Two of the three undefeated Black Diamond Conference football teams will clash Friday when the Eldorado Eagles travel to Sesser to take on the Sesser-Valier/Waltonville/Woodlawn Red Devils at 7 p.m.
Eldorado (2-0, 2-0 BDC) has won the last four games in the series, including 40-0 last year. Overall, the Red Devils lead the series since 2004, 7-5, posting a 4-2 record on their home field.
Eldorado beat Vienna-Goreville last Saturday, 34-15, after beating Chester, 42-22, on the opening weekend of the season.
“We’re focusing on ways to move the ball against a good coached and talented top tier Black Diamond team,” said Eldorado coach Joe Clark.
Sesser-Valier/Waltonville/Woodlawn (2-0, 2-0 BDC) beat Edwards County, 34-7, on the road last week to hand the Lions their first loss. The Red Devils beat Carmi-White County, 27-12, also on the road, on the opening weekend.
“We’re where we thought we should be and could be to beat Eldorado,” said S-VWW coach John Shadowens. “Eldorado is the two-time conference champs and have really done a turnaround down there. That is one great football program and football team.”
Last week Eldorado jumped out to 20-0 halftime lead and went on two long scoring drives in the second half to keep the Eagles at bay. Vienna-Goreville scored its final touchdown with 30 seconds left.
Offensively, the Eagles rushed for 319 yards on 36 carries and passed for 51.
“Our offensive line is the heartbeat of our team,” Clark said. “We run two tight ends with a full house backfield, which has been a traditional offense here for a long time.”
Senior running back Jacob Traxler, who verbally committed to SIU last week, led all rushers with 126 yards on 10 carries with three touchdowns, including a 46-yard run.
“Jacob’s a pretty talented player,” Clark said. “We like to give him the ball in several different ways.”
Junior fullback Dawson Metten added 89 yards rushing on 12 carries with a touchdown. Senior running back Wayne Roberts had 60 yards rushing on four carries, including a 38-yard touchdown run.
“In addition to Traxler and Metten, the third back is by committee with Connor Watt, Jace Jenkins and Roberts,” Clark said.
Senior quarterback Kale Oglesby completed 1of-2 passes. His one completion went to junior Joe Mayberry for 51 yards.
Defensively Eldorado gave up 197 yards rushing on 49 attempts and 23 yards passing on 1-of-3 completions. Mayberry had one interception at safety and the defense had two sacks.
Last week, Sesser-Valier/Waltonville/Woodlawn led 21-0 at the half and extended the lead to 28-0 when junior running back Eli Gunter scored on an 85-yard touchdown run on the opening series.
Offensively, the Red Devils rushed for 312 yards on 34 carries and passed for 82 yards on 5-of-10 passes. Gunter led the game with 128 yards rushing on eight carries.
“We prefer to run the ball, but we have to throw the ball, too, so I like our balance,” Shadowens said. “Peyton Rock is a three-year starter at fullback, Jayon Malone is a good blocker at both running back and fullback, and Gunter has come on this year and is our leading rusher. We started the year with all five of offensive linemen returning and lost our right guard (Mitchell Bulla) to an injury, but we have a sophomore (Matt Thery) who’s done a good job. We build around Bryce Jones, who was all-conference at right tackle last year. He’s what makes us go.”
Rock had 70 yards rushing on eight carries, including an 18-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. Malone added 46 yards rushing on nine carries with two touchdowns. The junior plays linebacker and recovered a fumble on the Lions 10 yard line setting up his first touchdown run last week.
Quarterback Clayton Smith completed 4-of-9 passes for 59 yards with no interceptions and caught one pass for 23 yards. The senior also kicked two points after and returned one kickoff for 30 yards. Senior wide receiver Lukas Gunter caught four passes for 59 yards.
Defensively, the Red Devils held Edwards County to 144 total yards, shutting down running back Cade Rivers, who had 56 yards rushing at the half, to a negative one yard on eight carries in the second half.