Huntley snaps Prairie Ridge's 30-game winning streak

 
By Dave Hess
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 9/7/2018 11:30 PM
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Huntley senior quarterback Chris Raffin has certainly made the most of his opportunity.

Raffin, the backup to standout Eric Mooney a year ago, scored on a 1-yard run with 41 seconds remaining as the Red Raiders broke Prairie Ridge's 30-game winning streak with an exhilarating 35-28 Fox Valley Conference win in Crystal Lake Friday night.

With Huntley facing a fourth-and-1 at its own 24, coach Matt Zimzolak gambled and the Red Raiders converted on a 1-yard run by Ronel Noll.

"I have total belief and faith in these guys and knew they would find a way to get the first down," said the Huntley coach. "This was a whole team effort and a great win against a great Prairie Ridge program. We didn't talk about their winning streak at all. We just focused on this game."

Raffin, who along with the game-winning touchdown run, also scored on runs of 14, 17 and 1 yards. He rushed for 75 yards on 16 carries and 4 TDs.

The senior signal caller completed 17-of-24 passes for 250 yards and threw an interception.

"Chris certainly waited his turn and has turned into a special quarterback early in the season," said Zimzolak. "We have put a lot on his shoulders and he has gotten better every game. He still has things to polish up but I like his progress."

Michael Boland led the Red Raiders (3-0, 3-0) with 8 catches for 120 yards while Connor Fitzgerald caught 4 passes for 74 yards.

"I give all the credit to my receivers and my O-line (Offensive Line)," said Raffin. "The O-line gave me plenty of time to throw and they opened big holes the whole game. The O-line played with such great energy especially on the last drive. The receivers ran great routes."

PR (2-1, 2-1), which is the 2-time defending Class 6A champion, took the lead 28-27 on an 11-yard run by Jackson Willis with 6:26 left. Willis' TD run was set up by a blocked punt by Josh Crandall.

Prairie Ridge, which rushed for 240 yards, was led by Willis who ran for 117 yards on 16 carries including 2 touchdown runs.

Junior quarterback Connor Lydon, a backup to all-stater Samson Evans for 2 years, ran 6 times for 70 yards including a 59-yard TD run on a perfectly executed option play.

Junior running back Blake Brown carried the ball 6 times for 57 yards with a TD run of 21 yards.

The game was a tale of two halves. The first half was an offensive fireworks show in the first half as Huntley led 27-22.

Both teams could only manage 1 TD in the second half.

"PR's defense was really strong," said Zimzolak. "They made some nice adjustments. We finally got a good drive on the last drive of the game."

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