Playoffs Week 2: Scouting the Fox Valley Conference
No. 1 Prairie Ridge (10-0) at No. 9 Cary-Grove (7-3)
Game time: 1 p.m. Saturday at Al Bohrer Field
Last week: Prairie Ridge 61, Crystal Lake Central 24; Cary-Grove 42, St. Ignatius 14
Outlook: The rematch is on. These teams played a classic in the season opener, which Prairie Ridge won 7-6. Neither is a mystery to the other schematically. They run similar triple-option offenses and both defenses are speed reliant. The Cary-Grove offense has scored at least 29 points in 8 of 10 games. The Trojans have gotten a lift in the last two weeks from senior fullback Max Skol's return from injury and the continuing emergence of junior quarterback Quinn Priester as a running threat. In his last 2 games Priester has rushed for 195 yards and 4 touchdowns. Cary-Grove coach Brad Seaburg said last week's 122-yard, 2-touchdown performance was the best Priester has delivered to date. "He was really running hard and he ran with some confidence," he said. Priester left last week's win at St. Ignatius in the second quarter with an injury to the thumb on his non-throwing hand with the Trojans leading 35-0, a move Seaburg called precautionary. "Quinn's doing well and we expect him to play on offense and defense," Seaburg said this week. Likewise, Prairie Ridge quarterback Samson Evans has dealt with some nagging injuries of late but "he'll be fine and he'll be ready," Prairie Ridge coach Chris Schremp said this week. If the Wolves have a concern it centers on Cary-Grove's physicality, exemplified by players like defensive tackle Brett Groves (6-foot-5, 310 pounds) and offensive linemen Colton Ruhland (6-2, 260) and Addison West (6-4, 270), among others. "They are always a real physical team but they've got some real size to back it up, especially on their offensive and defensive lines," Schremp said. "That's the biggest concern. They always make you play disciplined football." The Prairie Ridge defense holds opponents to 16.5 ppg, led by leading tackler Joe Perhats (6-foot-3, 208 pounds). The senior linebacker leads the Wolves with 8.6 tackles per game, followed closely by senior linebacker Jacob Ommen (8.4). Perhats registered 11 tackles against the Trojans in their earlier meeting; Ommen had 5.
Advancement: The winner advances to a quarterfinal against the winner between No. 5 DeKalb (8-2) at No. 4 Willowbrook (9-1)