MINONK - Fieldcrest reclaimed possession of the Veteran's Bowl trophy Friday evening after a 21-17 victory over Eureka at Veteran's Park.
"It's pretty special," said Knights' coach Derek Schneeman, who held onto the trophy in his right hand afterward. "The rivalry we have with Eureka is special. Our communities are natural rivals. When you have two of the top teams in the HOIC (Heart of Illinois Conference) standings, it's going to be physical."
A 33-yard touchdown pass from Cory Land to Kenton Castrejon, along with Jacob Joyal's point after, put Fieldcrest (8-0, 4-0) on top to stay with three minutes and 19 seconds left in the third quarter.
The Hornets reached the end zone twice in the third to take a 17-14 lead. A 15-yard TD strike from Matt Martin to Aden Sears, followed by Cade Gold's conversion, was the go-ahead score.
"We came out the way wanted to in the third quarter," commented Eureka coach Jason Bachman, whose trailed 14-3 at the break. "We fought hard and battled adversity."
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Castrejon (27 carries, 85 yards) went over 1,000 yards on the season. His 24th rush of the game pushed the senior over 1,000.
Martin threw for 164 yards and added 92 on the ground for the guests, who dropped to 6-2 overall and 2-2 in the large division.
Notes: With the victory, Fieldcrest clinched at least a share of the division crown. They burned the final 8:30 off the VP clock, as Eureka did not have any timeouts to use. They ran 15 plays for 53 yards and went four of four on third down conversions. For the sixth consecutive meeting, the squad that rushed for more yards won, as the Knights outgained the Hornets 133 to 98. Martin also intercepted a pair of Matt Lorton passes. Neither team punted or had a quarterback sack.
See article on Oct. 24 Woodford County Journal newsstands