'Family': Cousins help state-ranked Eureka football blast to shutout win over Tremont
TREMONT — They met at midfield when it was over, both teams on a knee, saying the Lord's Prayer together, then off to their own huddles, breaking with "Family."
Family carries a literal meaning with the Eureka football team under head coach Jason Bachman, who saw his son, Justis Bachman, and his nephew, Rylan Bachman, help the Hornets crush Tremont, 50-0 on Friday in a Heart of Illinois-Large Division conference game at Poorbaugh Field.
The cousins broke the postgame huddle with the No. 7-ranked team in Class 3A and headed toward waiting family and friends after the blowout victory moved Eureka to a 2-0 start.
"Our moms are best friends," Justis Bachman said. "It's fun to be on the field with Rylan."
Said Rylan Bachman: "We've been playing football together since we were in kindergarten. We know what to expect. And tonight was exactly what we were looking for.
"We never forgot what happened last year (a 48-17 Tremont thrashing of Eureka) and we were just stunned by it."
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Rylan Bachman is 5-foot-11, 185-pound running back and a linebacker who turned in 13 tackles on opening night.
Justis Bachman is a 5-foot-10, 165-pound receiver and defensive back who also returns kicks.
The senior cousins are among a wealth of offensive pieces held by the Hornets.
There is quarterback Jake Morin, who was 6 of 7 passing for 185 yards and two touchdowns, plus another 24 yards on five carries — while playing just the first half.
And senior receiver Drew Dingledine, who delivered a 6-yard TD catch and an 11-yard TD run on three touches.
And junior running back Mason Boles, who had a two-yard TD run and carried six times for 48 yards.
Justis Bachman ran four times for 40 yards and a 4-yard touchdown carry, while Rylan Bachman punched across the game's first points with a 1-yard run at 4:27 of the first quarter.
"It can be tough sometimes when your dad is also your coach," Justis Bachman said, grinning. "Mostly, though, it's great and I love playing for him. We have a really clear picture of what we're trying to do and how to do it. We just want to go week to week, not get ahead of ourselves."
They did get ahead quickly, though. Rylan Bachman finished off Eureka's opening drive with a carry from the 1.
Dingledine made it 14-0 when he hauled in a six-yard scoring pass from Morin with 25.7 seconds left in the opening quarter.
When the Hornets recovered a Tremont fumble on the first play of the second quarter, then made it 21-0 with 11:04 left when Morin hit Camron Manning for a 30-yard TD pass, there was no coming back for the 1-1 Turks.
Said Rylan Bachman: "We were swarming to the ball. Get hats on the ball. That's what we're supposed to do defensively. This team, our goal is to make sure we do all the little things right, in practice, and in the game."
Eureka scored on all five of its first-half possessions, Tremont never crossed midfield against the stout Hornets defense.
The second half was about watching reserves play under a running clock.
It added up to 19 first downs, a fumble recovery and 395 total yards for Eureka — including 210 on 26 rushes — while Tremont generated five first downs and 92 total yards on 30 rushes.
Dave Eminian is the Journal Star sports columnist, and covers Bradley men's basketball, the Rivermen and Chiefs. He writes the Cleve In The Eve sports column for pjstar.com. He can be reached at 686-3206 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @icetimecleve.