When the Black Diamond Conference's best defense went up against the conference's best offense, something had to give.
It was an Eldorado defense, that has not only been the BDC's best — but southern Illinois' best — that put up a bend, but don't break performance in a 29-21 victory over Fairfield Friday night at Boz Adams Field.
Both clubs came into Friday night's contest unbeaten at 5-0. Now the Eagles stand undefeated and securely in the IHSA postseason at 6-0, joining Chester as the only two teams in the conference to have not lost a game.
As good as Eldorado's defense was Friday night, it's offense was even better.
The Eagles rolled up 330 yards of offense and used four different players in scoring touchdowns as they await that highly-anticipated contest with Chester in two weeks.
Fairfield and Eldorado played see-saw football Friday night, exchanging blows and trading scores.
Eldorado took a quick 7-0 lead on a Dylan Roberts three-yard run with 9:54 left to play in the fourth, before Fairfield tied the contest at 7-all.
The Eagles got a 12-yard run by Derek Mitchell with 4:59 to play in the first half, before the Mules knotted the score at 14-all with 29 ticks left before halftime.
The difference however was a second half run where Eldorado put up back-to-back scores as Colton Edwards found paydirt from 11 yards out with 2:58 to play in the third. The Eagles tacked on the 2-point conversion to take a 22-14 lead and followed it up with a 41-yard run by quarterback Nathan Burnett for 29-14 advantage with 7:45 to play in the fourth quarter.
Tyler Deaton led the Eagle rushing attack with 103 yards on 10 carries. Roberts racked up 74 yards on 17 carries and Mitchell tacked on 86 yards.
Eldorado head coach Brandon Hampton said the key to Friday night's victory was taking Fairfield out of what they wanted to do offensively and winning the battle of big plays.
"After the first series, I think our defense really settled in and did a nice job. We adjusted well and played well throughout the rest of the ballgame. We did give up a score late, but for the most part we hurt ourselves there with penalties and busted blocking assignments."
Hampton admits his Eagles didn't play as well as they could have and is still looking for a complete performance.
"It's great to win and be 6-0, but we still haven't clicked on all three phases of the ballgame. We will have to do that with just three games left on the regular season schedule.
"I thought Derek Mitchell had one of his best ballgames all season, on both sides of the ball and I thought our tight ends, Nick Schimp, Dillon Parker and Kaleb Williams blocked well. A lot of those things go unnoticed, but not to me."
Page 2 of 2 - Eldorado travels to Johnston City this Saturday for a 1 p.m. game at Ralph Davidson Field.