Crystal Lake South runs into P-R juggernaut

Updated 3/26/2021 11:17 PM

The thing about trying to defend Prairie Ridge's option offense is that you have to pick your poison.

Going to try to stuff the middle? Then the Wolves can beat you off tackle or on the edge. And when teams try to take away the outside attack, there's power up the middle.


The Wolves put all their offensive wares on display Friday night, and highlighted by Carter Evans' five-touchdown performance, Prairie Ridge wore down Crystal Lake South, 63-28, in a Fox Valley Conference battle at the Ridge.

Evans, headed to Eastern Michigan, scored on exactly half of his carries, totaling 159 yards on 10 carries in three quarters of action. He tallied his team's first four TDs on runs of 13, 7, 9, and 7 yards and later added a 46-yard burst midway through the third quarter.

"The O-line blocked their behinds off. It felt great to get out there and run the ball," said Evans, who also forced a fumble. "Tonight, we just played a lot faster [than in last week's win over McHenry and played with great effort."

The Wolves (2-0) amassed 468 total yards, 443 of which came on the ground. Sophomore running back Tyler Vasey contributed 103 yards on only five carries while quarterback Taidhgin Trost added 88 yards on nine carries and scored twice.

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"We absolutely feel that we have so many weapons that when we play like we did tonight that there aren't too many teams who can stop us," said Trost, who also tossed a 35-yard touchdown pass to Will Komar. "We pushed our guys this week. The coaches called great plays and we just played hard and fast."

South (0-2) found the going rough in trying to run the ball, but quarterback Justin Kowalak was able to complete 13 of 28 passes for 185 yards, including a 40-yard TD to Brock Jewson (three catches, 92 yards). He found Gavin Giejda and Nathan Van Witzenburg four times each for 33 yards. Nate Freeze caught three passes for 68 yards, including a 20-yard touchdown from Brady Schroeder. South rang up 285 passing yards in the contest.

"They're awfully good at what they do. They're a juggernaut," South coach Rob Fontana said. "There were times tonight when we were not gap sound, and at times we didn't read our keys. You can't do that against a team that good."

After forcing a punt on Prairie Ridge's opening drive and recording an interception by Joe Mikulec on the third drive, South looked poised to hang in with the Wolves. But Prairie Ridge had other ideas, scoring on four of its next five possessions to take a 35-6 halftime lead. The score grew to 56-12 on Trost's second TD of the night, forcing the running clock rule to be instituted.

"I think we brought more focus to the game, especially in the second and third quarters, a focus we did not see for extended periods of time last week," Prairie Ridge coach Chris Schremp said. "We finally got into the rhythm and physicality of football in the Fox Valley. We have a lot of new guys in there and they have to work to get to the level we need."

Prairie Ridge's final score came when reserve lineman Henrik Nystrom fell on a fumble in the end zone with about seven minutes to play.

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