EUREKA – Le'Anthony Reasnover (Momence, Ill./Momence H.S.) scored all five touchdowns, Antonio Greenwood (Momence, Ill./Momence H.S.) recorded a sack and an interception and the Eureka College football team opened the season 3-0 for the first time since 1991 in a 34-12 victory over Finlandia as part of the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference-Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Challenge Series, Saturday afternoon at McKinzie Field.
Reasnover produced 258 all-purpose yards, including 178 yards on the ground and an 80-yard touchdown reception from Drew Barth (Minonk, Ill./Fieldcrest H.S.). His effort allowed the Red Devils to pile up 399 yards on just 49 plays from scrimmage, an average of 8.1 yards per play.
The Eureka defense was on the field for more than 36 minutes Saturday, but held the visitors to 277 yards. Austin McCarty (Oakwood, Ill./Oakwood H.S.) made a game-high eight tackles, including 1.5 sacks. Greenwood's interception was the second of his career and thwarted a second-quarter drive from the Lions.
Eureka is 3-0 for the first time seventh time in program history and joins the 1991 Red Devils as the only Eureka teams to open 3-0 since joining NCAA Division III in 1978. The Red Devils have won 11 consecutive regular-season games, their longest regular-season stretch without a loss since 1991-92.
The Red Devils seized control from the opening kickoff Saturday, marching 75 yards on seven plays to snag a 7-0 lead. Reasnover carried four times on the series, including a 42-yard rush to the Finlandia 1 and immediately followed with a 1-yard scoring plunge. Eureka promptly followed with a 3-and-out and pushed the lead to 13-0 on Barth's 80-yard heave to Reasnover. The score was Barth's longest career completion and Reasnover's longest reception.
Finlandia got on the board thanks to De'Llontae Johnson's 46-yard touchdown throw to Kenny Kujawa at the 4:28 mark of the first period, but the hosts responded with another Reasnover score, a 29-yard run for a 21-6 cushion. Reasnover produced his fourth score of the afternoon in the final three minutes of the half, a 4-yard run to cap a drive that took just 87 seconds, and Eureka carried a 27-6 advantage into the locker room.
The Red Devils put the game further out of reach with an 8-play, 74-yard march early in the third quarter. Reasnover's 7-yard touchdown, his fifth of the day, pushed Eureka to a 34-6 lead.
The Lions closed the scoring with a 14-yard touchdown run by D.J. Davis with 6:25 left in the contest.
Eureka won't play next weekend before looking ahead to its first NACC game on Sept. 29, a 7 p.m. kickoff versus Aurora and McKinzie Field.
NOTABLES: Saturday's meeting marked the first football game between Eureka and Finlandia, as well as the first Eureka victory over an opponent from the state of Michigan in program history … Colton Fauver (Catlin, Ill./Salt Fork H.S.) collected his sixth career interception on the second play of the fourth quarter, becoming just the eighth EC defender since 2000 to have seven career interceptions … Finlandia held possession for 36:25, ending Eureka's streak of 23 consecutive games with an advantage in time of possession … Tanner Kuhne (Princeton, Ill./Princeton H.S.) equaled a career long with a 47-yard punt midway through the second quarter … Twelve different Red Devils contributed to a tackle for loss … Cameron Lucas (Canton, Ill./Canton H.S./Upper Iowa) shared the team lead with McCarty with 1.5 sacks.