Cary-Grove quarterback Quinn Baker revealed a new goal the Trojans conceived last week after their 17-3 win at Crystal Lake South that wasn't revealed until Friday night.
The goal Baker alluded to was that since the Trojans didn't execute well offensively in the win over South, they had to score on 75 percent of their possessions against Hampshire.
Was the goal achieved against in Hampshire?
Scoring on your first 6 possessions and 7 of your 8 overall says so.
"Six-for-6 is a pretty good percentage," Baker said after as his Trojans (4-0, 1-0), the No. 7 ranked team in Class 7A, scored the first 42 points en route to a 49-13 Fox Valley Conference crossover win over the Whip-Purs at Hampshire Athletic Field. A running clock came into effect at 9:53 in the third quarter after Baker's 50-yard touchdown pass to receiver Zach Marszal and it had Baker's, the Trojan offensive line and fullback Kyle Norberg's fingerprints all over it.
Baker (5-for-6,104 yards passing) rushed 14 times for 87 yards, scoring the game's first 2 touchdowns. Norberg led the Trojans with 144 yards on 13 carries, including 2 touchdowns on runs of 44 and 45 yards, all coming in the first half.
Aware of the Whip-Purs' momentum-building wins over Dekalb and Grayslake Central, Cary-Grove wanted to send Hampshire a message. And the Trojans did in the rushing department, out-rushing the Whips 242-34 by halftime, finishing them off 414-185 in total yards by game's end. Kaene Connington also rushed for a 16-yard score for C-G.
"They were coming off two big wins and we knew that," Baker said. "Our goal going in was to set the tone early. Keep the momentum on our side."
Momentum was a ghost for Hampshire (2-2, 1-0). The Whips never saw past their own 49 in the first half and managed just 1 first down. Hampshire punted 3 times and turned the ball over twice on a fumble recovered by Patrick O'Malley and through the air by Kasey Fields. Hampshire coach Dan Cavanaugh compared Cary-Grove's defense to a fortress.
"That brick wall is Cary-Grove," Cavanaugh said, whose team passed for only 6 yards. "They're known for their defense and they had a lot to do with that. That brick wall, they just play darn good defense."
Hitting the wall were running backs Phil LaPointe and Tyler Crater. In last week's win over Grayslake Central, LaPointe rushed for 134 yards, Crater for 91. LaPointe was held to just 8 yards, Crater managed 26. Both scored touchdowns in the second half against Cary-Grove's second unit.
"That's a good football team we played," Crater said. "They came out and really stuck it to us. They were able to really stop our go-to plays."
It's easy to over look the Trojan defense in a blowout win where the offense carried the load. But Fields' pick at the Whip-Purs' 34 came on Hampshire's second possession and O'Malley's recovery late in the second quarter on the Hampshire 38 set up good field position for Baker and Norberg, who would score on the subsequent possessions.
"You can't score that many points without getting turnovers and a short field," Trojans coach Brad Seaburg said. "Without those turnovers, it's a different game."
Hampshire's bright spot was Pat Kuefner's 74 yards on 10 carries. Cary's Marcus Thimios hauled in a 35-yard pass from backup QB Ryan Dundon's for the game's last play.