Opposing offensive linemen may believe they have a big advantage when they see Cary-Grove senior Jordan Laktas on the other side of the line.
Laktas does not see himself at even the slightest disadvantage even though he is only 5-feet-9 and 175 pounds. Fighting against three times his weight in Friday night's Fox Valley Conference football game against Jacobs was a prime example.
Laktas helped tip the scales toward a 35-point Cary-Grove (3-1, 3-1) advantage during the three quarters its first-team defense was on the field in a 35-14 victory in Algonquin.
"Our D-line was doing a great job of doing what they were supposed to do," said Cary-Grove cornerback Collin Walsh of Laktas, Jacob Kuhl (6-0, 184) and Dan Gajewski (6-2, 170).
Latkas was up against the big Jacobs (2-2, 2-2) junior duo of Jimmy Wormsley (6-3, 280) and Cade Purifoye (6-3, 303). But Laktas didn't back down as he had a sack and put plenty of pressure on Bowling Green-bound quarterback Chris Katrenick (27-for-57, 294 yards).
"There's nothing better than see a big guy who looks at such a small guy like me and thinks he'll own me all night long," Laktas said. "The first play you punch them in the mouth and that sets the tone for the rest of the game."
Kuhl and Nicholye McClure also had sacks and linebacker Kevin Pedersen and Walsh had stops for losses. Two of the three touchdown runs by Max Skol, who had 127 yards on 22 carries with Tyler Pennington still resting a sprained ankle, were set up by his own forced fumble and recovery and Benjamin Ferrell's 63-yard interception return.
And Walsh finished the Cary-Grove scoring on the first play of the fourth quarter when he raced 20 yards with a ball he popped loose. The constant pressure up front took a big toll on Jacobs.
"We kind of count on them to do that," said Cary-Grove coach Brad Seaburg. "We're pretty used to being undersized against every team, but we teach them to play fast and low and relentless.
"(Jacobs) ran 79 offensive plays so they're doing it every down, every down, for a long time and a lot of plays."
Skol had touchdown runs of 13 and 11 yards in the first half and Ryan Magel raced 83 yards around the right side for a 21-0 lead 58.7 seconds before halftime. Quarterback Bobby Collins and Kyle Pressley respectively had 61 and 55 of Cary-Grove's 338 rushing yards.
Jacobs was in a bind with junior Loren Strickland, who rushed for 103 yards last week, out because of illness. David Butros (7 carries, 48 yards) went out with cramps in the second half and its No. 3 running back was also hurt, putting Bill Mitz in a situation he said he had not encountered in 35 years of coaching.
Six dropped passes in the first half didn't help the Golden Eagles, either. Katrenick did hit John Farrissey (12 catches, 143 yards) for a 26-yard touchdown and he ran for a 1-yard score in the final 7:56.
"(Cary-Grove) played well," Mitz said. "We dropped too many balls and right at the beginning of the game it's important to get that against a good team like that."
Seaburg said he would "be shocked" if Pennington did not play next week when Huntley visits Cary.
"He was doing cuts before the game and he looked good," Seaburg said. "Fortunately the way the game was we could sit him one more week here."