Hersey routs Buffalo Grove to stay undefeated
Hersey's offense came into Friday's Mid-Suburban East football game averaging 47.5 points.
But it was the Huskies' defense which came off the field equally impressive, pitching its first shutout of the season.
Quarterback Ryan Justice threw 4 touchdown passes on his Senior Night as Hersey raised its record to 6-0 and 2-0 with a 48-0 triumph over visiting Buffalo Grove.
The Huskies will advance to the playoffs for the third time in five seasons under coach Joe Pardun.
"That was exciting," Pardun said. "At the end of the game we talked about punching our ticket to Week 10. Obviously nothing is promised but to get that done and be able to go from there is a big thing. So they were very excited."
The Huskies kept their fans excited from start to finish, executing three drives of 60 or more yards, including a 78 yarder to begin the game.
It was capped by Kacper Rutkiewicz' 4-yard run. The senior also ran for a 46-yard TD and caught a 28-yard TD pass from Justice.
"He (Rutkiewicz) is something else, isn't he?" Pardun said.
Justice (159 yards passing) also threw TD strikes to Jimmy Matanovic (43 yards), Vince Carso (14 yards) and Tommy Quirk (15 yards).
Backup running back Riccardo Martinez scored the Huskies' final TD on a 1-yard run with 1:05 left.
"Our offense was obviously really good with its drives," Pardun said. "And just kind of being methodical up and down the field. We got some other guys involved. I thought Tommy Quirk really stepped up."
The defensive side had Pardun smiling just as much.
"We kind of challenged our defense this week," he said. "And we felt they stepped up."
Defensive end Nick Steger was a big force, coming up with back-to-back sacks in the third quarter.
"Nick was lights out," Pardun said. "We just saw him everywhere. He was great tonight."
"It feels awesome to clinch a playoff spot," Steger said. ""We've got to keep going now. We don't want to lose a game."
The Huskies will graduate 16 seniors and they were recognized before the game.
"We have only 16 players from our senior class," Pardun said. "So it was pretty emotional tonight with those guys. They've really stuck together big time. They struggled as freshmen and a lot of people gave up on them. They've been a great story and I'm really proud of them. "
BG coach Jeff Vik was proud of the way his team kept battling.
"They stayed the fight," he said. "They continued to compete and we continued to drive the ball. We tried different things on defense but they caught us on some second-and-longs and third-and- longs. We had opportunities for turnovers that we just didn't take advantage of."
QB Connor Adams threw for nearly 100 yards using six different receivers.
"I think Connor threw the ball pretty well under pressure," Vik added. "He did a nice job rolling out and kind of leading the offense.
"Hersey is a really good team. We knew they had a great collection of kids as freshmen and they are very well coached. Joe Pardun does a really good job and we knew coming in we were playing the underdog role."