Huntley holds off Cary-Grove in barnburner

 
By Marty Maciaszek
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 9/22/2017 11:46 PM
hello
  • Huntley's Eric Mooney throws a pass during the fourth quarter of Friday's football game against Cary-Grove in Huntley.

    Huntley's Eric Mooney throws a pass during the fourth quarter of Friday's football game against Cary-Grove in Huntley. Shaw Media/Sarah Nader

  • Huntley's Melvin Aninagyei-Bonsu scores a touchdown during the second quarter of Friday's football game against Cary-Grove in Huntley.

    Huntley's Melvin Aninagyei-Bonsu scores a touchdown during the second quarter of Friday's football game against Cary-Grove in Huntley. Shaw Media/Sarah Nader

  • Cary-Grove's Quinn Priester runs the ball during the first quarter of Friday's football game against Huntley.

    Cary-Grove's Quinn Priester runs the ball during the first quarter of Friday's football game against Huntley. Shaw Media/Sarah Nader

  • Huntley's Matthew Gelander runs the ball during the second quarter of Friday's football game against Cary-Grove.

    Huntley's Matthew Gelander runs the ball during the second quarter of Friday's football game against Cary-Grove. Shaw Media/Sarah Nader

  • Huntley's Eric Mooney scores a touchdown during the second quarter of Friday's football game against Cary-Grove.

    Huntley's Eric Mooney scores a touchdown during the second quarter of Friday's football game against Cary-Grove. Shaw Media/Sarah Nader

  • Huntley head football coach Matt Zimolzak during the second quarter of Friday's football game against Cary-Grove.

    Huntley head football coach Matt Zimolzak during the second quarter of Friday's football game against Cary-Grove. Shaw Media/Sarah Nader

  • Cary-Grove's Zach Perrone dives to the ground during the third quarter of Friday's football game against Huntley.

    Cary-Grove's Zach Perrone dives to the ground during the third quarter of Friday's football game against Huntley. Shaw Media/Sarah Nader

  • Cary-Grove's Max Buss is tackled during the second quarter of Friday's football game against Huntley.

    Cary-Grove's Max Buss is tackled during the second quarter of Friday's football game against Huntley. Shaw Media/Sarah Nader

  • Cary-Grove's Michael Boyd runs the ball during the third quarter of Friday's football game against Huntley.

    Cary-Grove's Michael Boyd runs the ball during the third quarter of Friday's football game against Huntley. Shaw Media/Sarah Nader

  • Huntley's Melvin Aninagyei-Bonsu (left) runs past Cary-Grove's Benjamin Ferrell to score a touchdown during the  second quarter of Friday's football game in Huntley.

    Huntley's Melvin Aninagyei-Bonsu (left) runs past Cary-Grove's Benjamin Ferrell to score a touchdown during the second quarter of Friday's football game in Huntley. Shaw Media/Sarah Nader

Huntley and Cary-Grove both faced some major soul-searching moments in Friday night's sweltering Fox Valley Conference football showdown.

Electrifying Eric Mooney and Huntley scored on all five of its first-half possessions to build a 23-point lead. But Cary-Grove, with top rushers Max Skol and Danny Daigle knocked out by injuries, battled back to cut the deficit to 3 points just two plays into the fourth quarter.

Now it was the host Red Raiders' turn to respond. They did as Mooney engineered another touchdown drive to cap a 41-32 victory before an overflow crowd.

"We knew we needed to score again and put the game away," Mooney said after piling up 390 total yards and 5 touchdowns. "We had a good drive by the O-line, Melvin (Aninagyei-Bonsu) ran hard and we got the job done."

Huntley (4-1, 4-1) showcased its big-play ability once again as it gained 410 of its 506 total yards in the first half behind the line of Tommy Ryan, Benjamin Dworski, Cade Golembeck, Justin Precour and Joe Wilson. Mooney (22 carries, 194 yards) raced 80 yards around left end to the end zone on the game's second play.

Mooney (6-for-14, 196 yards passing) found junior Michael Boland for touchdowns of 46 and 72 yards to make it 21-6 with 1:53 left in the first quarter.

"We were just being aggressive, Mooney made some great throws and I did the rest," Boland said.

"When they've got everybody in the box trying to stop Melvin and Eric it opens up the back end," said Huntley coach Matt Zimolzak. "If teams want to go one-on-one with them Eric can get them the ball."

Aninagyei-Bonsu (9 carries, 117 yards) had a 72-yard scoring run. Mooney's 1-yard run after he hit Matthew Gelander for 48 yards gave Huntley a 35-12 lead 2:56 before intermission.

"It was amazing," Boland said. "It shows what we actually can do as an offense."

But Cary (3-2, 3-2) showed what it can do with its vaunted triple option. The second touchdown pass from Quinn Priester to Benjamin Ferrell (5 catches, 111 yards) on the final play of the first half capped a 75-yard drive and cut the deficit to 35-19.

Cary started the second half without Skol (knee) and Daigle (shoulder). Skol had a 4-yard touchdown run and 43 yards on 12 carries and Daigle had 58 yards on 5 carries. But Priester (22 carries, 84 yards), who was playing both ways, Max Buss (17 carries, 86 yards) and Michael Boyd (6 carries, 60 yards) kept the offense moving.

A 28-yard touchdown run by Boyd, a Blake Skol interception on a bobbled pass and a 1-yard touchdown run by Boyd cut the deficit to 35-32 with 11:23 to play.

"Our kids competed so hard," said Cary coach Brad Seaburg. "What I talked to them about is how we put ourselves in a situation where we had to compete like that to get the game close.

"I'm proud of the way they competed but disappointed in the results of the first half."

Huntley converted two third downs to start the next drive and Davis Pasco responded to a dropped pass with a juggling catch for 16 yards on third-and-7. Mooney's 13-yard touchdown run provided some breathing room with 7:36 left.

"We had been going on them all game," Mooney said of the confidence he had on the decisive drive. "Even on the possession we didn't score (in the third quarter) we were driving down the field."

Cary drove to the Huntley 25 but Justin Allen and Zach Kucz got a fourth-down sack of Priester with 2:24 to play.

"I was kind of getting really nervous," Boland said of Cary getting within 3 points. "But I think we trust our defense and our O-line made some good blocks to finish off the game."

Article Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.