EMPORIUM -The records keep falling and the Eisenhower Knights keep winning.
John Pascuzzi broke the school record for career rushing yards, and Nathan O'Brien set a new mark for touchdown receptions in a season, as the Knights finished an 8-2 regular season with a 49-12 win at Cameron County on Friday.
Pascuzzi now needs 68 yards to break the single-season rushing mark currently held by Warren County Sports Hall of Famer Steve Witte.
Despite the dominating win, Ike coach Jim Penley was only partially happy with the performance.
"We moved the ball well against a strong defense, so I was pretty happy with our offensive performance," said Penley. "But I'm not going to lie to you. Defensively, we have a couple things we need to figure out before the playoffs."
The Knights have become a buzzsaw offensively in recent weeks and Friday was no different with Ike scoring in all five first-half possessions for a 29-6 halftime lead.
The Knights' first drive stalled deep in Cameron County territory, but the strong leg of Nathan O'Brien booted a 26-yard field goal for a 3-0 lead.
After forcing a three-and-out, the Knights went to work on their first touchdown drive. Pascuzzi was the workhorse, chewing up 45 yards and making it 10-0 with a five-yard TD run. The 10-0 edge would hold through the first quarter.
After snuffing out a Cameron County drive, the Knights needed one play to score again. Aaron Lundmark hit O'Brien with a 66-yard touchdown pass to give O'Brien his record of nine in one season, and the Knights took a 17-0 lead.
The Red Raiders would respond on their next drive but their was no stopping the Ike offense in the first half.
Pascuzzi's second touchdown came with 4:20 left in the half for a 23-6 lead, and Rob Wilston added a 25-yard touchdown run with 1:50 left in the half.
Pascuzzi finished the half with 121 yards rushing, needing four more to become Ike's all-time leading rusher. It took nearly all of the third quarter to get there.
Cameron County came back from break and quickly scored to cut the lead to 29-12. The Knights were stopped offensively for the first time.
The visitors couldn't keep Pascuzzi down long, and with 39 seconds left in the third, the senior tailback broke an 11-yard run that secured the record. Steve Witte had held the career mark of 3,115 yards since the early 1990's, when he went on to star at Clarion University.
"Obviously, having the record is great," said Pascuzzi, "but, more importantly, I gave the credit to my offensive line and fullbacks. Without them, it doesn't matter what I do."
Pascuzzi's record re-energized the team, and the Knights finished the game with a 20-point flurry. Trevor Spicer scored form one yard out with 10:17 to play, followed by a 20-yard touchdown run by Logan Ballardo. The Knights looked to run out the clock, but Alex Johnson broke several tackles on his way to a 94-yard touchdown run that completed the scoring.
Pascuzzi had a team-high 143 yards rushing and Johnson 110. Lundmark was 6-of-9 passing for 182 yards, with O'Brien three catches for 113 of those yards and caught Lundmark's lone score. O'Brien also had two interceptions of Cameron County quarterback Tucker Britton.
The Region 2 champion Knights open the District 10 Class A playoffs next week against the fourth seed out of Region - likely Lakeview.
Eisenhower-Cameron County Stats
E-Nathan O'Brien 26 FG, 8:36
E-John Pascuzzi 5 run, 3:42, O'Brien kick
E-O'Brien 66 pass from Aaron Lundmark, 10:50, O'Brien kick
C-Tucker Britton 15 run, 8:50, 2-pt. run fails
E-Pascuzzi 7 run, 4:10, kick fails
E-Robbie Wilston 25 run, 1:50, kick fails
C-Devin Mason 7 pass from Britton, 9:24, 2-pt. run fails
E-Trevor Spicer 1 run, 10:17, kick fails
E-Logan Ballardo 20 run, 5:40, O'Brien kick
E-Alex Johnson 94 run, 2:21, O'Brien kick
RUSHING-E-Pascuzzi 21-143, 2 TD, A. Johnson 5-110, 1 TD, Wilston 4-56, 1 TD, Carter Farrell 2-39, Ballardo 1-20, TD, Spicer 3-14, 1 TD, Lundmark 3-0, Coty Cantrell 1-0; C-Tony Olivett 8-71, Britton 8-34, 1 TD, Erin Garrigan 6-21, Cameron Horning 6-20, Andrew Lathrop 2-7, Eric Spehalski 3-6, Rusty Setcer 1-0.
PASSING-E-Lundmark 6-9-182, 1 TD; C-Britton 9-16-92, 1 TD, 2 INT; Lathrop 1-1-23.
RECEIVING-E-O'Brien 3-113, 1 TD, Jake Johnson 1-40, A. Johnson 1-30, Wilston 1-(-1); C-Dylan Armstrong 5-96, Mason 4-16, 1 TD, Horning 1-3.