Bauer sets rushing record in Knights’ win

Times Observer Photo by Steve Younger Eisenhower’s Benji Bauer looks for room to run during Friday’s Region 2 game against Iroquois in Erie. Bauer finished with 145 yards to break Steve Witte’s single-season Eisenhower rushing record.

ERIE — The Eisenhower Knights beat Region 2 rival Iroquois 48-6 on Friday night to wrap up a perfect regular season.

The Braves came out and surprised the Knights on a successful onside kick, recovering at the Knights’ 45-yard line to ope the game. Iroquois quickly moved down the field and scored on a 1-yard touchdown run by Andre Gonzalez. The 2-point attempt was no good giving the Braves a 6-0 lead with their only points of the night.

The Knights moved the ball down to the Braves 34-yard line before senior Keegan Eckstrom scored the first of his three touchdowns on the night. The point-after kick was no good into a stiff wind.

The Braves managed just one play on their next drive before Knights defensive back Shawn Pascuzzi intercepted an errant pass and returned it for a 24-yard touchdown. This time senior tailback Benji Bauer carried in the 2-point conversion to make it 14-6.

The Knights forced the Braves to punt and needed all of two plays before quarterback Shawn Pascuzzi hooked up with Eckstrom on a 61-yard touchdown pass for a score. Cole Kellogg’s PAT kick was blocked.

Times Observer Photo by Steve Younger Eisenhower’s Benji Bauer (33) is pictured with blockers from left Kris Bunk, Jayden Chase, JJ Darr, Conner Younger, Caleb Penley, Mike Vanatta and Tucker Lindell after Bauer for 145 yards to set the Knights’ single-season rushing record Friday in Erie.

The Knights took over at their own 40-yard line after another punt and then Bauer took over. After runs of 15 and 25 yards and fullback Tucker Lindell adding 15, the Knights were on the 17-yard line. From there, Bauer ran behind the left side of his offensive line for another touchdown to make it 27-6 after a Kellogg PAT.

The Knights defense had three interceptions on the night and Pascuzzi appeared to have his second pick-6, but a penalty after the interception negated the touchdown. Taking over at the 27-yard line, Pascuzzi handed off to Bauer, who ran for his second score to make it 35-6 at halftime.

Bauer ended the Braves’ first drive of the second half with an interception. The Knights took over and drove the ball down to the 1-yard line before Eckstrom scored around the right side to make it 41-6.

The Knights held Iroquois to 41 yards rushing and only 42 yards passing on the night.

Knights defensive lineman Jeremyah Aiken blocked a punt that was quickly picked up by sophomore Jayden Chase, who returned it to the Braves’ 26-yard line.

It took the Knights one play to score when Bauer took a handoff and weaved his way for a 26-yard touchdown, Lindell scored the final points for the Knights on a 2-point conversion run.

Bauer had a fine night running the ball with 10 carries for 145 yards and three touchdowns. His last carry of the game that broke the single-season rushing record for the Knights. The previous record was 1,466 yards set by former Knights standout Steve Witte back in 1991.

“Congratulations on breaking the record and having such a great season,” Witte said when reached. “I wish you and the team good luck in the rest of the season.”

“Iroquois came out and played us hard. We aren’t where we want to be right now and we have some things to work on and we will be ready for Girard next week,” Eisenhower head coach Jim Penley said. “It was good to get some of our young players in during the second half and rest our starters a bit.”


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