Sometimes history repeats itself, but in the case of Eldorado playing at Maroa-Forsyth on Saturday at 2 p.m. in the 2A football playoffs, Eagles coach Joe Clark is hoping it won’t be déjà vu, all over again.
‘I’m calling this game Round Two, Round Two, because this is round two of the playoffs and round two of our history playing each other,” Clark said. “This is a new chapter, and we’ll see how it unfolds.”
Last year, the two teams met for the first time in Eldorad,o and it was a whale of game, with Eldorado leading 34-27 late in the third quarter, but quarterback Tyler Ray scored on two touchdown runs to knock the Eagles out of the playoffs. Ray was the star of the game with three touchdown passes and two rushing touchdowns.
“As far as last year is concerned, we as coaches don’t think about that in preparing for this game,” Clark said. “We think of them as a good team, so we need to maximize our strengths and minimize our weaknesses. The M.O. of this team is, when teams beat us, it’s a close game and they earn it.”
Maroa finished second last year, but that was then and this is now. Ray graduated and sophomore Ian Benner, who started on defense last year, is now the quarterback. The leading rusher, Jaxson Nelson, and the top receivers, Logan Allsup and Grant Weis, also graduated.
By contrast, the majority of the last year’s Eagles team is back for another crack at the Trojans, led by a pair of seniors: quarterback/outside linebacker Kale Oglesby and running back/inside linebacker Jacob Traxler, who has already committed to SIU next year.
Eldorado (8-2) opened the playoffs at home beating Red Bud, 38-13, holding the Musketeers to 207 total yards (66 rushing) while forcing six turnovers, including five interceptions. Offensively, the Eagles had 404 total yards.
“Oglesby made us go last week,” Clark said. “We had some breaks and success early and it continued to flow.”
Eldorado comes in averaging 33.2 points a game while giving up 11.9. The Eagles average 311 yards a game (253.6 yards rushing and 57.5 passing), while giving up 114.6 total yards (81.7 rushing and 32.9 passing).
Maroa-Forsyth (9-1) comes in on a seven-game winning streak after beating Illini West, 56-28, last week with over 600 yards of total offense. The Trojans are averaging 247.1 yards rushing and 154 yards passing and 43.7 points a game.
“We playing at a high level and are pretty healthy for this time of year, so we’re excited to be playing home again,” said Maroa-Forsyth coach Josh Jostes.
During the season Maroa gave up 17.3 points a game, holding teams to 225 yards a game (75 rushing and 150 passing).
“Offensively we are able to run and throw, so we take what the defense gives us,” Jostes said. “Defensively, the teams that have scored have thrown the ball. Nobody has scored running on us.”
Last week for Eldorado, Traxler rushed for 111 yards on 18 carries. Jace Jenkins added 61 yards on six carries, including a 38-yard touchdown run, and Dawson Metten had 60 yards on 16 carries and a one-yard touchdown.
Oglesby completed 5-of-5 passes for 161 yards with two touchdown passes and no interceptions. Oglesby also had two interceptions, including a 54-yard return for a touchdown. Joe Mayberry caught three passes for 106 yards and Braden Attebury had touchdown catches of 35 and 20 yards.
Traxler leads the team in rushing with 1,155 yards on 119 carries and 12 touchdowns. Metten is second with 610 yards on 123 carries and 12 touchdowns.
Oglesby has completed 23-of-46 passes for 585 yards with eight touchdown passes and three interceptions. Attebury is the leading receiver with 10 catches for 141 yards and four touchdowns, while Mayberry has nine receptions for 334 yards and two touchdowns.
Traxler is also the leading tackler with 99 tackles, four sacks, one interception, four forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and one defensive touchdown.
Attebury leads the team in sacks with eight, and Metten has five. Attebury had two sacks and 12 pressures against Red Bud, and Metten had a sack as well.
Deondre Gregory leads Maroa with 1,200 yards rushing on 109 carries and 21 touchdowns scored. He also has nine catches for 112 yards and two touchdowns.
“Last year we played four wides and Gregory started at receiver,” Jostes said. "He’s been a running back all his life and we were just trying to get him on the field last year. He had 600 receiving and 800 rushing last year.”
Gregory is coming off a big game, rushing for 305 yards on 14 carries. He scored six touchdowns -- five rushing -- on runs of 49, 31, 29, 15 and six yards and one on a 22-yard touchdown pass.
Last week Benner completed 7-of-10 passes for 182 yards and two touchdowns. For the season he has completed 92-of-143 passes for 1,419 yards with 19 touchdown passes and four interceptions, and is the second leading rusher with 816 yards on 104 carries and eight touchdowns scored.
“Brenner is a dual threat kid,” Jostes said. “He started to play really good football for us after he struggled in week three and has got better every week.”
Aaron Inda is the leading receiver with 25 catches for 392 yards and five touchdowns. Kameron Boline has 23 catches for 362 yards and five touchdowns, Max Davenport 18 catches for 314 yards and three touchdowns and Charlie Hubbard 11 catches for 196 yards and three touchdowns.