Hersey russes past BG
Hersey sophomore center Austin Korbs knew he and his fellow offensive linemen would have their hands full against the highly-touted Buffalo Grove defensive front.
Korbs, at 215 pounds, was giving up nearly 70 pounds to the Bison defender over him.
But like his teammates next to him, Korbs relied on good old-fashioned fundamentals as Hersey rushed for 266 yards in rolling past Buffalo Grove 33-14 Friday in Arlington Heights.
"I just tried to stay low and get under him," Korbs said. "I also got a lot of guys around me to help out."
That group, which included Jake Mailloux, Will Ebert, Luke Roos, Ryan Derrig and Brendan Watson, earned high praise from Hersey coach Joe Pardun.
"We knew the matchups on the line were going to be tough," Pardun said. "There are some big kids over there and they play hard. Our offensive line did a phenomenal job. They stayed on their blocks and with the running backs we have, I thought our offensive line was tremendous."
Ebert said he and his fellow linemen were well prepared for Buffalo Grove.
"We saw them in film," Ebert said. "Everyone said they would be the best we would play against all season. We just came out and thought we were better, and we showed them that."
Hersey quarterback Owen Goldsberry rushed for 122 yards and 3 touchdowns. He also threw for a touchdown.
"Everyone executed real well," Goldsberry said, "Our offense was able to move the ball on the ground. Our line was firing off the ball and getting surges all game."
The other recipient of that fine offensive line play was Luke Cecala, who rushed for a career-high 129 yards on 23 carries. Cecala also had a touchdown run and a touchdown reception.
"We knew that BG's strong point was their defensive line," Cecala said. "Our offensive line really stepped up. I think they had their best game of the year."
It came at the right time for Hersey (6-1, 3-0), which officially qualified for the state playoffs.
The Huskies also remained atop the MSL East along with Rolling Meadows, which beat Elk Grove 48-0.
Hersey plays Rolling Meadows next week.
"I am really proud of our guys," Pardun said.
Hersey controlled the tempo through most of the first half. That enabled the Huskies to break out to a 20-0 lead.
Cecala tallied on a 2-yard run in the first quarter. He then caught a jump pass from Goldsberry on second-and-goal from the 21 to score a touchdown that put the Huskies up 14-0.
Goldsberry, who didn't call his own number as often as in other games, did so on fourth and 1 to score and give the Huskies a commanding 20-0 lead.
Buffalo Grove (6-1, 2-1), which was playing on offense without Tom Trieb due to a back injury, got its offense in gear late in the first half.
Quarterback Connor Adams, who completed 21 of a season-high 31 passes, found Matt Prawica in the back of the end zone with 3.7 seconds left in the first half to complete a 25-yard scoring pass that cut the lead to 20-7.
The Bison had a couple of opportunities to climb back into the game.
The first chance came when they recovered a fumble at the Hersey 35. But the Hersey defense, led by Jordan Hansen, Caleb Augustyn, Nick Steiger and Cecala, forced Buffalo Grove to turn the ball over on downs.
Later in the quarter, the Bison scored on a halfback option pass -- but the play was negated due to an illegal formation.
Goldsberry extended the lead with 1:01 left in the third quarter when he scored on a 12-yard run.
Buffalo Grove answered on a 3-yard TD pass from Adams to Zack Sheasby.
Goldsberry then put the game out of reach when he scored on a 20-yard burst.
"Injuries plagued us," Buffalo Grove coach Jeff Vlk said. "They have a well disciplined defense. They do what they do, and they do it well."
Vlk, whose team qualified for the playoffs a week ago, will look to bounce back next week.
"This is team that has come together well for us," Vlk said. "I know we will be very ready for next week."