Eisenhower routed county-rival Youngsville, 56-8, on the way to its second consecutive undefeated Region 2 record Friday night at Youngsville High School.
Alex Johnson headlined the Eisenhower win with four of the Knights' eight touchdowns. Johnson returned two Youngsville punts to the end zone, and inched closer to 1,000 rushing yards on the season.
While being proud of his own team, and all rivalries aside, Eisenhower coach Jim Penley was also impressed with winless Youngsville's play.
Times Observer photo by Kiley Fischer
I don't think so
Youngsville’s Jake Lauffenburger goes in for the tackle on Eisenhower's Alex Johnson Friday night at Youngsville High School. Johnson went on to score four of Eisenhower's eight touchdowns of the night
Times Observer photo by Kiley Fischer
Eisenhower's Mike Ott gives no mercy as he takes down his rival in Friday night's Backyard Brawl at Youngsville High School.
"That Youngsville team came out and they played their hearts out, which is exactly what I expected," Penley said. "They scrapped like crazy, they were intense, they flew around, and that's what a rivalry game is. They can walk away with their heads held high because of the way they played."
The scrapping came from both ends of the field. Youngsville and Eisenhower combined for 18 penalties on the night.
Lemons for Youngsville turned into lemonade for Eisenhower. The Knights intercepted Jake Lauffenburger twice, both for 35-yard returns on top of Johnson's punt returns.
Despite the big mistakes, Youngsville had plenty of possession time that chipped away at the clock. But it was the small meltdowns and plenty of penalties that kept the Eagles off the boad until the fourth quarter.
Lauffenburger brought the ball in close before scoring Youngsville's only touchdown on a one-yard run. Lauffenburger ran again to add a two-point conversion to Youngsville's scoreboard.
"They gave a hundred percent on every down and if wasn't for a couple of mental breakdowns on punts, we were in this game," said Youngsville coach John Victor.
With Youngsville's season at a close, Victor is proud of what his team has accomplished.
"They've come a long way," Victor said.
Victor is already looking to improve Youngsville's current two-season losing streak with work in the off-season on "young mistakes" and "developing football mentality."
For Eisenhower, their sights are set on the small fixes going into next week and the impending playoffs.
"Bad snaps can't keep happening," Penley said. "That won't work in the playoffs and that won't work next week either."
The Region 2 title has Eisenhower ready for more.
"I don't think anyone expected it from us, but us," said Penley. "We lost a lot of guys who were important to us last year. My hope is we're rebuilding a championship team, and when you do that other guys step up. This group of seniors who were 0-10 as freshmen, they stayed true to our team, they kept fighting. And now they're two-time region champions and they swept the Region. That's really special."
Eisenhower finishes out the regular season at home against Cameron County before hitting the post-season.
E-Alex Johnson 53 punt return (Grant Venman kick), 7:01.
E-A. Johnson 39 run (Venmam kick), 8:29.
E-A. Johsnon 5 run (Venman kick), 2:57.
E-A. Johnson 70 punt return (Venman kick), 1:04.
E-Jarrett Johnson 14 pass from Rob Wilston (Venman kick), 8:11.
E-Wilston 1 run (Venman kick), 3:37.
E-Logan Bellardo 6 run (Venman kick), 11:52.
Y-Jake Lauffenburger 1 run (Lauffenburger run), 4:02.
E-Bryan Braswell 66 run (Venman kick), 3:10.
RUSHING-Eisenhower, Wilston 8-37, A. Johnson 6-77, Bellardo 4-15, Louie Head 3-(minus 4), Braswell 1-66. Youngsville, Lauffenburger 21-89, Solomon Clark 1-3, James Frazier 2-1, Josh Taydus 6-9, Jon Uplinger 4-22, Sam Bubbenmoyer 1-(minus 5), Hayden Victor 2-(minus 15), Tyler Hoffman 1-(minus 1).
PASSING-Eisenhower, Wilston 8-12 for 95 yards, Head 0-1. Youngsville, Taydus 1-1 for 8 yards, Lauffenburger 3-14 for 27 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT.
RECEIVING-Eisenhower, Head 2-20, A. Johnson 1-2, Tre' Frank 1-10, J. Johnson 3-44, Carter Farrell 1-9. Youngsville, Solomon Clark 2-30, James Frazier 1-1, Brady Kesterholt 1-4.