Cary-Grove's Max and Blake Skol may walk on and off the football field sharing a last name, but when dressed up in Trojan navy and white it's a team-first approach before anything.
"It's just two people playing on a team," the senior Max said of the big brother-little brother combo. "It's just stepping up and doing our roles and doing their job and (Blake) happens to be one of the guys that plays on defense and I'm one of the guys on offense just doing our jobs."
But when the pair of brothers walked off the field after a 57-14 win over Hampshire Friday, while so many contributed in a big Fox Valley Conference win, it was clear Max had the offense covered while Blake took care of the defense in a job well done.
Max Skol racked up 129 yards rushing and 3 touchdowns on 24 carries, while Blake, a sophomore safety in the Trojans' stingy 3-3-5 defense, housed a 37-yard pick-6 late in the second quarter that put Cary-Grove (2-1, 1-1) up 29-0.
"They do a great job and they're both hard workers," said Trojans coach Brad Seaburg, whose team allowed just 5 rushing yards, grabbed 2 turnovers and totaled 6 sacks.
Cary-Grove outgained Hampshire 402-73 in total yards and Max Skol was a big reason why in the first half. The older Skol used scoring runs of 29 and 8 while Zach Perrone rushed a 13-yard score to help Cary-Grove to a 22-0 second quarter lead with 3:06 left running 26 offensive plays.
Then came Blake Skol's play on defense. On the subsequent series, Whip-Purs quarterback Drew Dalby (12-for-24, 68 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT) found one of his receivers along the right sideline, who was met by Caleb Rohrbach. His hit jarred the ball loose and was snatched up by Blake Skol, who was at the right place at the right time on the Hampshire 37 and zigzagged his way home down the right side of the field for a 29-point lead with 2:01 left.
"It was kicked up to me," Blake Skol said of his first interception. "There was a line of guys just blocking for me and I found my block and eventually scored. "
"It was great," Max Skol added. "We obviously love our defense to score points so that's great to see. It's a great momentum boost and for an underclassmen to do it, it just got everyone much more excited and it was a great play and a great time do it before half."
Thankfully for the Trojans they had padded their lead since they turned the ball over twice in the third quarter on fumbles that led to Whip-Purs (1-2, 1-1) scores. Dalby found Nicolas Rummell on a 6-yard passing score while Zane Sheetz returned a fumble 83 yards for a score with 3:45 left. But Max Skol, Perrone (6 rushes, 62 yards, 2 TD), Danny Daigle (3 rushes, 27 yards) and Luke Eleftheriou (2 rushes, 7 yards) added scores in the fourth.
"It's been documented that we're not a very healthy team right now," Whips coach Mike Brasile said.
"It's tough and the kids fought their tail off but in the end we just couldn't keep up with them pounding the ball on us constantly."