After two early losses, Reinhardt responded with its back against the ball.
Last week’s 63-18 win over St. Andrews marked the Eagles’ fifth straight win, and they will look to carry that streak into senior day Saturday against Union.
“I want to see us build on what we have done the last few weeks,” Reinhardt coach James Miller said. “From a physicality standpoint, we played well. We did a great job on defense creating turnovers. I want to see that continue to happen.”
The Eagles’ defense has been excellent over the last three weeks. Reinhardt (7-2, 4-0 Mid-South Appalachian) blanked Point, surrendered just one touchdown to Faulkner and gave up 18 points to a strong St. Andrews offense.
“We beat a good team last week,” Miller said. “They had been putting up points all season. I was proud of the way our guys came back after a really tight and physical game against Faulkner to play the way we did.”
As good as the Reinhardt defense has been, offense reigned supreme last Saturday.
The Eagles’ passing game broke out, with receiver Navarie Solomon’s record-setting output of nine catches for 246 yards and four touchdowns. Quarterback Billy Hall had his best passing game, completing 13 of 20 passes for 328 yards and six scores.
Hall and Solomon playing at their best at this point in the season bodes well for Reinhardt. With most teams looking to contain the Eagles’ run game, there has often been space to move through the air.
“Navarie was top-notch, and Billy was on,” Miller said. “When those two guys are on, they are super talented. They could do that every week.”
Reinhardt got it done through the air against St. Andrews after struggling with efficiency two weeks ago. Miller knows how important excelling in both the run and pass is for Reinhardt’s postseason aspirations.
“When you get to that next set of games, you need to do both,” Miller said. “You have to throw it and run it at certain times. There is going to come a point where a team will stop your run or your pass. You have to be able to lean on one or the other, depending on what clicks that day.”
Miller highlighted the Union running game, led by Isaiah Wright, for what his defense has to key on. Wright carried the ball 26 times for 120 yards and a touchdown last week in the Bulldogs’ 27-20 loss to Point.
The Reinhardt defense has been solid to this point, and with the offense coming on, the Eagles are becoming a tough team to beat.
“I want to see us continue to make plays against Union,” Miller said. “We need to continue progressing as a complete football team. I want to see us do the little things to become the team we are capable of being.”