Reds head to Elizabeth for round two of playoffs after defeating Kent Denver

Football finishes round one of playoffs 45-6

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Emily Hogsett, News Editor

As football teams battled around the state for a spot into round two of the playoffs, Eaton took to the field playing Kent Denver on home turf and reigned victorious ending the night 45-6.  Going into week one of playoffs, Eaton was ranked number one bringing number 16 ranked to Eaton.  The Reds will be advancing into week two and are looking to battle number six ranked, Elizabeth. 

The Reds fought Elizabeth during the regular season for week three with Elizabeth having home-field advantage.  The Reds beat the Cardinals 31-7.  The Reds are one of two teams Elizabeth has lost to during their regular season.  

Assistant Head Coach Dean Grable said to win the next game, they need to work on “not beating ourselves.  We need to take care of what we need to take care of – like we always have said, we will beat ourselves long before anyone else does.  So we know Elizabeth is a good team –  obviously, they have made it this far.  We just have to do what we have to do and everything should be good.”

For the first round of playoffs, the Sun Devils took a trip to Eaton.  The Reds scored two touchdowns in the first quarter followed by three touchdowns and a successful field goal in the second quarter.  The Red’s last touchdown took place in the third quarter.  The night looked to end with a shutout for the Reds until Kent Denver got their only touchdown in the last 10 seconds of the game. 

All PAT attempts were successfully made by senior kicker, Jose Lopez (22).  Ryan Dirksen (22) scored three touchdowns for the Reds followed by Ryder True (23), Walker Martin (23), and Austin Martinez (23) with a touchdown each.  

 Kade Gentry (24) led the Reds in all-purpose yards with 90 yards.  Gentry was able to gain his yardage during the Red’s first kick return when he ran the ball just short of the Red end zone – where Dirksen was able to run the ball up the middle and make the first touchdown of the game.    

Dirksen’s last touchdown was made off of a fumble recovery put into play by lineman Jacob Webster (23).  Dirksen picked up the ball for a 53 yard run into the end zone.  Martinez led the Reds in receiving yards for a total of 51 yards, which he ran to the end zone for another Red touchdown.  Jordan Sidwell (22) followed Martinez in receiving yards with 31 total receiving yards for the Reds.  Interceptions were made by Trent Salberg (23), Joey Blaskowski (24), and Brogan Barr (22).  

“Without the line, it would be impossible for Walker to have the time to get the ball out to the receivers,” said Sidwell.  “Team-wise, I think we didn’t let down.  We played to our level and kept going.” 

Quarterback Martin led the Reds in total yards with 138 passing yards and 60 rushing yards for a total of 198 yards.  35 of Martin’s rushing yards were gained on his touchdown for the Reds.

True led Eaton with 11 tackles followed by Phillip Lawrence (22) with seven and Morgan Tribbett (23) with six.  Eaton’s offensive line held their own, giving quarterback Martin enough time in the pocket to make successful passes for the Reds – leading them to victory.  

Lawrence said he is looking forward to “the level of competition that we’ll get to face along with growing together more and more as a team and hopefully seeing the impact that we had on the Eaton Reds program.”

Eaton is ready to battle Elizabeth again for round two of the playoffs.  As they are in the runnings for another state title, the Reds are being carefully watched by other teams, but are ready to continue showcasing they are a force to be reckoned with.