With Cary-Grove's top four running backs -- Adam DeAlba, Max Skol, Danny Daigle and Max Buss -- out with injuries, junior quarterback Quinn Priester literally took matters into his own hands.
Rushing for 90 yards and 4 touchdowns and throwing for 108 yards, Priester accounted for 198 total yards of offense and single-handedly led Cary-Grove to a 41-14 victory over Crystal Lake South in Fox Valley Conference action in Cary Friday night.
The Trojans' signal caller completed 8-of-12 passes for 108 yards. Split end Ben Ferrell snared 5 passes for 60 yards and running back Michael Boyd caught 3 passes for 48 yards.
"We have the next man up mentality on this team," said Priester. "We have so many quality players on this team we believe in all of them. We had some designed plays but we basically took in the running and passing game what South gave us. It came down to just executing."
Cary-Grove (5-2, 5-2), which became playoff eligible with the win, rushed for 360 yards led by sophomore Blake Skol who ran for 145 yards on 20 carries and scored the first touchdown of the game on a 6-yard run with 2:32 left in the first quarter.
"Quinn did a good job on his reads and did a great job of scrambling," said Cary-Grove coach Brad Seaburg. "He threw the ball really well and Ben did a great job of running routes and getting open. Blake was outstanding and did a great job of following his blocks."
Besides Priester and Skol in the running game, Zach Perrone rushed 6 times for 53 yards and Boyd toted the ball 5 times for 60 yards.
"Their running game is really tough to stop and replicate in practice," said South coach Rob Fontana. "They have tough runners and they have a fast and physical offensive line. They do the little things needed to win."
The Cary-Grove defense got into the scoring act when senior safety Jack Trauger intercepted a pass from Gator quarterback Dylan Rhoades and raced 33 yards to pay dirt with 5:54 remaining in the third quarter.
"The D-line got great pressure on the quarterback and I was able to read the play," said Traugher. "I trusted my positioning on the play and knew where the ball was. It was my first pick-six of my career. It is very exciting."
Seaburg likes the versatility of Trauger.
'Jack played some linebacker but we like him at safety," said the Cary-Grove coach. "It was a good read on his part and I am happy he got the pick-six."
Both of the Gators' (2-5, 2-5) touchdowns came on pass plays. Ian Gorken tossed a 28-yard scoring pass to Jacob Rana and Rhoades fired a 12-yard scoring pass to Michael Helm.
Subbing for the injured Kyle Leva, Zach Borgert rushed 19 times for 113 yards.