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All week long, sophomore quarterback Jason Gregoire knew that his Cary-Grove teammates were going to support him.
Fullback Kyle Norberg let Gregorie know he had his back right away.
On the Trojans' first offensive play, Norberg ripped the Dundee-Crown defense on a 63-yard run setting the tone for the rest of the game.
Norberg finished with 329 yards and 3 touchdowns and a fully confident Gregoire made the most of his first start with 2 scores as Cary-Grove (8-0, 5-0) remained unbeaten with its 46-13 Fox Valley Conference Valley Division victory over the Chargers (3-5, 1-4) Friday night in Carpentersville.
The win clinched at least a tie for the FVC Valley title for the Trojans and denied Dundee-Crown its first playoff berth since 1994.
"The seniors all rallied behind me all week," said Gregorie, who started in place of senior Quinn Baker (injured finger). "(Norberg's 63-yard run) really relaxed me. I was really nervous on that first play. When Norberg ripped that first run, I was really confident."
Norberg gave Gregorie and the rest of the Trojans confidence boosts all night long. He rushed 12 times for 247 yards in the first half, which included runs of 63, 47 and 83 yards. The 83-yard run was a scoring play which extended the Trojans' lead to 17-0.
The Trojans got the ball back after Cody Lane fumbled on the Chargers' next offensive play and Mickey Duncan scooped it up.
Gregorie connected on a 25-yard pass to Ryan Mahoney and the ran in from 18 yards out to score 42 seconds after Norberg's run.
"(My run) gave Jason Gregoire a lot of confidence," said Norberg, who also scored on runs of 3 yards and 1 yard. "It made him stay calm. He did a great job handling everything."
Dundee-Crown nearly gave Gregoire a deficit to work with after marching down the first field on its opening possession. The Chargers, starting at their own 33-yard line, went 15 plays before missing a 27-yard field-goal attempt.
"They had a real nice offensive game plan," Trojans' coach Brad Seaburg said. "They were doing what they wanted to do."
The Trojans' defense settled down after that, holding Dundee-Crown's offense to 116 total yards in the first half. It took until the third quarter when Trent Muscat nailed a 32-yard halfback pass to Fabian Ramirez for a score to cut the C-G lead to 38-6 with 9:10 left in the quarter. It was the Chargers' first play of more than 9 yards in the game.
Their second was also a scoring play, this time Lane sprinting in a 79-yard touchdown run with 10:08 left in the fourth quarter.
Kasey Fields pounded in a 1-yard touchdown run and then caught the 2-point conversion from Kaene Connington to invoke a running clock with 4:47 left in the third quarter. Connington added a 6-yard scoring run with 1:46 left in the second quarter.
"We're not there yet," Chargers' coach Vito Andriola said. "We didn't tackle them. I give them all the credit."