“Reinhardt Looks to Soar in Season Opener”
#4 Reinhardt Eagles vs Cincinnati Christian University Eagles
Kickoff at (1:30pm) EST
By: Trevor Carlton and Angel Cornista
The Reinhardt football team enters 2017 playing under new head Coach James Miller. The squad went (13-1) last season before losing to eventual national champion Saint Francis, Indiana, in the semifinals of NAIA tournament. That did not stop the team from learning from past mistakes and focusing on the new task at hand. The 2017 new season!
As Reinhardt approached the new season, changes were made in the coaching staff. Reinhardt announced the new Head Coach on January 13, 2017. Under Coach Miller the Eagles wrapped up their spring season with an offense vs. defense scrimmage. Dylan Wiggins lead in touchdowns to lead the offense, while defensively, Jalen Holloman and Javier Dyer dominated in tackles.
According to the Cherokee Tribune, head coach James Miller stated, “We escaped it without any serious injuries, which is always a positive. I just thought both sides did a good job in the closest thing we’ve had to a game so far.”
The Eagles also added a new offensive coordinator, Fred Jones. Hopefully the changes will have the Eagles soaring into action when they play Cincinnati Christian as their season opening game. The year ahead should be great for Reinhardt as the team returns many starters this year on offense and defense.
Cincinnati Christian finished the 2016 season without a single win. Moving forward to this year 2017 football season, Cincinnati Christian was hoping to soar into action with sophomore quarterback Braydon Womeldorf along with new offensive faces such as Austin Bowling and Garner Harris (RB). There are also some new faces on the defensive side, including Michael Williams, Andrew Alekna, Tyler Shobe, Mikal Marble, and Noah Carlson.
Cincinnati Christian’s opening season game was on August 26, 2017 against Ave Maria University (FL) on Cincinnati Eagle turf. Cincinnati was hoping to start the season off with a win but Ave Maria defeated the Eagles 36-21. Cincinnati Christian rushed a total of (118 yards), passed (108 yards), and had three turnovers. Austin Bowling #40 was their go to player for rushing with a total of (59 yards). When it came to passing and receiving #11 Braydon Womeldorf (passing 86 yards) (put the passing yards in parentheses) and #19 Zach Pickett (receiving 76 yards) led the squad.
The offense lacked consistency. However, the Cincinnati Christian defense stepped up in the third quarter which lead to Horton intercepting a pass and tightened the game to 29-21. Later, the Eagles fatigued and allowed two kicks to be blocked, which wrapped it up in the fourth quarter. According to CCU athletics, head Coach Fulcher said “I think [we] took this team lightly because they were 0-11 last year and so were we. We have to learn from our mistakes and don’t point the finger at another guy, point the finger at yourself and take care of business.”
Reinhardt University plays Cincinnati Christian September 2, 2017 in Ohio. Statistically speaking Reinhardt has many players that will look to help them win this year. Key players on the defense returning are Taylor Hawkins, Javi Dyer, Tevin McCoy, and Marcus Miller. Reinhardt lines theirs offense up with Center Xavior Carter, Dylan Wiggins, and Andy Whisenant.
In 2016, Reinhardt’s offense finished top ten and the defense finished top 20. They will be looking to do much better this year. The defensive line for Reinhardt is one of the best in the nation if not the best. They are returning all 4 starters, with key contributions from both Javi Dyer and Tevin McCoy who both combined finished with 22 sacks on the year last year. They will look to improve that this season. New quarterback Dylan Wiggins will look to lead this offense under new offensive coordinator Fred Jones. Dylan will have plenty of weapons at his disposal. He has Qua Stocks and Montralius Mosely who will look to have breakout seasons. If everything goes as planned, Reinhardt will be ranked in the top five as they have done the past few seasons offensively in NAIA. This is a proving year for Reinhardt, as they will attempt to remain a dominant team in NAIA. This is an astonishing feat for the team that is only in their fifth season of play. With great players returning and new faces showing up, winning a national championship is a huge goal that can be accomplished.
We believe that the Reinhardt Eagles will take this first game. Their mental toughness and competitiveness blows the Cincinnati Eagles out. Despite Cincinnati’s losing season last year, Reinhardt will not take that lightly. It’s college football, anybody can have an off day and win. Reinhardt will be a huge favorite over the young Cincinnati football program. It will be a tough game for CCU. On the other hand for Reinhardt, it should be more like a tune up game to prepare them for the long season ahead. It will be expected for Reinhardt to come out on top and to handle this team. With one season under their belt, CCU looks to set a new tone with new coaches and a new offense. It will be a game that viewers of college football should not miss! Are you ready to soar? Let’s go Reinhardt Eagles!!
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