Jacobs put unbeaten Prairie Ridge in some unfamiliar territory in the first half of Friday night's Fox Valley Conference football game in Algonquin.
The high-powered Wolves were sputtering a bit with only two trips to the end zone after scoring 123 points the last two weeks. And the Golden Eagles came out and controlled the clock and made three trips inside the 22 of the team ranked second in the state in Class 6A by The Associated Press.
But they all came up empty and Prairie Ridge scored on all four of its third-quarter possessions to win 42-0 and clinch at least a share of the FVC title.
"They're good," said Jacobs coach Bill Mitz after his team could manage only 122 yards of offense on 60 plays. "It was disappointing in the first half because we had a couple of chances to make plays there. We've got to make those plays against a good team."
Prairie Ridge (8-0, 7-0) got the only score it needed when Samson Evans hit wide-open tight end Austen Ferbet on a play-action pass down the middle for 35 yards with 4:27 left in the first quarter. Evans hit Ferbet for a 49-yard score on his only other pass attempt and he rushed for 137 yards and 2 touchdowns on 20 carries.
Evans, who has rushed for 1,016 yards this season, scored from 4 yards to cap a 9-play, 75-yard drive 5:09 before halftime. But the Golden Eagles (4-4, 3-4) had already been inside the 25 once and had two more good shots to cut into the lead.
The first came after Evans lost a fumble at his 35. A pass interference penalty moved the ball to the PR 17 but linebacker Jacob Ommen made a leaping interception of a reverse screen pass by Bowling Green-bound quarterback Chris Katrenick (13-for-31, 85 yards).
"When things aren't going our way we have to come out fighting and dig deep," Ommen said after the Wolves' first shutout of the season. "It's good to shut teams down a little bit, show off on defense and get our offense in good field position."
Jacobs forced a three-and-out to give the offense another chance at its 48 with 1:09 left in the half. Katrenick completed passes of 23 and 7 yards to John Farrissey to the PR 29 but Pete Berg's end-zone pass breakup was the first of three consecutive incompletions to end the threat.
"We were really consistent tackling and we showed early we could shut down their running game," said PR coach Chris Schremp after Jacobs had just 27 yards on 29 attempts. "That's a combination of guys filling gaps and coming up and tackling well.
"Our kids have been playing really well all season but we needed a first half like we had tonight. We needed a little adversity and the kids really responded really well after halftime."
Cole Brown (9 carries, 89 yards) scored on runs of 19 and 8 yards. Linebacker Joe Perhats had 2 sacks, a stop for a loss, an interception and a pass breakup as Jacobs was held to minus-5 yards on its first 10 second-half plays.
"They were flying around a lot and when you get down like that they're like sharks in the water," Mitz said.
"Our defensive line especially is doing the job every single play," Ommen said of Jeffrey Jenkins, Peter Duncan, Ferbet and Jonathan Weissmann. "They're opening it up for the linebackers to come up on blitzes or stuff them on the run."
Jacobs needs a win next week at Hampshire (3-5) for a shot at a second straight playoff berth and sixth in seven years under Mitz. With at least 40 playoff points it would likely get an at-large berth.
"We've got to regroup," Mitz said, "try to get this last one and hopefully we'll get in."