Elk Grove rolls in 2nd half
Elk Grove gave visiting Hoffman Estates the royal treatment on Thursday night.
Only it was not the type of treatment the Hawks (2-1) would have liked.
Running back Travon Royal kicked a field goal, scored 3 touchdowns and kicked 5 extra points as Elk Grove (2-1) rolled to a 38-14 victory in the Mid-Suburban League crossover game.
With his team trailing 8-7 just prior to halftime, Royal was called upon to attempt a 34-yard field goal.
Royal, who later admitted he had been struggling with his kicks of late, booted the ball through the uprights to give the Grens a 10-8 lead heading into the locker room.
It was all Elk Grove, and Royal, in the second half.
"I was a pretty nervous to be honest," Royal said. "But I knew if I messed up my teammates would pick me up. It was really big. It really helped us move the momentum to our favor."
The field goal was set up by a 23-yard pass from Adam O'Malley to Matthew Wary.
O'Malley scrambled out of the pocket and rolled right to find Wary (7 catches, 57 yards) wide open.
Mike Bishoff stopped the Hawks' first drive of the second half with an interception and then the Grens offense went back to work.
Elk Grove scored on its next four possessions to put the game out of hand. Royal had touchdown runs of 1, 6 and 6 yards before O'Malley capped the scoring with a 27-yard score to John Pass.
It was the second time the quarterback and wide receiver duo hooked up for a score. Pass finished with 4 receptions for a game-high 79 yards.
For the game O'Malley completed 19 of his 34 passes for 225 yards. The versatile QB also picked up 53 yards on the ground.
"He is a playmaker," Elk Grove coach Larry Calhoun said of his quarterback. "I really think he has the chance to play at the next level and I think you saw a little bit of that tonight."
Hoffman Estates did not do itself any favors in the game.
The Hawks turned the ball over four times in the game. The first turnover came on the second play from scrimmage after the Hawks forced a fumble on the opening kickoff.
"We kept around in the first half, but the turnovers just caught up with us in the second half," said Hoffman Estates coach Mike Donatucci. "Elk Grove is a perennial playoff team and they are the first playoff team we have played this season. We can't make those kind of mistakes against good teams."
The Hawks gained the 8-7 lead in the first half after a safety -- on a botched EG punt attempt -- and a 16-yard scoring pass from Jeff Mayes to Keegan Mugerditchian.
To add to the list of woe both point-after-touchdown kicks were missed as was a 30-yard field attempt for the Hawks.
The Grens finished the game with 112 yards on the ground, led by Royal's 56. All but 26 of those came in the second half.
"We feel like the strength of our offense is that we are balanced," Calhoun said. "When we get everything clicking I would like to think we are a very dynamic offense."
Mayes led the Hawks with 68 yards on the ground (49 coming on his first run) and also passed for 77 yards. Dante Cleveland spelled Mayes late in the game and completed 2 passes for 11 yards and had a 19-yard rushing touchdown.