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Eisenhower traveling to Cochranton tonight

Mid-week change

Times Observer Photo by Steve Younger Eisenhower head coach Jim Penley, left, speaks to his team during last week’s game.

The Eisenhower Knights planned on being on the road tonight facing Seneca but that game was canceled by Seneca due to COVID-19 problems.

Jim Penley, the Knights head coach and Eisenhower’s athletic director, quickly picked up Mercer, but that scheduled game lasted about 18 hours before the Mustangs also had to cancel due to COVID-19.

Penley then talked to the Cochranton first-year head coach Mike Feleppa and they mutually agreed to move their scheduled region game from Oct. 1 to tonight since neither football program is dealing with any COVID issues at this time.

In Cochranton, the Knights will facing a team that is well respected by Penley and his players.

“Cochranton is an undersized team but they exceptionally fast team,” Penley said. “Even though they are smaller, they are loaded with athletes.”

The Knights are bringing their 3-0 record into the game after beating Franklin last week 55-14.

The offense has been “old-school football” with the Knights having rushed for 913 yards in three games behind the offensive line of Conner Younger, Caleb Penley, Gannon Jaquay, Drake Vanderhoof and Mike Vanatta along with tight end Mike Jones opening up holes for junior Keegan Eckstrom (22 carries, 318 yards and three touchdowns) and fellow junior Benji Bauer (34 carries, 274 yards and three touchdowns).

Junior quarterback Garrett Jensen is coming off his best game with three touchdown passes last week, including two to sophomore Wyatt Lookenhouse.

The Cardinals bring in a 2-0 record having beat Seneca and Union City.

The Knights defense will have to contend with senior brothers Jack and Stephen Martinac, both running backs for the Cardinals.

“They are just incredible athletes and fierce competitors,” Penley said. “We will have to be ready for both of them.”

The Knights defense will have to control the line of scrimmage and continue to be disruptive in the offensive backfield to increase their chances of coming away with a win.

“This game is always a tough game on our schedule, those kids never quit and it is always hard hitting game,” Penley said. “We have to come out and establish ourselves early and often because they will not give up. Their overall team speed and relentlessness will be an outstanding challenge for our team.

“Under their first year coach their guys have certainly bought into Coach Feleppa’s vision,” Penley added, “and make the most of their opportunities.”

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Cochranton Junior-Senior High School.

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