By Zach Dietmeier
LEROY - Running backs Austin Eddy, Cory Eastham, and Shane Bruning combined for 430 yard rushing and eight touchdowns as state-ranked LeRoy moved past Brown County, 61-24, in the opening round of the Class 1A playoffs.
LeRoy (10-0) scored on its first six possessions en route to a 49-24 halftime lead. The Panthers defense shook off a shaky first half to shut out Brown County (5-5).
Austin Eddy found the end zone four times on runs of 6, 2, 18 and 10 yards, while Bruning and Eastham each scored twice. Bruning, who led all rushers with 236 yards on 19 carries, scored on runs of 76 and 28 yards. Eastham added 138 yards on 16 carries and scored on runs of 4 and 27-yards.
Nick Aupperle caught a 9-yard pass for the Panthers' other touchdown.
"It was a good win against a good program," said Panthers' coach BJ Zeleznik. "Brown County may not have had the ball club they've had the past couple of years, but they're back-to-back state seminfinalists in 1A. We knew they were coming in with a good game plan and be a tough out. I thought our kids did what they needed to win."
LeRoy plays at Flanagan against Heart of Illinois Conference opponent Flanagan-Cornell-Woodland in the second round Saturday at 2 p.m. The Panthers defeated F-C-W, 49-12, during the regular season.
"It's always difficult to see a team for a second time," said Zeleznik. "We know them well and they're coming off a huge win. I know they'll be ready for another crack at us."
L - Cory Eastham 4-yd run (Nic Stevens kick)
L - Austin Eddy 6-yd run (Stevens kick)
L - Eddy 2-yd run (Stevens kick)
L - Eddy 18-yd run (Stevens kick)
BC - Adam Veith 72-yd run (conversion pass good)
L - Shane Bruning 76-yd run (Stevens kick)
L - Nick Aupperle 9-yd. pass from Stevens (kick failed)
BC - Broxton Phelps 60-yd run (conversion run)
L - Eddy 10-yd run (Aupperle pass from Stevens)
BC - Phelps 7- yd run (conversion pass)
L - Bruning 28-yd run (kick failed)
L - Eastham 27-yd run (pass failed)
Zach Dietmeier can be reached at Zach.Dietmeier@cumulus.com.