Eisenhower rolls to 49-7 win over Saegertown

Eisenhower’s Jonah Samuelson heads upfield after breaking a tackle on his way to an 80-yard touchdown run during the second quarter of a game against Saegertown at Saegertown High School, Friday, Oct. 20, 2017. The Knights rolled past the winless Panthers, 49-7.

SAEGERTOWN – As the season neared its end, Eisenhower coach Jim Penley decided to move quarterback Spencer Head from being strictly a quarterback, to playing multiple positions offensively.

The move certainly paid dividends Friday as Head was responsible for four of the Knights’ five first-half touchdowns in a 49-7 win at Saegertown.

“It’s taken a lot of the stress off of Spencer,” Penley said. “He’s a natural football player and playing just quarterback limits his creativity.”

Head had a touchdown run, two touchdown passes and recovered a fumble for a score in the first half.

The run came on Eisenhower’s second possession, the Knights fumbled in the red zone on their first, and the 3-yard plunge capped a 5-play, 35-yard drive.

“He’s played some fullback and been a nice change-of-pace back for us,” Penley said.

The first scoring pass came late in the quarter. Head, in at quarterback for the series, moved around to buy some time in the pocket then found Garrett Head wide open on the left side for a 22-yards strike. The score gave Eisenhower a 14-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.

The Knights were pinned deep in their own territory following a Saegertown punt and faced a third-and-five from their own 20. Jonah Samuelson took the handoff, broke what looked like a sure tackle, found some space on the right side, made a nifty cutback move and was off to the races for an 80-yard touchdown to give Eisenhower a 21-0 advantage early in the second quarter.

Eisenhower was on the verge of forcing a three-and-out on the Panthers next possession, but quarterback Tariq Burnes fumbled and Spencer scooped it up at the 30 and sprinted to the end zone for his third touchdown of the half.

The Eisenhower defense held firm through the rest of the quarter, despite the Panthers getting good field position after recovering a pair of Knight fumbles.

“Outside of the fumbles, I thought we executed pretty well,” Penley said.

Eisenhower’s offense took over at midfield with 18 seconds to go in the half after the Knights stopped a fake punt attempt. Spencer dropped back and fired down the middle to Jaydon Hayes.

Hayes had to come back a step for the ball, then ran around a pair of defenders on his way to paydirt and a 35-0 Eisenhower lead at the half.

The two big scoring strikes marked a vast improvement for a passing game that had struggled early in the season.

“Going under center is a big change from the spread,” Penley said. “With the running game being as good as it’s been, the timing was a little off in the passing game. The timing is better now.”

Hayes thought he had his second score of the game on the first play from scrimmage in the second half. Hayes juked past a couple defenders near the line, then scampered 59 yards to the end zone. The play was called back on a holding penalty, but Hayes would not be denied. He ran it in from 18 yards just five plays later, and had his number called on every play in the drive.

Hayes’ score essentially ended the game for Eisenhower’s starters as the two and three-deep guys on the roster took over from that point.

“I’ve been in (Saegertown’s) shoes and trying to rebuild and we weren’t going to try to get ridiculous (with the score),” Penley said.

Nate Holt scored the Knights final touchdown with a 30-yard run late in the third quarter. Holt had 46 yards and a score on just two carries in the game.

“Holt did a great job running the ball tonight,” Penley said.

Mason McClure finally got the Panthers on the board with just over six minutes to go in the game with a 30-yard run.

Despite the score, the Eisenhower defense followed a shutout of Mercer last week with another dominating performance. Eric Corse led the charge with a pair of sacks and multiple tackles for loss and Curtis Ruland got in on the action with a blocked punt late in the game.

“I thought everyone who got in at linebacker did a great job,” Penley said. “We only gave up seven points. Jared Beers had a strong game, forced a fumble.”

In addition to the turnovers, the Knights held the Panthers to just 149 total yards, while amassing 470 yards themselves.

Eisenhower closes out the regular season with a short trip to county rival Sheffield next Saturday.

“It’s going to be a tremendous challenge,” Penley said. “They’re going to be pumped up to play us.”

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Score by quarters

Eisenhower 14 21 14 0 – 49

Saegertown 0 0 0 7 – 7

Scoring summary

First Quarter

E-Spencer Head 3 run (Ross Venman kick), 5:59

E-S. Head 22 pass to Garrett Head (Venman kick), :34

Second Quarter

E-Jonah Samuelson 80 run (Venman kick), 8:07

E-S. Head 30 fumble recovery (Venman kick), 6:39

E-S. Head 50 pass to Jaydon Hayes (Venman kick), :07

Third Quarter

E-Hayes 18 run (Venman kick), 9:00

E-Nate Holt 30 run (Venman kick), 4:55

Fourth Quarter

S-Mason McClure 30 run (Patrick Dunn kick), 6:14

Team stats

Rushing: Eisenhower 39-336 4 TD, Saegertown 44-138 TD. Passing: Eisenhower 5-8, 134 yards 2 TD, Saegertown 1-6, 11 yards. Receiving: Eisenhower 5-134 2 TD, Saegertown 1-11.

Individual stats

Rushing: Eisenhower-Jaydon Hayes 8-55 TD, Spencer Head 8-44 TD, Carter Knapp 6-17, Ethan Chambers 4-44, Garrett Head 3-29, Jonah Samuelson 2-85 TD, Zane Alexander 2-17, Dylan Benson 2-5, Riley West 1-(-6); Saegertown-Shane McClinton 13-25, Mason McClure 10-61 TD, Isaiah Hannold 7-60, Alex Kightlinger 4-3, Tariq Burnes 4-(-6), Jake Reisinger 2-(-4), Patrick Dunn 2-(-13), Drake Hazlett 1-10, Ezra Mattocks 1-2. Passing: Eisenhower-S. Head 3-3, 90 yards 2 TD, Owen Trumbull 2-6, 44 yards; Saegertown-Burnes 1-4, 11 yards, McClinton 0-1, Reisinger 0-1. Receiving: Eisenhower-Hayes 4-112 TD, G. Head 1-22 TD.