Grayslake coach Steve Wood exclaimed on Friday night that his Grayslake North Knights are headed to the playoffs. After six games of the regular season schedule?
Yep, it's true.
With an electrifying offense spearheaded by quarterback AJ Fish, the Knights put away a pesky Woodstock team 42-21 in Fox Valley Conference Fox Division play by scoring two fourth-quarter touchdowns. Those Knights are now 5-1.
Fish had a special night both running and throwing the ball.
"I love all the freelancing in this offense,'' Fish said. "We run and we pass. Everything for getting us to the playoffs. We can score a lot of points with this offense."
On a night in which the North players wore pink in support of Breast Cancer research, the Knights led early and held on against a strong offense performance from the Blue Streaks.
"Woodstock played great,'' Fish said. "They came out and hit us."
When big back Nick Rogers blew in from 2 yards out, the Blue Streaks (2-4) had pulled within 21-14 with six minutes to play in the third quarter.
All that did was ignite the North offense. It took the Knights all of three plays to answer the Woodstock score. Fish went 32 yards for the touchdown and the lead was 28-14.
"Hey, our kids responded when it got to be 21-14,'' Wood said.
Fish pretty much salted this game away in the final quarter. The senior's 7-yard touchdown run gave the Knights a 3-touchdown lead early in the fourth quarter. Two minutes later, he found teammate Vincent Smith open for a 22-yard touchdown pass.
"We try and run this offense at a high rate of speed,'' Wood said.
It looked early like the Knights might dominate. Speedy Titus Booker ended an eight-play drive with a 4-yard scoring plunge two minutes into the game.
Fish then went to the air for a 10-yard scoring pass to Brad Baker. The Blue Streaks cut the 14-0 deficit in half using a fake punt to move the ball forward.
Again, the Knights and Fish answered that score quickly. With 19 seconds before halftime, Fish ran in from 9 yards out restoring the lead to 21-7.