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The Daily Register - Harrisburg, IL
  • Prep Football: Happy Homecoming

  • Balance lifts Eagles to Homecoming win over Hamilton Co.
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  • Coming into Friday night's clash with arch-rival Hamilton County, the
    Eldorado Eagles had won three games in four weeks without completing a pass.
    In the midst of a hectic week, though, head coach Brandon Hampton vowed to throw a few wrinkles into the plan, and it paid off in a big way, as fill-in sophomore quarterback Nathan Burnett completed three passes for 92 yards, setting up two of his team's three scores in a 22-11 takedown of the Foxes.
    "I told the kids all week, we were going to complete a pass," Hampton – who described himself as "relieved" after escaping Homecoming with a win – said. "The coaches kind of looked at me and grinned, but we've got some playmakers on this team, and we've gotta get to where we can compliment our running game, and we did that tonight."
    Burnett actually got things going with his feet on Eldorado's first drive. The Eagles had taken possession after a Hamilton County punt into the wind went just 20 yards. On a fourth and two, Dylan Roberts came up with a big four yard gain, and on the next play, Burnett took a keeper up the left side for 31 yards, all the way down to the one-yard line. Roberts then took a one-yard plunge for the game's first score, and in a harbinger of good things to come, Burnett rolled right and found an open Logan Kanady for the two-point conversion.
    The Foxes countered with a score of their own on a 27-yard field goal by Travis Stevens a little over three minutes into the second quarter, but that would be their last successful drive of the half. Two consecutive drives after that ended in fumbles, with Kaleb Williams and Tyler Deaton falling on them, respectively, for Eldorado. After the second, Burnett hooked up with Dillon parker on a 23-yard pass play, and two plays later, Burnett found paydirt on a quarterback sneak that – paired with a conversion by Roberts – staked the Eagles to a 16-3 lead with 23 seconds left in the half.
    Roberts then ended any pre-intermission rally attempt by picking off HamCo's Dylan Cottonaro on the Foxes' next play from scrimmage.
    Eldorado continued to extend its momentum at the start of the third. Deaton came up with a nifty, tackle-breaking 10-yard run on a fourth and four situation, and Burnett connected on his third pass of the night, a 37-yard bomb to Deaton – that set up a 9-yard burst by Derek Mitchell, giving Eldorado a 22-3 lead just four minutes into the half.
    Hamilton County cut into the lead a bit after a bad snap on Eldorado punt attempt gave them the ball inside the 10-yard line. On the second play from scrimmage, Balee Gay punched it in from five yards out, and the ensuing conversion by Cottonaro cut the lead to 22-11 with 6:53 left. However, Eldorado was able to kill enough clock and hold on defensively for the win.
    Page 2 of 2 - Roberts led the Eagles with 84 yards on 22 carries. Cottonaro topped Hamilton County with 79 yards on 16 attempts.
    Eldorado (4-1) will remain at home next week, hosting Johnston City.
    HC 0 3 0 8 – 11
    ELD 8 8 6 0 – 22
    Scoring Plays:
    1st Quarter:
    ELD - Roberts 1 yard run (Burnett pass to Kanady), 7:44
    2nd Quarter:
    HC – Stevens 27-yard field goal, 8:47
    ELD – Burnett 1 yard run (Roberts run), 0:23
    3rd Quarter:
    ELD – Mitchell 9 yard run (conversion failed), 8:01
    4th Quarter:
    HC – Gay 5 yard run (Cottonaro run), 6:53
    HC ELD
    First downs 9 12
    Total Yards 135 318
    Rushing 35-135 53-226
    Passing 4 92
    Comp-Att-Int 3-10-1 3-5-0
    Penalties/Yards 2-20 4-25
    Individual Statistics:
    RUSHING: HC, Cottonaro 16-79, May 1-2, Gay 7-33, 1 TD, L. Lueke 10-38, Mauser 1 (-17). ELD, Roberts 22-84-1 TD, Burnett 9-30-1 TD, Gollihur
    6-36, Deaton 7-20, Kanady 2-29, Mitchell 6-25, 1 TD, Roberts 1-2.
    PASSING: HC, Cottonaro 3-10, 4 yards, 1 INT. ELD, Burnett 3-3, 92
    yards, 0 INT, Mitchell 0-1, 0 INT, Deaton 0-1, 0 INT.
    RECEIVING: HC, Cottonaro 1 (-6), L. Lueke 1-1, Potter 1-9. ELD, Deaton 2-69, Parker 1-23.
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