Eisenhower beats Sheffield in finale
“It’s a tough way to go out,” Dave Fitch said after the Eisenhower at Sheffield game was called by the officials with 5:15 left to play in the fourth quarter Saturday afternoon due to both teams increased tensions resulting in a hostile playing environment, giving the Knights a 43-0 victory.
“I didn’t get to shake hands with one of my good friends, coach (Jim) Penley,” Fitch continued.
Penley too, was disappointed in the way the game ended, but recognized that the officials did so because it was not going to be positive if they continued to play. However, it didn’t take away from his respect of Fitch and the Sheffield program.
“Number one, I think that Dave has done an amazing job with this program, considering what he has to deal with,” Penley said. “And to deal with being in a small school and making a co-op work, I know I and this program have nothing but respect for Dave.”
According to Fitch, both coaches approached the officials several times asking them to settle things down, get the sides together, and just let everybody breathe.
“We asked a couple of times to watch kids out there on both sides,” Fitch said. “They seemed not to be catching some of the things on the other side. Not that that’s a reason. I’m not trying to make excuses, because there are none to have a game end that way.”
Despite the ending, the Wolverines started the game on equal footing as the Knights, with both teams struggling in the wet muddy conditions, Sheffield made the first big error, when at their own five yard line on second and 20, a high snap over quarterback Cale Albaugh’s head went out of the back of the endzone for a safety, giving Eisenhower a 2-0 lead.
“I thought we played well for the first eight minutes of the ball game,” said Fitch. “But as soon as that safety happened, we went into what we’ve done all year where we don’t think we can come back. Through the first quarter, I thought we played pretty physical.”
Eisenhower capitalized on the ensuing drive, after a huge kick return by Garrett Head helped to set up his brother Spencer Head to punch in a six yard run for a touchdown.
“That team played possessed,” Penley said of the Wolverines. “They made things very early on very difficult for us from the running standpoint. Give a lot of credit to Sheffield. Especially in the early going, they came out and played so unbelievably hard.”
From that point, the Knights poured it on. Jonah Samuelson and again Spencer Head added two more scores in the second quarter of 36 and 60 yards. Finally with 17 seconds left in the half, Jaydon Hayes ran in a four yard touchdown to give Eisenhower a 29-0 lead.
Samuelson finished the game as the Knights’ leading rusher with 116 yards off of eight carries for two scores, while Spencer Head had 76 yards off of six carries, also for two scores.
“I was proud of how the boys played,” said Penley. “We’ve got some younger guys out there. Mostly on our line, that are returning next year. So they struggled at times with some of the things they were giving us, but obviously, they stepped up big and made some positive plays.”
– – –
Eisenhower 9 20 7 7–43
Sheffield 0 0 0 0–0
E–Team safety, 1:57.
E–Spencer Head 6 run, (Ross Venman kick), :19.
E–Jonah Samuelson 36 run, (kick failed), 5:14.
E–Spencer Head 60 run, (Venman kick), 3:14.
E–Jaydon Hayes 4 run, (Venman kick), :17.
E–Samuelson 26 run, (Venman kick), 7:23.
E–Ethan Chambers 3 run, (Venman kick), 7:06.
Offensive Plays 40 27
Total Net Yards 291 -13
Rushes-yards 38-278 20-(-20)
Passing 13 7
Comp-Att-Int 2-2-0 1-8-1
Fumbles-Lost 4-2 5-4
Penalties-Yards 7-48 6-62
RUSHING–Eisenhower, Samuelson 8-116-2TD, Spencer Head 6-76-2TD, Hayes 11-48-TD, Chambers 7-29-TD, Garrett Head 4-9, Owen Trumbull; Sheffield, Kevin Evans 7-8, Elmont Leggett 2-2, Josh Agudio 15-(-11), Cale Albaugh 3-(-19).
PASSING–Eisenhower, Trumbull 2-2-13; Sheffield, Albaugh 1-8-7-INT.
RECEIVING–Eisenhower, Chambers 1-14, Venman 1-(-1); Sheffield, Ryan Weaver 1-7.