Jacobs rolls past Glenbard East
It would have been easy for Loren Strickland and the Jacobs football team to look ahead a week to their matchup with Prairie Ridge.
A showdown with an undefeated team, preceded by a matchup with a 1-win team can cause that week's game to become a trap.
But coach Bill Mitz wanted to make sure the Eagles were focused on the team at hand: Glenbard East.
"(Coach) got on us a lot on not overlooking this week," Strickland said. "That was our biggest thing."
So a big first possession helped Strickland and the Eagles showed Mitz they were zoned in on the Rams.
On the third play of the game, Anthony Wilson connected with Brandon Van De Linde on a 58-yard touchdown play-action pass.
"That was great, it felt great," Strickland said. "It showed what we were coming here to do. We all felt good. It gave us a big momentum boost."
The Eagles rode that momentum to a 35-7 victory. Jacobs (5-2) is playoff eligible.
"We got (Prairie Ridge) next and I think we'll be prepared," Strickland said. "I can't wait to see what happens."
The Jacobs defense showed it was ready to play, too. On Glenbard East's first drive the Eagles defense limited the Rams to a 2-yard loss, a 4-yard pass and sacked quarterback Bret Bushka for a 13-yard loss on third down.
"We didn't move the ball offensively, we got stuck on our end," Glenbard East coach John Walters said.
After a punt the Eagles took over on the Rams 24-yard line. Five plays later, Stephen Kavanaugh scored on a 1-yard dive to make it 14-0 just six minutes into the game.
"We gave them a (24)-yard field and it was 14-0 like that," Walters said.
The Jacobs running game was clicking all night. The Eagles rushed for 281 yards on the night.
In the second quarter the running game paid dividends again for Jacobs. The Eagles had a 9-play, 76-yard drive, which Strickland capped with a 1-yard touchdown run. It gave Jacobs a 21-0 cushion it took into halftime.
"It was just everyone being disciplined and blocking real well," said Strickland, who finished with 2 rushing touchdowns. "We had some adjustments with alignment. It was just clicking."
Still, the Rams defense hunkered down and showed moxie.
On Jacobs' first three possessions of the second half, Glenbard East's defense forced two three-and-outs and forced a fumble on its second possession of the half.
"Our defense dug in," Walters said. "Our guys on defense fought (and) scrapped."
Ultimately, the Eagles rushing attack broke the Rams defense.
On the fourth possession of the half, Caleb Walker broke a 76-yard touchdown run that made it 28-0.
But Glenbard East (1-6) battled back. On their next possession the Rams marched the ball downfield and Bushka connected with Jeremy Johnson on a 25-yard touchdown pass that made it a 21-point deficit.
"We thought we were fighting back in there," Johnson said. "We thought we were coming back."
The Rams forced a second fumble on the ensuing kickoff and took over at the Eagles 37. However, Jacobs' defense forced an incompletion in the end zone on fourth down.
"We had a chance at it," Walters said. "We just didn't come down with that one."