Reinhardt sees rest of 2021 as ongoing one-game playoff

·2 min read

Oct. 8—Following Reinhardt's bounce-back win last week, it will host Bluefield in its Mid-South Conference Appalachian Division home opener Saturday at Ken White Field.

The Eagles (3-2) once again used the run game in powering through to a 40-16 win last week at Ave Maria, rushing for 346 yards and six touchdowns.

This week, Reinhardt returns to the comfort of home against Bluefield (1-4), which has lost its last three.

The Eagles are looking to show their latest win was not a fluke.

"I am hoping we can build off that game," coach James Miller said. "Even though it was close at halftime, we played really physical. I was proud of the way the guys played. We played really hard on offense and defense, but I still think there are areas we have to continue to improve on."

The passing game is an area where Reinhardt can still get better. Last week's game against Ave Maria was the second straight game in which the Eagles were under the 100-yard mark through the air.

Through its first five games, Reinhardt is averaging only 116.4 passing yards per game.

"That had a lot to do with the protection," Miller said. "We did not do a great job protecting the quarterback. That is an area we are going to have to improve on. In the second half, we ran it on them. We did not really need to throw it."

The story is nearly the opposite when it comes to Reinhardt's run game. The Eagles pride themselves on an efficient running game involving multiple contributors. In all three of Reinhardt's wins this season, the ground game had a significant role.

Devyn Collins has been a big part of the Eagles' run game this season, and he will likely continue leading the group going forward. Collins has 75 rushes for 474 yards and eight touchdowns, and he has not lost a fumble this season.

Bryce Burgess has also become a factor in the run game, with 19 rushes for 88 yards this season. He scored three touchdowns last week against Ave Maria.

From this point on, Reinhardt can not afford any more losses. Miller said the Eagles see this season as if the playoffs have already begun.

Reinhardt has a chance to make some noise with its upcoming schedule. Four of the Eagles' next five games are against teams with losing records. The toughest remaining matchup is on Oct. 23 against Faulkner.

"Our season is a one-game playoff," Miller said. "We have to come ready to go every game. There cannot be a letdown. We have to be ready every single week, and we have to be mentally and physically in our best condition to make plays. We have to make those plays."

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting