The Jacobs playoff football game against Lincoln Park at Lane Stadium wasn't the most celebrated sporting event taking place on W. Addison St. in Chicago Saturday, but it held deep meaning for the Golden Eagles all the same.
No. 28 Jacobs (6-4) won its first playoff game in a decade by dominating No. 5 Lincoln Park (8-2) from start to finish in a 51-8 victory.
Jacobs won in all phases of the game. The offense scored touchdowns on all 6 possessions, the defense held the Lions to 105 total yards (26 rushing) and the special teams notched a safety and a punt return touchdown.
Jacobs senior quarterback Chris Katrenick completed 9 of 12 passes for 232 yards and 3 touchdowns and junior running back Loren Strickland scored 4 touchdowns, 2 via the rush and 2 via the pass.
"We just came here confident," Strickland said. "We knew we were going to have to battle and we weren't going to give up. We showed no mercy and played hard. It feels great. I like to be a part of history for our school and our coach."
The postseason win was the first at Jacobs for seventh-year coach Bill Mitz, whose teams had not won a playoff game in five tries. It was the first playoff victory for Jacobs since former coach Dean Schlueter's 2006 team won 8-6 at Belvidere.
"It's a lot of hard work, all the coaches and kids," Mitz said. "It's a great victory. We'll enjoy this and get ready I guess for Batavia."
Jacobs will host No. 12 Batavia (8-2) next week. The Bulldogs, Class 7A quarterfinalists a year ago, defeated No. 21 McHenry 42-12 on Saturday.
"We're healthy and we played a lot of kids so spirits are high," Mitz said. "We'll be at home and anything can happen. Everyone's 1-0 that's left."
Strickland opened the scoring with a 1-yard, first-quarter run. Later, after a Trevor Loewen punt return to the 36, Katrenick spotted Strickland breaking free in the secondary and hit him in stride for a 36-yard touchdown pass. The pair connected on a 42-yard pass on the same play to open the second half.
"That was a new play for us," Katrenick said. "We brought it out this week and it worked for us."
"Andy Farrissey made some great calls, our offensive coordinator, seeing our back open like that," Mitz said.
Jacobs led 21-0 when the Lions sent a high snap over punter Shelby Ross' head. Brandon Ciesel tackled Ross at the back of the end zone for a safety and a 23-0 lead with 1:57 left in the second quarter.
The Jacobs offense then supplied the dagger, driving 40 yards in 7 plays for another touchdown to make it 30-0. Katrenick found Aidan Ludlum all alone for a 13-yard touchdown pass with 1:05 left before halftime.
Lincoln Park trailed 51-0 late in the fourth quarter when CJ Dale returned a kickoff 82 yards for the Lions' only touchdown.