Hersey harnesses fast start at Elk Grove
Hersey found the end zone on its first four offensive possessions Friday at Elk Grove.
They needed every one of those scores, and more, to hold off the stubborn Grenadiers in the Mid-Suburban East.
The Huskies built an early 3 touchdown lead, then had to hold off Elk Grove in the second half in a 45-35 win.
The teams combined for 876 yards of total offense.
"Great win," said Hersey sophomore Owen Goldsberry. "Everybody executed and did their job."
Senior Kamil Jackowski scored 3 touchdowns for the Huskies, while Elk Grove senior receiver Joey Gatziolis caught 8 passes for 107 yards
and a TD.
"It's been the same story all year," said Gatziolis. "We came out and battled. We knew we had to play our butts off and we did -- especially in the second half."
The Hersey offensive line, including Clayton Smith, Sean Johlie, Jack Steines, Mitchell Carlisle, and Spencer Krueger dominated in the first half.
Hersey led 31-14 on a pair of 1-run scoring runs by Daniel Blair, TD catches by Jackowski of 24 and 61 yards, and a Matthew Abfall 38-yard field goal.
Elk Grove had countered in the first half with a 40 yard pass from AJ Lorenz to Josh Collier and a 3 yard run by Peter Green.
The touchdown parade continued in the second half as Hersey quarterback Thomas Jackson weaved in from 38 yards out, but Elk Grove wasn't done despite trailing 38-14.
First Kyle Anderson found paydirt on a 70 yard touchdown run, then Azeez Alabi ran in from 4 yards away to make things interesting.
Then Jackowski put the dagger in the Grens by scoring on a 60-yard run down the sideline right after Elk Grove had closed the gap.
A 25-yard strike from Lorenz to Gatziolis accounted for the final score.
"We hung in there," said Goldsberry of the second-half Grens rally. "We did what we need to do to win."
Blair led the Huskies' attack on the ground with 105 yards rushing, while Jackowski had 72 yards on the ground and 85 through the air.
Anderson finished the day with 107 yards rushing for the never-say-die Grens.
"We played the way we always play tonight," said Gatziolis. "We're never gonna give up."