Knights rout Bobcats
Written by: Brian Hagberg on Monday, October 29th, 2018
To say Eisenhower has had a frustrating season would be an understatement. The Knights lost five games this season by a combined 25 points, wins in just three of those games would likely have put Ike in the playoffs.
Instead, the Knights had to settle for taking their frustrations out on a Seneca team that has had its own share of issues.
Eisenhower scored 21 points in each of the first two quarters on its way to a 56-6 win over the Bobcats at Riley Memorial Field Friday night. Senior running back Ethan Chambers, playing in his final game, led the way with 156 rushing yards and three touchdowns-all in the first half.
“The guys came out and did pretty much whatever they wanted, on offense and on defense,” Eisenhower coach Jim Penley said.
Senior Nate Holt got the scoring started for the Knights (2-8) when he ran around the right side for a 20-yard scamper to cap an 8-play drive.
It took Seneca (0-9) just two plays to respond. Quarterback Wyatt Shaffer took a keeper up the middle, shook a tackle, bounced to the outside and sprinted 56-yards to paydirt. That 56 yard run accounted for more than a third of the Bobcats’ total offense.
“We really limited them defensively, outside of that one run,” Penley said. “They only had a handful of first downs.”
Chambers grabbed his first score of the game on the ensuing possession. He finished off the 9-play drive with a 7-yard run to put Eisenhower up 14-6. A fumbled exchange on the next Seneca drive resulted in the Knights taking over at the Bobcats 28. Chambers took the handoff on the next play and rumbled all 28 yards to the endzone to make it 21-6 with just under two minutes to go in the first quarter.
“It’s been a tough season and mistakes cost us,” Penley said. “We didn’t make those mistakes tonight and we were able to be efficient.”
The Knights jumped on a loose ball on the kickoff and took over just on the Seneca side of midfield. A 36-yard pass from Owen Trumbull to Garrett Head gave the Knights first-and-goal on the 4. Trumbull tried to find Head in the end zone on the next play, but Justin Walker stepped in front to pick off the pass and took it 51 yards to set Seneca up in Eisenhower territory.
The Knights defense came up big, as they limited the Bobcats to just two yards on the drive and forced a punt.
Eisenhower brought out the youth movement on the ensuing possession with Cael Black plunging in from a yard out to close out a 10-play scoring drive. Riley West’s 4-yard run with 3:30 to go in the half put the Knights ahead 35-6.
The defense forced another three-and-out and Chambers picked up his third score of the half on a 23-yard carry with just 17 seconds to go. It would be the final carry of his career and put an exclamation point on a season where he rushed for 1,176 yards and 16 touchdowns.
Dillon Benson and Carter Knapp each scored 1-yard touchdowns in the second half to extend the Eisenhower lead to 54-6.
Things began to get a bit chippy in the fourth quarter as the Bobcats frustrations from a long season began to boil over. That’s included multiple blowout losses and lost time due to a lack of healthy players. Seneca had to end a pair of games early (Aug. 31 vs Harbor Creek and Oct. 5 at Greenville) and was forced to cancel its Sept. 7 matchup with Sharpsville due to injuries. The Bobcats entered Friday’s game with less than 20 players dressed.
A pair of Seneca players were ejected and the drive following Knapp’s touchdown featured multiple unsportsmanlike conduct penalties and personal fouls.
For the most part, Eisenhower players walked away from the extracurricular activities. Penley said his team’s ability to stay disciplined validated the lessons he and his staff have tried to instill.
“I’m incredibly proud of our team and my staff,” he said. “Looking across the field, on one side you saw a team that was fractured. On the other side was a team trying to play hard and have fun.”
While the players were disciplined, some fans were not. At least two people had to be escorted from the field for yelling inappropriate comments at players.
The Knights blocked the fourth down punt and the ball skittered out of the end zone for a safety.
Eisenhower moved the ball at will on the ground. Five players finished with at least 50 rushing yards and six different players scored rushing touchdowns. Seniors Chambers, West and Holt combined for 288 yards and five scores. Black, a freshman, set a career high with 98 yards.
Shaffer finished with 93 rushing yards and a touchdown for the Bobcats.
– – –
Seneca 6 0 0 0–6
Eisenhower 21 21 6 8–42
E–Nate Holt 20 run (Jake Venman kick), 8:33.
S–Wyatt Shaffer 56 run (Andy Rzepka kick blocked, 7:42.
E-Ethan Chambers 7 run (Venman kick), 3:36.
E-Chambers 28 run (Venman kick), 1:45.
E–Cael Black 1 run (Venman kick), 7:13.
E-Riley West 4 run (Venman kick), 3:30.
E–Chambers 23 run (Venman kick), 0:17.
E–Dillon Benson 1 run (Venman kick), 2:48.
E–Carter Knapp 1 run (Venman kick), 8:44.
E–Safety-blocked punt out of end zone, 6:59.
First downs 4 18
Total Net Yards 154 487
Rushes-yards 30-142 54-432
Passing 12 55
Comp-Att-Int 1-6-0 3-10-1
Fumbles-Lost 3-3 2-1
Penalties-Yards 11-140 3-40
RUSHING–Seneca, Wyatt Shaffer 16-93-1, Alexander Pring 6-12, Dominic D’Antonio 4-35, Nick Cole 3-3, Team 1-(minus 1). Eisenhower, .Ethan Chambers 17-156-3, Cael Black 16-98-1, Riley West 5-70-1, Nate Holt 3-52-1, Dillon Benson 8-51-1, Owen Trumbull 1-, Carter Knapp 2-2-1, Logan English 1-2, Caleb Robinault 1-(minus 3).
PASSING–Seneca, Shaffer 1-6-12-0-0. Eisenhower, Trumbull 3-10-55-0-1.
RECEIVING–Seneca, Andy Rzepka 1-12. Eisenhower, Garrett Head 1-36, Chambers 1-14, Holt 1-5.
MISSED FIELD GOALS–None.
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