GUYS MILLS, Pa. – Eisenhower’s offensive game plan is typically straightforward. A heavy dose of the running game with a few passes sprinkled in to keep defenses honest.
Friday night, Knights’ head coach Jim Penley dipped into his bag of tricks and pulled out a perfect one. A fake field goal late in the third quarter gave Eisenhower a lead it wouldn’t relinquish in a 15-7 win over the Tigers.
The Knights (6-2 overall, 5-2 Region 2), trailing 7-3, were facing a fourth down at the Tigers’ (4-4, 3-3) 26 with 1:35 left in the third. Jake Venman came out, ostensibly to attempt his second field goal of the game, but on the snap, Wyatt Lookenhouse took the ball and threw to Camron Jakubczak in the end zone to give Eisenhower a 9-7 advantage.
Video courtesy Jared Beers
“What a great game, super proud of our kids,” Penley said. “That was playoff atmosphere football. They never gave up. Our young guys grew up a lot tonight.”
Lookenhouse made a similar play in last week’s win over Iroquois when he threw a 2-point conversion pass to Kris Bunk after a bad snap on a PAT.
Shawn Pascuzzi’s 2-yard TD run in the fourth quarter made it a one-touchdown game.
Eisenhower’s defense, as it has most of the season, stepped up when needed as Cole Kellogg’s interception with just under two minutes to play sealed the win.
“The linebackers just played a terrific game,” Penley said. “(Gannon) Jaquay, (Caleb) Penley) and (Tucker) Lindell each had a great game. Our secondary, without a senior back there, really played big tonight.”
Venman’s 34-yard field goal in the second quarter gave Eisenhower a 3-0 lead, but Maplewood answered with a 2-yard Ben Giliberto run on fourth-and-goal to take a 7-3 lead at halftime.
Benji Bauer led the Knights rushing attack with 18 carries for 68 yards. Steven Reilly had five attempts for 29 yards.
Pascuzzi and Lookenhouse combined to go 3-10 passing for 38 yards. Lookenhouse caught a pass for 14 yards, and his toss to Jakubczak on the fake field goal went for 26 yards.
The win further solidified Eisenhower’s playoff position as the Knights are likely to be the No. 2 seed in the District 10 Class 1A playoffs.
Eisenhower’s first-round opponent, as well as the time and location of the game, will be announced at a later date.
*Steve Younger contributed to this report