team lead in tackles with 36, but Gannon Jaquay is right behind at 35. Beers and Colby Hagg have 25 tackles each.
The Braves are a run-heavy team, as quarterback Ethan Klinzing has attempted just eight passes on the year (five completions for 102 yards, one touchdown and one interception).
The Iroquois offense runs primarily through Michael Hoopsick. He leads the team with 48 carries for 542 yards and seven touchdowns. Dante Carr has 40 rushes for 423 yards and six touchdowns and Antonio Rodriguez has 39 totes for 410 yards and six scores.
In their first meeting, Carr did the most damage with 11 carries for 103 yards and the lone Iroquois touchdown. The Knights held Hoopsick and Rodriguez to just 38 yards on 18 carries, combined.
To pull off the upset, Iroquois will have to find a way to slow the high-powered, and highly-balanced, Eisenhower offensive attack.
Quarterback Owen Trumbull again finds himself near the top of the District 10 leaderboard, as he’s in the top-5 in both yards (679) and touchdowns (9). His top target, Dillon Benson, is also among the D-10 leaders. Benson is fourth in yards (306), fourth in yards per catch (21.8), among those with more than 10 receptions, tied for seventh in receptions (14) and tied for fourth in touchdowns (4).
Cael Black leads the Knights ground game with 44 carries for 398 yards and eight touchdowns. Trumbull has run the ball 17 times for 149 yards and three scores. Bauer also has 17 carries for 125 yards and a score.
Zane Alexander has nine receptions for 145 yards and two touchdowns, plus three carries for 61 yards and two touchdowns. Caleb Robinault has seven receptions for 94 yards and three touchdowns.
Kickoff for tonight’s contest is set for 7 p.m. and the game will be broadcast live at D9and10Sports.