After losses to powerhouses West Aurora and Cary-Grove, Huntley was seeking a win any way it could get one.
The Red Raiders got the job done.
After a scoreless first quarter, the Huntley offense racked up 42 points in the final 3 quarters in a 42-21 Fox Valley Conference win over host Crystal Lake Central Friday night.
"We had a really good week of practice and the kids wanted to break the losing streak," said Huntley coach Matt Zimolzak. "The defense set the tone early before the offense got on track. We know Central has a lot of weapons so this is a very good win."
The Huntley (4-3, 4-2) defense, which shutout the Tigers (2-5, 1-5) in the first half, held the hosts to 7 points through 3 quarters.
The Red Raiders picked off Central quarterback Jacobs Staples twice, one each by Hunter Kowalski and Cam'Ron Carrington.
"We didn't point any fingers on our defense after the last 2 losses," said Kowalski. "We just went to work this week and came ready to play. We wanted to come out and play physical and set the tone to start the game. We punched them in the mouth in the first series and got some turnovers. I was able to read the quarterback on the interception."
Sputtering during the first 12 minutes, the Huntley offense got on track in the second quarter with 3 touchdowns.
Junior quarterback Eric Mooney was the engineer behind the 3 second-quarter touchdowns.
On a designed play, Mooney got the Red Raiders on the scoreboard with a 15-yard touchdown run with 6:35 remaining before halftime.
Mooney, who toted the ball 15 times for 95 yards and a TD, tossed a 61-yard touchdown pass to Brian O' Mara and a 6-yard scoring strike to Salvatore Pitrone as the Red Raiders led 21-0 at intermission.
Mooney, who completed 15-for-28 for 220 yards with 2 interceptions, threw his third touchdown pass to Sam Harris, a 23-yarder with 2:08 left in the third quarter.
"I missed some throws in the first quarter but we finally got the passing game going in the second quarter," said Mooney. "My receivers run great routes and I totally trust all of them."
Mooney's backup, Cory Knipp, completed his only pass, a 25-yard TD to Daniel Frederick with 11:25 remaining in the game.
Knipp capped off the scoring for the Raiders with a 1-yard touchdown run with 3:29 left in the game.
O'Mara led the Huntley receivers with 6 catches for 103 yards and a touchdown while Frederick snared 4 catches for 80 yards and a score.