After dropping the first two games of Wednesday’s non-conference match against Knox College, the Eureka College volleyball team stormed back to win game three and twice served game point in game four, but the visiting Prairie Fire rallied to hold off the Red Devils’ charge and earned a 25-18, 25-15, 16-25, 29-27 victory at the Reagan Center. The decision spoiled Eureka’s 2012 home opener. Knox (2-14) never trailed in either of the first two games to race to an early lead in the match. After a Eureka kill from freshman outside hitter Sam Vogel forced a 7-7 tie in the opening game, the visitors responded with six consecutive points to take control with a 13-7 cushion. Eureka clawed back within five, 15-10, after a kill from senior outside hitter Shari Steidinger, but the Prairie Fire was able to coast to a 25-18 win. Game four saw 17 ties and 11 lead changes, as neither squad was able to push their lead past four points. Knox gained their biggest edge of the frame at 16-13 following a Eureka attack error. The Red Devils fired back, using a 8-2 run capped by a kill from junior outside hitter Jacqui Kane to lead 22-18. Knox answered with four straight points for a 22-22 tie, but the Red Devils ultimately forced game point, 25-24, after Peyton McAtee’s kill. Knox was able to fend off game point twice over the next series of volleys, and eventually earned the victory when Amber Eisha blocked the Red Devils’ attack for a 29-27 victory. Click here to view more game photo’s.
Eureka College senior quarterback Sam Durley (Roanoke, IL./Roanoke-Benson H.S.) broke an NCAA single-game record with 736 passing yards, one of six school records broken on Saturday, helping the Red Devils come from behind for a 62-55 non-conference victory over Knox College in the inaugural Abraham Lincoln Bowl at the Harley Knosher Bowl in Galesburg, IL. Durley’s effort broke the previous single-game record of 731 yards held by Menlo College quarterback Zamir Amin on Oct. 7, 2000. Durley finished the game 34-for-52 with five touchdown passes, including a pair of strikes to junior wideout Jake Bane in the final two minutes of the game to cap a run of 17 unanswered points by the Red Devils. Durley’s final touchdown pass, a 13-yard toss to Bane with 20 seconds remaining, gave the Red Devils their first lead of the afternoon that eventually held up as the final 62-55 score. In addition to the single-game NCAA record, Durley broke Eureka’s all-time passing yardage, attempts and passing touchdown records on Saturday. The senior now has 6,095 career passing yards, 792 attempts and 48 touchdowns. Each mark bested the previous record held by Durley’s former teammate Nick Lindsey (2006-09). Durley is the first Red Devil in program history to throw for 6,000 yards. Durley’s effort allowed Bane and newcomer Jordan Kindred to compile two of the top receiving performances in program history. Kindred, playing his first organized football game of any kind on Saturday, hauled in 13 balls for 235 yards. The 13 catches were the third-most catches in a game by a Red Devil in program history, while the 235 yards marked the fourth-best performance in school history. Bane made seven catches for 207 yards. The yardage total marked the ninth-highest single-game total in school history. As a team, Eureka rolled up 821 yards of total offense, besting the previous school record of 744 set versus Crown on Nov. 7, 2009. In all, the game featured 1,290 yards of total offense and 60 first downs. Eureka’s 62-point effort was the fifth-highest single-game point total in the 109-season history of the program. Eureka’s victory secured ownership of the Abraham Lincoln Bowl traveling trophy, a bronze bust of a young Abraham Lincoln that will be awarded to the winner of each game in the series. Click to View and Purchase more Game Photo’s.
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Beloit College scored a pair of fourth quarter touchdowns to break open a close game and defeat Knox College in Midwest Conference play 34-20 Saturday at the Knosher Bowl. Dillon Hess ran in a 4-yard touchdown with 12:09 to play and Raymond Thomas capped off the day’s scoring with a 3-yard run as Beloit (1-3, 1-2 MWC) outscored the Prairie Fire 13-0 over the final 15:00 and earned its first win of the season. The Prairie Fire took a 7-0 lead when sophomore quarterback Drew Diaz scored on a 5-yard run at the 11:06 mark of the second quarter and junior Doug Lillibridge connected on the PAT. The lead could have been bigger, but Lillibridge missed a pair of first quarter field goals after Knox drove into the red zone on its first two possessions of the game.
Diaz completed 17-of-38 passes for 204 yards. He also carried the ball eight times for 64 yards. Senior running back Luke Northam added 53 yards rushing on eight carries as the Fire ground game piled up 236 yards. Brian Maughn was 23-of-33 for 359 yards and two touchdowns for the Bucs and Derek Carrier caught both of the TD passes and finished with seven catches for 153 yards. Zach Draus led the Beloit run game with eight carries for 71 yards.
Eureka College junior pitcher Sarah Jesse won her fifth straight pitching decision and scored the first run of the game in extra innings, helping the Red Devils move over the .500 mark for the first time since the 2008 season in Eureka’s 2-1 victory over Knox College in the opener of Wednesday’s non-conference doubleheader in Galesburg, IL. The Prairie Fire earned an 11-3 win in game two to salvage the split. After neither squad could push a run across in the first seven innings in game one, Jesse collected her second hit of the afternoon to lead off the inning and start the Eureka (9-9) rally. She quickly moved to second after a base hit from freshman right fielder Caty Eeten. Sara Hamilton led all players in game one with three hits, while Eeten and Jesse each hit safely twice. In the pitching circle, Jesse fired all 8.0 innings, allowing only five hits and one earned run while striking out five.