Jacobs big-played its way out of being numerically outplayed by McHenry in Friday night's Fox Valley Conference Valley Division football game in Algonquin.
Junior Josh Walker returned the opening kickoff 91 yards for a touchdown and ran for a 37-yard touchdown. Senior quarterback Bret Mooney had a near-perfect night as 3 of his 4 touchdown passes were in the mid-30s in yardage.
And the Golden Eagles overcame an early 7-point deficit and a huge disparity in total plays run for a 42-14 victory on the school's Hall of Fame night.
"Our defense didn't break and that's all that matters," Mooney said after hitting 13-of-14 passes for 222 yards and rushing for 72.
"We've got that capability this year," Jacobs coach Bill Mitz said after his team ran only 38 plays to McHenry's 85. "We can hit you real fast. Real fast."
Starting with the 5-foot-6, 160-pound Walker opening the game by breaking up the middle and racing to the end zone untouched after fielding the kickoff at the 9 of Jacobs (2-2, 2-0).
"Almost. One guy," Walker smiled about anyone from McHenry getting a hand on him. "I kind of coasted until the hole opened. After that I saw a seam and took off."
McHenry (2-2, 0-1) then ran the next 22 plays by recovering a squib kick in between its touchdowns to take a 14-7 lead. Payton Lykins scored from 13 yards on fourth-and-8 and Thomas Hellios (20 carries, 86 yards) scored from 2 yards.
But once Mooney finally got the chance to get in rhythm his last 12 passes were on the mark. His 37-yarder to junior Camden McLain (5 catches, 123 yards) tied it 10:58 before halftime.
Mooney also hit Hunter Williams (4 catches, 48 yards) from 36 yards at 5:25 and McLain from 34 yards at 2:18 to send the Golden Eagles into intermission ahead 28-14. He finished the scoring with a 12-yarder to sophomore Casey Dennison.
"Marian (which beat McHenry 40-14) runs a similar offense to us and that gave us a good scout," Mooney said after increasing his season passing totals to 799 yards and 9 TDs. "We definitely exploited some more weapons. Camden, I feel this will be a breakout game for him, and we definitely established the run in the second half."
The defense also stepped up after Mooney's tying second-quarter touchdown pass. Hellios ran for 46 yards on 4 carries to the Golden Eagles' 21, but after they called timeout, two-way lineman Mark Mamola and Steven Wilhelm sandwiched sacks around pass breakups by Greg McLeod and Sean McAvoy.
Mamola had 3 sacks and Wilhelm had two as Jacobs turned away four trips inside its 25 by McHenry. A Mamola sack helped set up a missed 42-yard field goal to end the half, Tommy Savage led a surge to stop quarterback Mike Briscoe (12-for-27, 151 yards) a yard short on fourth-and-2 at the 7 and Savage had an interception at the 6.
"Our coaches really excite me, I don't know about the rest of the guys," Mamola said with a smile about the early defensive timeout and turnaround. "We really wanted to finish everything. We just didn't want them to score. That's our No. 1 thing."