Knights aim to slow down unbeaten Maplewood

The football scheduling gods were not kind to Eisenhower to start October.

After traveling to Region 1 co-leader Reynolds last week, the Knights return home tonight for a clash with Region 2 leader and undefeated Maplewood.

Eisenhower (2-5 overall, 2-1 Region 2) led Reynolds 6-0 early in last week’s contest, but the Raiders came back to score 41 unanswered for the victory. After rolling through the first six weeks, the closest game (vs Reynolds) being decided by 11 points, Maplewood (7-0, 3-0) was put to the test at Franklin last week. The Tigers held on for a 30-28 win.

Region supremacy will be on the line when these two clash on the Pasture of Pain. A Tigers win would clinch at least a share of the region crown, while a Knights upset would move them into a tie for the region lead.

Maplewood sports a balanced offensive attack. Senior quarterback JD McFadden is a true dual threat. He’s completed 57 of 95 passes (60 percent) for 1,183 yards with 11 touchdowns to just three interceptions (all three were thrown against Franklin). McFadden has run the ball 67 times for 390 yards (5.8 ypc) and eight touchdowns.

When McFadden goes to the air, his favorite target has been his younger brother Jesse McFadden. The sophomore receiver has 23 catches for 465 yards (20.2 ypc) and four touchdowns this season. Seniors Clay Cox (14 receptions, 308 yards, 2 TDs) and Levi Butryn (8 catches, 206 yards, four scores) are deep threats as well, each averaging more than 20 yards per reception.

On the ground is where the Tigers like to do most of their damage, and they do it with one of the top running backs in District 10. Junior Kaleb Donor has been phenomenal this season. He’s carried the ball 99 times for 1,141 yards (11.5 ypc) and 15 touchdowns.

Those numbers put him fourth in D10 in rushing yards, third in touchdowns and second in YPC (among backs with more than 40 carries). He’s gone over the 100 yard mark in six of the Tigers’ seven games, and has scored at least two touchdowns in each.

While Reynolds was able to slow Eisenhower’s rushing attack last week, the passing game was still formidable with junior quarterback Owen Trumbull completing 14 of 18 passes for 141 yards and a score. That brought Trumbull’s completion percentage up to 66 on the year, with 1,123 yards and nine touchdowns to just two interceptions.

Dillon Benson led the receiving corps again, hauling in eight passes for 72 yards and a score. He’s now got 46 receptions for 673 yards and seven touchdowns on the year. Zane Alexader was a weapon in the receiving game as well. He caught three passes for 54 yards.

Alexander led the run game with nine carries for 30 yards. Trumbull added 27 yards on seven totes and senior Alex Roberts had 23 yards on four carries.

Kickoff tonight is set for 7 p.m.