Huntley quarterback Eric Mooney wasn't worried one bit for receiver Ryan Antonsen during a 51-26 win Friday at Crystal Lake South after the receiver fumbled his first catch just 4 yards short of the end zone in the first quarter.
Because Mooney knew Antonsen would bounce back in a big way.
Not only did Antonsen bounce back, but the senior redeemed himself 11 more times to total 204 yards receiving and 2 touchdowns while Mooney completed 26-for-33 for 428 yards and 3 TDs, as they were a two-man wrecking crew through the air at Ken Bruhn Field in Fox Valley Conference action.
"I was a little mad with myself," Antonsen said after his fumble. "But I still had a football game to play, I knew I could make up for it."
Two of Antonsen's catches he made up with were touchdown passes of 32 and 36 yards over the top, which showed off how Huntley (7-1, 6-1) was able to counter South's cover-3.
"(They were) kind of playing cover-3 and giving up hitches and in the second half we pounded them over the top," Mooney said. "The receivers had an outstanding night."
Brian OMara totaled 5 catches for 65 yards while Matt Gelander had 4 catches for 60 yards and Michael Boland 3 catches for 44 yards. The Huntley passing game was just too much for South (2-6, 2-6), as it helped edge the Gators 603-364 in total offense.
"We've got great receivers," Mooney said, who added a rushing score as well. "I trust them, I think our four are better than any other four guys that we go against this year. I trust them that much and they're that much of playmakers and they're big."
So was Melvin Aninagyei-Bonsu, who finished up Antonsen's fumble to help Huntley go up 6-0. He finished with 17 carries for 91 yards and 3 touchdowns.
Huntley jumped out to a 12-0 lead after Antonsen's first TD with 10:06 left in the second. A 5-yard run by CLS quarterback Dylan Rhoades (3-for-3, 86 yards passing, 27 yards rushing) with 6:09 left in the half cut the Raider lead in half but Huntley answered right back as Antonsen hooked up with Mooney for their second strike of the game on a 36-yard pass over the top for a 19-6 lead 3:55 left.
South sophomore QB Ian Gorken (11 rushes, 121 yards) added a rushing score to make it 19-13 at halftime but Mooney connected with Michael Boland on a 4-yard strike in the third and Aninagyei-Bonsu's second TD run with 5:09 to put Huntley up 37-20 and Huntley rattled off 2 more scores before it was all said and done and South's offense couldn't come up with answer after answer.
"They're big, physical and fast, they can run and they can throw," said CL South coach Rob Fontana, who saw Justin Ryan add an 85-yard touchdown run in the third that kept South within distance.
"Our guys, they work hard but they're not going to back down, it was awesome. They fought to the end, gave it their all."