Jacobs puts up a fight but Prairie Ridge prevails
The effort and comeback were valiant but unfortunately it wasn't enough to produce a victory for Jacobs eighth-year coach Bill Mitz on his 63rd birthday.
Scoring 16 unanswered in the fourth quarter, Jacobs' comeback fell short as Prairie Ridge won its 22nd straight game, a 30-16 win in Fox Valley Conference action in Crystal Lake Friday night.
"Our kids fought hard and battled and I am very proud of them," said Mitz. "Our defense was really fired up and did a great job of swarming to the ball."
Down 23-0, Jacobs (5-3, 4-3) finally got on the scoreboard with 8:06 left in the game when Anthony Wilson reached pay dirt from 1 yard out. Wilson connected with Caleb Walker for the 2-point conversion to cut PR's deficit to 23-8.
On a fourth-and-8 play, PR's Justin Mikolajczewski was forced to punt. Kaiden O'Connor forged through the line and blocked the punt and returned the ball 43 yards to the PR 3.
The Golden Eagles needed 2 plays to score as Loren Strickland scored on a 1-yard run with 4:54 left in the contest. Wilson again hooked up with Walker for the 2-point effort to make the score 23-16.
PR (8-0, 7-0) salted the game away on a 7-yard run by Samson Evans, his fourth TD of the game, with 1:14 remaining.
"We knew Jacobs would test us and play us tough for four quarters," said Prairie Ridge coach Chris Schremp. "We needed to be in a close tough game for four quarters. Jacobs is a very good team and they have a very good line and they made us play fast. I was really pleased with our defense. They played very well for four quarters."
The opportunistic PR defense picked off Wilson 3 times. Drew Norton, Jeff Jenkins and Mikolajczewski registered interceptions as the Wolves' defense held the Jacobs offense without a point for a little over 3 quarters.
Jacobs, which trailed PR 10-0 at halftime, recovered 2 fumbles in the first half, one each by Jacob Hahnfeld and Jakauri Bland.
Wilson completed 8-of-21 passes for 78 yards with 3 interceptions while John Farrissey snared 3 passes for 35 yards.
Evans, who had only 3 yards on 12 carries in the first half with a 1-yard touchdown run, broke loose for 85 yards on 14 carries and scored on TD runs of 25, 7 and 8 yards in the second half. The senior ended the game with 88 yards on 26 carries and 4 TDs.
"Samson is such a talented player," said Mitz. "We did a good job on him but he is hard to handle for four quarters."
Zach Gulbransen rushed 13 times for 126 yards and caught 2 passes for 48 yards. Evans completed 3-of-8 passes for 97 yards. Tight end Cooper Tomlin caught 1 pass for 49 yards.
"We don't throw a lot but we are capable of the big play," said Schremp. "I like the way the passing game is coming around."