Former Cherokee High School standout Dylan Haynes was one former reserve who made an impact Saturday in the Eagles’ 41-36 victory over Bethel.
The third-string quarterback has stepped in to play fullback. He had six carries for 16 yards, picking up first downs for the Eagles twice.
Reinhardt coach Danny Cronic said Haynes has taken to the new position well.
“The quarterback generally knows what everyone else is supposed to do,” Cronic said. “So we were able to plug him in there at the fullback spot. The rest of the guys basically were guys that we had just moved there. Our confidence level wasn’t there for that.”
El-Malik Robeson-el also saw time at fullback, as did Jaylen Dodd, who had two carries for 38 yards.
The Eagles have been without fullback P.J. Greene for most of the season, while Niagel Curtis and Deonte Dennis have also lined up at the position, but were out for the game. T.C. Carter, who was injured Saturday after 10 carries for 43 yards, will be out indefinitely with a sprained MCL.
Cronic said it was good to get some different players in the game.
“It’s always great to do that,” he said. “It’s just the confidence level of the coaches to make certain calls was different.”
Freshman Phillip Leconte also came up with a big play. He recovered a fumble in the second quarter, which set up a Reinhardt touchdown.
STILL STINGING: Cronic said he is still taking Reinhardt’s season-opening loss at Mercer hard.
He continues to have flashbacks to certain moments on the field, including when the Eagles appeared to have scored a touchdown in the third quarter, only for the Curtis to be marked down at the 1-yard line. Reinhardt was stuffed short of the goal line twice more on the drive and turned the ball over on downs.
“It hurts because that’s a Georgia school,” Cronic said.
IN THE BLEACHERS: The announced attendance for Saturday’s game with Bethel was 1,467.
While the total was about two-thirds of the number of fans who attended Reinhardt’s home opener Sept. 7, the stands were still full.
Sports information director Jason Hanes said the athletic department is still pleased with the amount of support.
PLAYOFF PICTURE: As unlikely as it may have seemed when the season began, the Eagles are certainly thinking playoffs after winning back-to-back Mid-South Conference West Division games.
Reinhardt (3-2, 2-0) is tied atop the division with Campbellsville, which beat Belhaven 54-22 on Saturday. Cumberland (Tenn.) has played just one division game, also against Belhaven, but it, too, is unbeaten.
The Eagles will play a cross-division game at Union (0-3, 0-1) next Saturday before a bye week Oct. 12. They won’t play their next division game until Oct. 19, when they host Belhaven (0-5, 0-2) for homecoming.
IN THE RECORD BOOKS: Travis Nunley’s 100-yard kickoff return Saturday set a new record for the Eagles.
He broke the previous mark of 95 set by L.J. Stegall at Mercer.