Cary-Grove grinds out win over Antioch
Cary-Grove coach Brad Seaburg could finally breathe a little easier.
Seaburg's fourth-seeded Trojans survived with a hard-fought 14-7 win over No. 5 Antioch in second round action of the Class 6A playoffs in Cary Saturday afternoon.
The Trojans (9-2) advance to the quarterfinals to play rival Prairie Ridge next Saturday at 1 p.m.
The top-seeded Wolves (10-1) crushed Simeon 49-0. PR defeated Cary-Grove 42-7 in Fox Valley Conference action in Week 8.
"We knew Antioch was a tough, hard-nosed team with a lot of talent," said Seaburg. "They really hit on defense and they have playmakers on offense. Our defense was outstanding and we made enough plays on offense. We get to practice one more week and have the opportunity to play a great PR team next week."
Cary-Grove picked off 3 of Alexander Kutcher's passes, 2 by junior defensive back Gyanni Kanellakis. One of Kanellakis' interception was in the end zone to thwart a potential Antioch scoring drive.
"They have so many playmakers you have to stay focused," said Kannellakis. "It is always about knowing where the ball is and I was able to read the quarterback and find the ball. Our offense struggled a little so it was nice to pick them up and make some nice plays on defense."
Cary-Grove senior quarterback Luke Eleftheriou scored what turned out to be the winning touchdown on a 4-yard run with 6:34 left in the third quarter to give the Trojans a 14-0 advantage.
Rushing for 288 yards with 22 first downs, Cary-Grove was paced by Blake Skol who bulldozed his way to 109 yards on 23 carries.
"I am sore after every game and I expect to really feel it tonight," said Skol. "They have great athletes on defense and they really hit hard. We expected a tough battle and we got it. They are very physical but we were able to make some adjustments and we made enough plays on offense to get the win."
Sophomore Wade Abrams toted the pigskin 11 times for 85 yards including a 24-yard TD in the first quarter.
Eleftheriou, engineering the Trojans option offense, carried 22 times for 70 yards.
The visiting Sequoits sliced the Trojans' lead in half at 14-7 on a 1-yard run by Kutcher with 3:02 remaining in the third quarter.
Kutcher completed 14-of-31 passes for 119 yards and 3 interceptions.
TreShawn Watson snared 8 passes for 90 yards while Dino Kaliakmanis grabbed 6 passes for 77 yards.
"I am very proud of the kids," said Antioch coach Brian Glashagel. "They gave a great effort for four quarters. The interception in the end zone when we looked like we would score was huge. It was a back and forth game. Cary-Grove capitalized on one more mistake than we did."