RUSSELL, Pa. – The goals at the beginning of the season were clear. Win every game, make the playoffs and win a District 10 title.
(Photo courtesy Steve Younger. Eisenhower running back Cael Black and the Knights will try to wrap up the top seed in the District 10 Class 1A playoffs with a win at Seneca Saturday.)
Through five games, the Eisenhower Knights are on the verge of checking off goal No. 1. All they have to do is get by Seneca, a team they defeated 56-6 in Week 3.
This week is all about seeding for the Knights. The Region 5 champions have already secured a District 10 Class 1A playoff spot, but a second win against a Class 2A team would give them a points advantage should Reynolds also finish the year undefeated.
The top seed would secure Eisenhower home field advantage throughout the D-10 playoffs.
To pull a massive upset, the Bobcats (0-5) will have to find a way to put points on the board against a stout Knights defense. Eisenhower has allowed just 20 points all season.
The Knights have terrorized opposing backfields to the tune of 10.5 sacks and 49.5 tackles for loss. Jared Beers leads the way with 3.5 sacks and 10 TFL. Gannon Jaquay is the team’s leading tackler with 43, while Benji Bauer has 38 and Colby Hagg 29.
Seneca is fairly balanced offensively. Quarterback Colin Libra is 30-72 for 353 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions on the year. He’s also run the ball 33 times for 122 yards and two scores.
Anthony Buscemi leads a trio of receivers with 11 receptions for 108 yards and a score. Nolan Seaberry (six receptions, 107 yards) and Ryan Miller (seven receptions, 100 yards, one TD) have been dependable options out of the backfield.
Miller leads the team with 45 carries for 323 yards and five scores. Seaberry has 62 totes for 234 yards and three touchdowns.
Finding a way to slow Eisenhower’s high-powered offense might prove every bit as difficult as scoring on the defense. The Knights are averaging more than 53 points per game.
Quarterback Owen Trumbull has been stellar guiding the offense. He’s 49-74 for 931 yards with 15 touchdowns and two interceptions. Trumbull has been almost as effective running the ball with 18 carries for 247 yards and three scores. He’s also coming off a 330-yard, six touchdown performance (all in the first half) that earned him District 10 Jim Kelly Player of the Week powered by the Allegheny Grille of Foxburg honors.
Dillon Benson leads the receiving corps with 19 catches for 397 yards and five touchdowns. Zane Alexander has 11 receptions for 172 yards and three scores and Caleb Robinault has nine grabs for 181 yards and five touchdowns. Cael Black has six catches for 125 yards and a score out of the backfield.
Black is the team’s leading rusher with 49 carries for 468 yards and nine touchdowns. Bauer has taken advantage of seeing extensive time late in games with 20 rushes for 172 yards and a pair of scores.
It will be a different feel as kickoff from Diffenbach Field at Seneca is set for 3 p.m. Saturday. The game will be aired on D9and10Sports TV.