Buffalo Grove downs Prospect
Both Prospect and Buffalo Grove came in winless in Mid-Suburban League East play as they faced off in the Bison's Homecoming game Friday night.
Buffalo Grove routed Prospect in a saturated, stormy bout 27-7.
Timely forced Bison turnovers and the exceptional offensive performance from seniors running back Vinni Hoffman and quarterback Connor Adams helped Buffalo Grove remain in the playoff hunt.
Hoffman accumulated 122 yards rushing and tallied 2 touchdowns, while Adams notched 177 all-purpose yards and recorded two scores of his own (one passing and one rushing).
"I was just trying to push forward and have ball control," Hoffman said. "This gives us a huge boost of momentum."
Prospect orchestrated a no-huddle offense capping off their 80-yard opening drive with a pass play score. The lone touchdown from Prospect came from senior James Martin tossing a 24-yard 6-pointer to junior wideout Matthew Meyer.
Buffalo Grove (4-3, 1-2) didn't respond immediately, but the Bison's third drive began deep in Prospect territory. On third-and-short, a leaping Bison senior Luke Muscarello, who later caught a touchdown on offense, intercepted a Prospect throw at the Knights' 25-yard line.
This first turnover led to Hoffman's first touchdown from 17 yards out to tie the game at 7-7.
"We put our defense in a tough position," said Prospect coach Dan Deboeuf. "For whatever reason our energy was low and we didn't execute. Every time (Buffalo Grove) fumbled, we just weren't in the right place at the right time. We lost the turnover battle.
"We need to get back to work (Saturday), recharge and focus on ourselves, not the opponent."
Buffalo Grove's next drive started at its own 80-yard line. Although they were short yardage plays (on this particular drive there were no plays run over 8 yards until they reached the red zone), the Bison continued moving the first down sticks.
During the aforementioned drive, Adams took control after they moved the ball to Prospect's 24-yard line. On 4th-and-6, Adams decided to dash for a 24-yard keeper play that prolonged the drive and exhausted the Prospect defense. Adams later scored on the drive from 2 yards out to extend the BG lead to 13-7 and the Bison never looked back.
"Our game plan was to get the ball in (Hoffman's) hands," Adams said. "We wanted to play a quick game, get short yardage and create big drives. I've got a lot more confidence (in my third year starting at quarterback). I'm staying more aware and making plays."
The Bison would snatch two more fumbles in the second quarter, but never registered points off them.
Prospect had its own offensive difficulties as Adams and Buffalo Grove controlled the clock. The Knights only had two possessions that spanned two minutes in the second quarter and they accumulated a mere 2 yards.
Before halftime, Adams connected with Muscarello for a 5-yard touchdown to take a 20-7 lead into the locker room.
The rain poured throughout the second half. Early in the third quarter, Hoffman pitched in his second touchdown from 1 yard out and ultimately sealed the win.
"We learned a lesson against Hersey," said Buffalo Grove Jeffrey Vlk. "We were not mentally prepared. We've been preaching turnovers for the past two years. The theme this week was take a chance (on defense) and don't play it safe."
"We knew we were at a crossroad (with the MSL East record). The R on the back of our helmet stands for responding to adversity. And we did that (Friday)."
Buffalo Grove travels to Elk Grove next week, while Prospect (3-4, 0-3) hosts Wheeling.