Shooting blanks, throwing goose eggs … use whatever adjectives you want, but the best way to describe the Eldorado defense can probably be best summed up in one word: dominant.
In two games this year, the Eagles have yet to yield any points to the opposition. Eldorado is the only school in southern Illinois to have not given up a touchdown in eight quarters.
For their efforts, Eldorado is 2-0 in the Black Diamond Conference, but by no means in the drivers seat despite wins over Sesser-Valier-Waltonville-Woodlawn and Carmi-White County.
Vienna-Goreville, Fairfield and Chester are also unbeaten in league play.
That being said, Eldorado head coach Brandon Hampton is content with where is club is currently at.
"We're excited about (being the only team to not give up any points)," Hampton said. "We set a goal of being one of the top defenses in southern Illinois and we've been able to do that so far."
The collective effort by Hampton's defense, which includes Austin Miller (6-foot, 140-pound sophomore), Tristen Morse (6-foot, 265-pound senior) and Justin Wiseman (6-foot, 300-pound senior) on the defensive line with Braxton Roberts (6-foot, 175-pound junior), Dylan Roberts (6-foot, 200-pound senior), Derek Mitchell (5-foot-10, 175-pound senior) and Kaleb Williams (5-foot-11, 165-pound senior) as linebackers.
Drew Woolcot (5-foot-11, 145-pound sophomore), Nick Schimp (5-foot-11, 160-pound senior), Colton Edwards (5-foot-10, 140-pound senior) and Tyler Deaton (5-foot-10, 165-pound senior) manning Hampton's secondary.
So far, Eldorado has held two opponents to 93 yards rushing and 94 passing, giving up a total of 187. That's hardly the most impressive thing to Hampton though.
Intent on takeaways and forcing fumbles, the Eagles have forced 10 fumbles this year, recovering five and have intercepted two passes.
"We follow a real simple recipe on defense," Hampton said. "No. 1, we want to eliminate the big play. We really grade hard on plays we give up over 15 yards. In two games, we've only given up four. We really focus on taking the ball away and forcing turnovers. We have forced eight in two games and we've really been able offensively to help out or defense by hanging onto the football and dictating the tempo."
Eldorado employs a 3-4 front on defense, looking to get anywhere between a four and six man rush. Hampton's Eagles as of late have displayed a physicality on defense that the head coach says probably catches some teams off guard.
"When you're playing well on defense, you're getting a pass rush and you're keeping players contained, those things all equal out in the end. For us, it comes down to kids doing a good job of putting their eyes in the right spot and reading the keys."
Defense has long been Hampton's bread and butter. It's what he's always done, this particular scheme has something that's been in the works since 2010 and Hampton said it's success and trickled down to the lower levels.
Page 2 of 2 - "We are running this defense at the junior high, freshmen, junior varsity and all the way up to the varsity level. Our kids are very familiar with our system and our terminology," Hampton said.
"We have smart kids that can run and when you're able to do that on defense, you can do good things."