Eisenhower holds off Northwestern


Written by: Shane Lux on Sunday, October 16th, 2022


Albion – Eisenhower rushed for 331 yards and improved to 8-0 on the season after holding off Northwestern 31-25 Saturday night.

“Northwestern is a phenomenal team, and we knew it was going to be a challenge,” said Eisenhower head coach Jim Penley. “It’s always tough to play in this stadium, and this was the first time we’ve won here. It was great to come out and control the tempo for three and half quarters.”

You better have a good mudder when it is cold and muddy, and the Eisenhower Knights certainly do.

Benji Bauer ripped off 198 yards rushing on 27 carries with a touchdown and three two-point conversion rushes. Tucker Lindell also chipped in with 90 yards on 11 carries.

“We’ve had success on the ground all year,” said Penley. “Benji is a tremendous back, Tucker Lindell can also run the ball, and he’s old school with how well he can block. This is probably the best offensive line I’ve ever had. They threw many different things at us, but our line was able to pick things up, and they did an outstanding job.”

Despite leading 31-13 late in the fourth quarter, the game wasn’t over until Northwestern’s second onside kickoff attempt failed with 47 seconds to play.

“One thing we talk about is every week, one way or another, we’re entertaining, to say the least,” said Northwestern head coach Mark Brooks. “I give a lot of credit to Eisenhower and their staff, they have a tough team, and they’re having a great season. They made some plays we couldn’t slow them down on, and they came away with the win.”

With the victory, the Knights now sit at 8-0 and look poised for an unbeaten regular season and possibly the top seed in the District 10 Class A playoffs.

Eisenhower cracked the scoreboard first late in the first quarter on Keegan Eckstrom’s 17-yard run.

Northwestern pulled to within 8-6 when quarterback Lloyd Fountain scored on a 3-yard sneak.

Bauer’s lone touchdown of the night gave the Knights a 16-6 lead at halftime.

Benji Bauer 14 yd run, Eisenhower 16 Northwestern 6, 1:14 2nd,

— Shane Lux (@PFN_Luxy) October 15, 2022


The Wildcats needed only three plays to get in the end zone to begin the second half as Landon Wayne caught a 15-yard touchdown Fountain just 68 seconds in; Wayne’s 34-yard reception a play earlier set up the score.

Landon Wayne led Northwestern with 103 yards receiving on five catches, while Fountain completed 15-of-28 passes for 230 yards and three touchdowns.

The most significant moment of the game occurred in the third quarter’s final play. Eisenhower had driven to the Wildcats’ 3-yard line, where they faced a fourth-and-goal.

Two penalties later, the Knights were backed up to the 13-yard line.

Quarterback Shawn Pascuzzi then ran a bootleg 13 yards for a touchdown that pushed Eisenhower’s lead to 24-13 after three quarters.

“That was huge,” Penley said. “Pascuzzi is a great athlete, and he was smart enough to see that his guys were covered and that he could run the ball. When you pound the ball and run a naked bootleg, the defense can overrun it, and that’s what happened there.”

Pascuzzi then ran in a 6-yard touchdown with 5:15 to play, giving the Knights a 31-13 lead.

“Their kids are tough, they have multiple guys that touch the ball, and they’ve done it all season long,” said Brooks. “There is a reason they were undefeated coming into this game.”

Northwestern did its best to claw their way back into the game with a pair of touchdowns in the final 1:38.

Lloyd Fountain tossed a 5-yard touchdown to Logan Stagl. Following a successful onside recovery, Foutain found Kolton Sutter on a 35-yard touchdown pass.

Kolton Sutter 35 yd TD from Fountain, Eisenhower 31 Northwestern 25, 0:47 4th, @NWSD_FOOTBALL

— Shane Lux (@PFN_Luxy) October 16, 2022


Northwestern second onside kick attempt went out of bounds, and the Knights held on.

“I felt we could have played that bootleg better on defense,” Brooks said. “I’m proud of my kids for battling and playing hard until the end. If we recover another onside kick, then who knows, stranger things have happened.”

The Wildcats will look to bounce back next Friday night when they host Seneca.

“We’ll come back on Monday, learn from our mistakes, and make sure we become a better football team moving forward,” concluded Brooks.”

When they travel to play winless Iroquois, Eisenhower will aim for 9-0.

“We always focus on next week and never look ahead,” Penley concluded. “It’s always about 1-0. We are focused on Iroquois.”

Game Highlights:


Eisenhower 31 Northwestern 25

Score by Quarters

Eisenhower – 8 8 8 7 – 31
Northwestern – 0 6 7 12 – 25

Score by Quarters

First Quarter

E – Keegan Eckstrom 17 yd run, (Benji Bauer rush), 1:11

Second Quarter

N – Lloyd Fountain 3 yd run, (pass failed), 4:01

E – Bauer 14 yd run, (Bauer rush), 1:14

Third Quarter

N – Landon Wayne 15 yd pass from Fountain, (Cole Mikovch pat), 10:52

E – Shawn Pascuzzi 13 yd run, (Bauer rush), 0:00

Fourth Quarter

E – Pascuzzi 6 yd run, (Cole Kellogg pat), 5:15

N – Logan Stagl 5 yd pass from Fountain, (rush failed), 1:38

N – Kolton Sutter 35 yd pass from Fountain, (kick failed), 0:47

Individual Stas

Rushing: E – Bauer – 27-198, Tucker Lindell 11-90, Eckstrom 5-33, Pascuzzi 5-10, Team 3-0. Totals: 51-331. N – Ben Campbell 8-30, Fountain 13-8, Wayne 1-5. Totals: 22-43.

Receiving: E – Bauer 1-1. N – Wayne 5-103, Sutter 3-38, Malcolm Schaefer 2-14, Cameron Swantek 2-22, Stagl 2-21, Campbell 1-32.

Passing: E – Pascuzzi 1-for-6, 1 yard, 1 INT. N – Fountain 15-for-28, 230 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT.

Interceptions: E – Garrett Jensen. N- Wayne.

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