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Gridiron return

Blue-Gold game kicks off next season for Knights

Times Observer Photos by Steve Younger Above, Eisenhower defensive lineman Conner Younger displays the flag after stopping a runner for a loss at the Blue-Gold spring game. Second, offensive lineman J.J. Darr blocks a defender.

RUSSELL — The Eisenhower Knights welcomed back the annual Blue-Gold football game signifying the end of a week of spring practices.

After taking last year off due to COVID-19 restrictions, just being able to play the game was a welcome sight to the players, coaches and the fans attending.

“It was a great evening and everyone played hard,” Eisenhower head coach Jim Penley said. “I feel like we got a lot of good work in.”

The game pitted the seniors and freshmen against the juniors and sophomores for the upcoming season.

In an evenly matched game, it appeared the senior-freshman team was headed for a victory before Keegan Eckstrom took a short pass from Garrett Jensen and turned it into an 87-yard touchdown reception, tying the score 12-12 with just over three minutes remaining in regulation.

The senior-freshman team was stopped on three consecutive plays by a staunch defense and after a timeout elected to give Jake Venman a shot at a 46-yard field goal. The kick fell just short and the ball was turned back to the junior-sophomore team with just over a minute left.

Quarterback Garrett Jensen dropped back to pass but Camron Jakubczak made a nice interception and ran untouched 37 yards to the end zone for the touchdown, making the final score 18-12 in favor of the senior-freshman team.

“I think Keegan Eckstrom looked very good and made some nice plays with the football,” Penley said. “I was happy with the play of all of our running backs.

“All in all it was just a great night for some football,” Penley added, “and a great night to start our summer workouts.”

Eisenhower quarterback Shawn Pascuzzi eludes the pass rush.

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