Nine weeks into the season, Eureka sports a 6-1 overall mark, including a perfect record in a lightweight conference. Yet, head coach Farrell Shelton’s message hasn’t changed.
It’s all about the process.
Pick any of the unusual circumstances leading up to Eureka’s eventual 40-0 rout over Lindbergh and you could make a case for the multitude of penalties and mental lapses made by the Wildcats. Hours before kickoff the game was moved to Parkway Central because of unplayable field conditions. To top it off, it was Eureka’s Homecoming.
And despite recording its third shutout of the season, Eureka made far too many senseless mistakes that to Shelton’s liking.
Without pausing, Shelton said he wasn’t surprised by the penalty-marked performance.
“It’s the team, it’s Week 9, and I could see it coming,” Shelton said. “It was just a little bit and a little bit and then tonight … it just won’t stop. It’s the same penalties that we made tonight that [we’ve made before].”
Brett Geisz rushed for a season-high 203 yards, passed for 151 and scored three total touchdowns. Halfback Stephen Erutti was a factor when his name was called. Most important to the naked eye, the Wildcats hung 40 on their opponent.
However, the Flyers were no juggernaut. They went winless in the conference and allowed nearly 31 points per game in their four conference tilts.
“I think we’re talented [offensively], but you never know,” Shelton said. “When you play teams that you’re more talented [than] you can get away with that stuff.”
That was the case against the Flyers.
The Wildcats scored on their opening drive on Geisz’s one-yard quarterback keeper.
Then the penalty flags started flying.
Eureka’s next drive began on their own 25, but was spoiled by a chop block. A fake punt failed and the Wildcats turned the ball over on downs.
Trailing by a touchdown, it looked as if Lindbergh was going to tie the game. But on third-and-7, linebacker Zach Seiler intercepted Logan Offner’s pass. It was Seiler’s first interception of the season.
The turnover gave the Wildcats’ offense a chance to redeem themselves.
But to no avail.
The mishaps continued on Eureka’s next drive. A pair of false starts and one of a handful of passes that grazed off the fingertips of Cam Nisbet kept the offense out of the end zone. However, Bo Highfill extended the lead to 10-0 with a 27-yard field goal.
Shelton addressed the first-half penalties at halftime, but little changed in the second half even though Eureka scored 14 points in the fourth quarter.
“What was disappointing was it was seniors and it was [guys] making the same mistakes,” Shelton said. “I never preach that. I preach the process, not the end result.
“The teams that move into the championship understand that. I’ve got a group of kids that don’t. I’ve got a great [defense] of seniors. But in Class 6, you’ve gotta have a large number of people that are all playing together.”