EUREKA — Maybe Rantoul will pick up a win against Eureka next year. Maybe the weather will cooperate for the two Corn Belt Conference foes.
Neither situation materialized for the Eagles on Saturday afternoon in a 32-6 loss to the Hornets.
"We've got a ways to go," Rantoul coach Joe Bendoraitis said. "We just need to get better. We have to stay positive and stay together. That's the biggest challenge."
For the second straight year, Rantoul lost to the Hornets in a game where inclement weather played as much of a factor as the actual plays on the field.
The Hornets, led by senior running back Carter Vance, overpowered the Eagles in a game at Pete FioRito Stadium at McKinzie Field on the campus of Eureka College. Eureka High School's field is undergoing renovations, which prompted the game to take place on a Saturday afternoon instead of a Friday night as it was originally scheduled.
Last year, Rantoul's Week 2 game against Eureka at Bill Walsh Field in Rantoul was delayed for more than three hours with bad weather in a game that didn't end until 1:30 a.m., and Eureka outlasted Rantoul for a 66-62 victory. That was the Hornets' last victory until Saturday.
"I'm not sure why it's always like this when we play Rantoul, but we'll take it," Eureka coach Brian Johnson said with a laugh. "We seem to play better, for some reason, in this weather."
Senior fullback Larry Crayton led the Eagles with 103 rushing yards on 16 carries, including a 46-yard touchdown run with 2:16 left in the second quarter. His burst up the middle cut Rantoul's deficit to 16-6.
"All I saw was green," Crayton said. "I just broke through."