The song "Jump Around" by House of Pain blared in the Jacobs locker room minutes after the jubilant Golden Eagles defeated Dundee-Crown 34-7 Friday night to complete an undefeated march to the Fox Valley Conference Valley Division title.
Jumping around like a teenager was coach Bill Mitz, who began his career at Stevenson in 1977. The now-gray-haired leader of the Golden Eagles had reason to celebrate with his players after Jacobs won its seventh straight game and clinched the school's first outright, undefeated conference or division title in its 39th attempt. Jacobs shared the FVC title with Crystal Lake Central in 1979.
"It think it's a great accomplishment," said Mitz, whose record in four seasons at the Algonquin school is 25-14. "We started off 0-2 and our staff circled the wagons when a lot of people were doubting what we were doing. Lo and behold, we've won seven in a row. It's a testament to our whole staff and all our kids."
Friday's win over the District 300 rival Chargers was also a testament to the versatility of the Jacobs offense. On a night when senior quarterback Bret Mooney completed 7-of-14 attempts for 46 yards and was intercepted twice by D-C safety Sam Franckowiak, running back Josh Walker carried the Golden Eagles. The junior rushed for a career-high 251 yards on 23 carries, including touchdown runs of 7, 46 and 89 yards.
"We have so many weapons," Walker said. "If someone else doesn't have a great night, someone else can have a great game. That's what makes our team as good as we are because one of us is always going to have a great game."
Jacobs (7-2, 6-0) took a 13-0 lead by scoring on each of its first 2 possessions. An 11-play, 80-yard march was capped by Walker's 7-yarder, and Mooney's 1-yard sneak finished off an 11-play, 68 yard drive.
Franckowiak's second interception, which upped his area-best total to 6, set up a 31-yard scoring run by junior Caleb Parson, which trimmed D-C's deficit to 13-7 with 1:53 left in the second quarter. But that was just enough time for Walker to respond. Four plays later the speedy junior took a pitch to the right and dashed 46 yards up the right sideline, shaking off tackles along the way. TJ Moss' extra point staked Jacobs to a 20-7 lead with 56.6 left in the first half.
"That was the turning point in the game," D-C coach Vito Andriola said. "We had a little momentum. We hadn't played good, but we had made a couple of picks. But we give up a long score where he breaks three or four tackles. As a coach I knew it was going to be hard to come back."
Walker put the game out of reach with his 89-yard touchdown run on Jacobs' first possession of the second half. On a draw play to the left side, he got to the sideline and was gone.
"I got outside the corner and there was no one," Walker said. "I was like, 'Turn on the jets.' I had to take off."
Jacobs rushed for 412 of its 458 total hards. Meanwhile the Jacobs defense held Dundee-Crown (6-3, 3-3) to 217 yards, paced by 73 yards from junior Caleb Parson. Junior Cody Ferencz recovered a first-quarter fumble that led to a touchdown and senior lineman Mark Mamola intercepted a tipped pass.
"We all gang-tackled and we got them down one, two, three and that's it," said Ferencz, also a wrestler. "It feels awesome. There's no other feeling like being the first ones ever at this high school to do this."