Daily Herald's 2014 Season Coverage
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Prairie Ridge High School Fox Valley Fox
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Must-read sequel from Booker, Grayslake North
Updated Sep 26, 2014 11:48 PM
After rushing for school-record 329 yards in a high-scoring nonconference victory the previous week, Grayslake North senior running back Titus Booker was hoping to keep the momentum going Friday night against visiting Prairie Ridge.Booker and the Knights really outdid themselves this time around, as Booker ran for 189 yards in the first quarter alone before setting another school record with 360 yards on 26 carries as Grayslake North rolled to a 47-27 Fox Valley Conference victory over the Wolves in this Fox Division contest.The Knights (3-2, 2-0) struggled defensively in their 50-43 win last week. But this time around they got both the incredible offensive performance from Booker, who ran for 5 touchdowns for the second straight week as well as some pretty solid defense against a potent Prairie Ridge ground attack.The Wolves (3-2, 2-1) fell behind 7-0 just 3:04 into the contest as junior quarterback Merrick Gentile hit Matt Aikin with a 22-yard screen pass over the middle before Kevin Meyer kicked the first of his 5 extra points. Prairie Ridge did respond to that early TD quickly, though, as junior running back Nathan Griffin broke free from the line of scrimmage and went 73 yards untouched down the left sideline for the score. The extra point by Christopher Eschweiler deadlocked the score at 7-7.Despite being overshadowed by the Indiana University-bound Booker’s performance, Griffin had a great game himself with 270 yards on 32 rushes and 3 TD’s.Booker and the Knights (619 yards of total offense) continued to dominate on offense, as Booker answered Griffin’s TD by breaking away down the left sideline for an 80-yard TD run and a 14-7 lead just after the Wolves’ had gotten on the scoreboard.Then on the last play of the first quarter, Booker put on a hesitation move before bolting 53 yards down to the Prairie Ridge 2-yard-line. Booker scored his second TD on a 2-yard run on the first play of the second quarter for a 21-7 advantage.“The kid (Booker) is a phenomenal athlete, and when we tried to grab him he just ran through everybody tonight,” said Prairie Ridge coach Chris Schremp. “They have a good quarterback too, they have a good tandem and they just took it to us. He (Booker) is a Division I athlete and you see why, there is an obvious difference and it’s speed.”Prairie Ridge hung tough in the early going as Griffin capped a 66-yard scoring drive with a 1-yard TD run to cut the lead to 21-14 with 4:11 left in the first half.But once again the Knights answered that time-consuming drive by marching 80 yards in 11 plays with Booker scoring on a 1-yard run with only 25.5 seconds left in the second quarter to give North a 27-14 halftime lead.Booker continued his magic in the third quarter as he ran left before reversing field completely and racing 44 yards down the left sideline for the TD and a 33-14 lead 2:56 into the period.Then after keeping the Knights out of the end zone on a fourth-and-goal from the 2, the Knights proceeded to march 99 yards on seven plays on their ensuing possession.Gentile (132 yards on 10 carries) got the drive rolling with a 48-yard keeper on the first play. Then Booker somehow broke through a big pack of defenders on his way to a 22-yard TD run and his fiffth TD for a 40-14 lead on the final play of the third quarter. Booker already had a school-record 333 yards at that point of the game before adding 27 more yards before being removed from the game early in the fourth quarter.“We really emphasize that we need to make holes and it was a great team effort,” said Booker, who once again credited his offensive line for another great performance. “Without them (offensive line) I can’t do the things I do, and I’m excited about the things we’re doing on offense.”
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