Red Devils lose opener
The Eureka College football team, which only has six seniors, showed promise Saturday, but, in the end, its youth and inexperience also showed.
“We’re such a young team. For many of these guys, it was their first big college game as a starter,” said Eureka coach Kurt Barth after the Red Devils lost, 42-7, to Benedictine at McKinzie Field. “We showed some good signs. We’re not going to give up.”
Red Devils junior defensive back Mike Minehan was one of the good signs.
Minehan made 13 tackles and gained 120 kick-return yards. He also had an interception.
“Mike is a heck of a football player,” Barth said. “He makes plays, and he gives 100 percent on every play. He’s the kind of player that I want some of our younger guys to learn from.”
The Red Devils moved the ball effectively on the opening drive of the game.
Sophomore quarterback Sam Durley hit senior wide receiver Keifer McComas on two separate third down situations to pick up first downs. Junior tight end/full back Alex Hess also ran for two first downs and the Red Devils made it to the Benedictine five yard line.
On third down, Durley was pressured, and he threw a pass into heavy coverage. Benedictine’s Tim Shanahan intercepted the pass in the end zone and ran it out to the 22 yard line.
“We came away from that drive with zero points, and that hurt us,” Barth said.
Benedictine scored on its first possession, and added one more touchdown to take a 14-0 lead.
Minehan’s interception sparked the Red Devils midway through the second half.
He picked off the pass near midfield and ran it all the way to the Benedictine 30-yard line.
Barth put junior quarterback Jordan Krone (a transfer from Greenville College) into the game. With 7:20 left in the half, Krone threw a 30-yard touchdown pass to McComas.
The Red Devils’ offense sputtered for the rest of the game, however, and the defense could not contain the Benedictine passing game.
The Eagles had 340 passing yards and 450 total yards on offense.
“We had some match-up problems,” Barth said. “Our defense was good against the run, but not so good against the pass.”
Durley completed 10 of 24 passes for 103 yards and two interceptions. Krone was 3-for-8 for 43 yards with no interceptions.
McComas caught five passes for 78 yards.
Eureka plays at St. Scholastica Saturday in Duluth, Minn.