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Unbeaten Ike takes on Iroquois

The undefeated Eisenhower Knights welcome the 3-1 Iroquois Braves to the Pasture of Pain tonight. The Knights (4-0) were victorious in their first meeting, 55-6.

The Braves (3-1) enter the game seemingly hitting their stride, rushing for 460 yards in their 56-28 victory last week against Seneca. A run-first offensive team, Seneca has attempted only eight passes all season, focusing on misdirection with its wing-T approach.

“It is no mystery what they do,” Eisenhower coach Jim Penley said. “They’ve been running it forever and they do it very, very well. If we don’t adjust to what they do offensively, they will beat us.”

The Braves have three running backs, who are each averaging more than 10 yards per carry and more than 100 yards rushing per game.

“Each of their backs are capable of taking the ball to the end zone on every play,” Penley said. “We have to play smart defensively.”

The strength of Iroquois will be running headfirst into the buzzsaw of the Knights’ defense, a unit that has given up only 12 points on the season while holding their opponents under 80 yards rushing and just 45 through the air each game. A hard-hitting, old-school squad that has created 12 turnovers, Eisenhower’s defense is led by senior linebacker Jared Beers.

Offensively, the Knights bring a balanced offensive attack, averaging 170 yards passing and 258 yards rushing per game. They are led by senior quarterback Owen Trumbull and junior Cael Black, the team’s leading rusher. Eisenhower senior receivers Dillon Benson, Zane Alexander and Caleb Robinault have each scored touchdowns on long runs after receptions.

“We have to win the line of scrimmage, we expect it to be a very physical game, and our offensive line needs to establish themselves early,” Penley said.

There is a lot at stake for the Knights tonight. A win gives them the outright region championship, but the bigger prize is a victory will put them one win away from having home-field advantage through the District 10 playoffs.

Kickoff tonight is set for 7.

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