Senior Night doesn’t go Eisenhower’s way
It was not the way Eisenhower's seniors envisioned their final home game unfolding.
Facing a large deficit against a highly-touted opponent, the Eagles refused to fold their tent and go away quietly even 32 second half points by the Ike offense was not enough to overcome a devestating run game by No. 3 Bishop McGuinness as the Irish beat the Eagles, 70-32, at Cameron Stadium on Friday.
Despite the loss, the Eagles know they are still in the playoffs. A win against Northwest Classen next week will seal third place in the district and give the team, especially the seniors, a special distinction. Ike went into the game knowing many gave them little chance against McGuinness. But for head coach Mike Burris and his team, it was still disappointing to see the seniors' final home game play out the way it did.
"I hate it for them," Burris said. "We just got to get better. We've got two games left for sure."
Missed opportunities plagued the Eagles early. Even after forcing a fumble on McGuinness' first offensive play, Eisenhower could not capitalize and would have to punt after losing yardage on a penalty. The Irish responded with an 80-yard drive that culminated in a 41-yard touchdown run by running back Dominic Richardson. That sequence summed up much of the game for Eisenhower.
The Eagles recovered another Irish fumble in the second quarter. Again, however, they were unable to get into any rhythm offensively. Forced to punt again, the Eagles were unable to stop reserve quarterback Luke Tarman from scoring on a touchdown run with five minutes left in the first half.
But the deadliest mistake for Eisenhower came on their next possession, when a fumble gave McGuinness the ball in Ike territory. Another Richardson touchdown gave the visitors a 21-0 lead with less than two minutes before halftime.Ike had a tough time bringing down Richardson throughout the game. The sophomore, who came into the game leading the state in rushing, finished with 315 yards and four touchdowns on 21 carries. As a team, McGuinness ran for 513 yards.
The second half began much like the first ended. A 45-yard run by Richardson was followed immediately by a 19-yard touchdown sprint from quarterback Brennan Mullins on a two-play drive.
But Ike responded from there, getting the offense in a rhythm it had been in since a win over Guthrie two weeks prior. And it was only fitting that on Senior Night, seniors accounted for all but seven of Ike's offensive yards.
After several runs by quarterback RJ Fisher, a pass from Fisher to fellow senior Kinyon Parker drove the Eagles down to the one-yard-line of McGuinness. Running back Kenneth Graham, yet another senior, barrelled in for the touchdown.
The Eagles scored all 32 of their points in the final 30 minutes of game time. And even though they were still outscored in that timeframe, it was the willingness to show resilience that Burris was proud of.
"That's good that the kids kept fighting, they fought hard," Burris said. ""We just got to learn. Fundamentals, fundamentals."