During halftime, both Jacobs and McHenry entered the Wayback machine. With both teams' passing games out of sync in the first half, both coaches changed tactics and went to some old-school, smashmouth football.
It almost worked for Jacobs, as the Golden Eagles nearly overcame a 14-0 halftime deficit, but wound up on the short end of a 33-29 score at McCracken Field in McHenry.
The Eagles had just 3 rushing yards, and 70 total yards at halftime. They got more than half of that on the first 2 plays after intermission, as tailback Loren Strickland raced around the left side for 17 yards and then 21. The Eagles continued to pound away until quarterback Chris Katrenick sneaked over from the 1-yard line to make it 14-7.
The teams proceeded to trade TDs for the rest of the game. The Warriors appeared to lock things up when Gino Purpura scored his fourth of the game with 1:11 left.
But Katrenick led the Golden Eagles down the field with a suddenly revitalized passing attack, finding Nick Desmond in the end zone with 7 seconds left to keep Jacobs' hopes alive. But the ensuing onside kick didn't travel the required 10 yards and McHenry was able to take a knee.
"The kids battled back," said Jacobs coach Bill MItz. "But that's just been our season so far, we can't come through with some plays sometimes."
The Eagles finished with 203 yards on the ground, led by Strickland with 112 on 20 carries.
"All 3 of the kids just ran hard," Mitz said. "We went to a different formation and just pounded the ball in there."
After a scoreless first quarter, McHenry broke on top on Purpura's 75-yard run. He broke through the middle and ran straight upfield. The Warriors added another score just 20 seconds before halftime and that proved to be critical. Purpura finished with 202 yards on 22 carries and the 4 scores.
After catching fire on the final drive, Katrenick finished 12 of 26 for 140 yards. Trevor Loewen had 5 catches for 80 yards, including a leaping 25-yard grab along the sideline that kept the last drive going.
The Eagles' defense held McHenry's Colton Klein to just 5 completions for 71 yards. Steven Bellefontaine intercepted him on the Warriors' first drive.