GUYS MILLS - A season ago, Eisenhower shook off a rough week-one outing by knocking off Maplewood on the Tigers' home turf.
Friday was deja vu all over again.
A 30-minute lightning delay before kickoff was the only thing that slowed the Knights down as the visitors rushed to a 27-0 first-half lead and never looked back during a 48-19 victory over Maplewood in the Region 2 opener for both teams.
After receiving the opening kickoff, Ike (1-1) needed just four plays to find the end zone. After two runs from John Pascuzzi and a third from Alex Johnson, quarterback Aaron Lundmark found a wide open Nathan O'Brien for a 43-yard touchdown pass and a 6-0 lead. Lundmark had arguably his best night of his career under center, finishing 5-of-8 for 171 yards with two touchdowns - both to O'Brien.
Just over two minutes later, the Knights had forced a Maplewood punt and used another big play to stretch the lead to 13-0. This time, Pascuzzi rumbled through the center of the line, stopping 60 yards later with the first of his three touchdowns on the night. Pascuzzi ran 16 times for 156 yards on the evening.
The 13-0 Knights lead held into the second quarter and the Knights defense forced a fumble, taking over at the Tigers 39. Pascuzzi again finished the drive with a touchdown run, scoring from nine yards out. O'Brien's extra point made if 20-0.
O'Brien wasn't done putting his stamp on the game as he caught his second touchdown pass of the night later in the quarter. This one covered 82 yards and the Knights led 27-0 with 1:23 left in the opening half. O'Brien caught just two passes in the win, but made them count with 125 yards and two scores.
About the only thing that went wrong for the Knights in the first half was a trick play from Maplewood that put the Tigers on the board with 21 ticks left in the second quarter. Quarterback Nate Klingler tossed the ball backward to tailback Josh Kohnen to start the play. Instead of running, Kohnen passed again to a wide open Logan Battin who completed the 79-yard play in the end zone.
Despite the play, the Knights led 27-7 at the break.
Eisenhower's offense didn't slow in the third quarter and Pascuzzi broke into the end zone for the third time with 5:30 remaining to make it 34-7 Knights. Maplewood responded with a 34-yard touchdown pass from Klingler to Justin Dahl, but it only got the hosts within 20 and didn't dampen Ike's spirit.
Instead, Eisenhower's Johnson returned the ensuing kickoff to the Maplewood one and had his number called again on the next play, scoring a touchdown and pushing the lead to 41-13. After a Jeb Fedorchuk interception in the fourth, Eisenhower added its final score of the night. Robbie Wilston rushed 36 yards to the Maplewood 2 and pounded the ball into the end zone on the next play, making it 48-13.
The Tigers would add an 85-yard touchdown run from Ethan Moody with 3:07 to play, but it only served to make a tidier final score.
Eisenhower will try to make it two wins a row during week three when it visits Lawrence Park and the Iroquois Braves. Iroquois dropped to 0-2 with a 46-41 loss to Youngsville Friday at Mike Shine Field.
Eisenhower 131414 7- 48
Maplewood 0 7 66- 19
E- Aaron Lundmark to Nathan O'Brien 43 pass, 10:11, kick failed
E- John Pascuzzi 60 run, 7:49, O'Brien kick
E- Pascuzzi 9 run, 8:44, O'Brien kick
E- Lundmark to O'Brien 82 pass, 1:23, O'Brien kick
M- Josh Kohnen to Logan Battin 79 pass, 0:21, Justin Dahl kick
E- Pascuzzi 18 run, 5:30, O'Brien kick
M- Nate Klingler to Dahl 34 pass, 3:08, Dahl kick
E- Alex Johnson 1 run, 2:49, O'Brien kick
E- Robbie Wilston 2 run, 4:12, O'Brien kick
M- Ethan Moody 85 run, 3:07, pass failed
Passing: E-Aaron Lundmark 5 of 8 for 171, 2 TD; M-Nate Klingler 8 of 21 for 100, TD, INT, Josh Kohnen 1 of 1 for 71, TD, Dane Barker 0 of 1 for 0, INT
Rushing: E-John Pascuzzi 16 for 156, 3 TD, Alex Johnson 8 for 38, TD, Robbie Wilston 3 for 35, TD, Carter Farrell 2 for 25, Bryce Garris 4 for 8, Marcus Hert 2 for 2; M-Ethan Moody 16 for 139, TD, Nate Klingler 17 for 48, Bob Hirosky 1 for 3, Josh Kohnen 1 for 2, David Jones 1 for 1, Miller Peters 1 for 0
Receiving: E-Nathan O'Brien 2 for 125, 2 TD, Carter Farrell 2 for 26, Alex Johnson 1 for 20; M-Logan Battin 3 for 97, TD, David Jones 2 for 27, Justin Dahl 1 for 34, TD, Miller Peters 1 for 9, Josh Kohnen 1 for 5