Cary-Grove's dressed for success in latest win
Once Cary-Grove sewed up a 41-2 homecoming victory over McHenry the attention of senior defensive linemen Mitchel Dec and Michael Sullivan soon turned to their alter egos for Saturday night's dance.
Cary-Grove seniors don't have to don formalwear for the homecoming dance held in the school gym like the other three classes.
Instead, they can dress in costume along the lines of the homecoming theme. The 2019 theme centered on movie characters.
"I'm dressing as Uncle Rico from Napoleon Dynamite," said Dec, who might not be able to throw a pigskin a quarter mile as Uncle Rico claimed he could, but whose 1.5 sacks kept McHenry quarterback Chris Zieba from doing so either.
"I'm Shooter McGavin from Happy Gilmore," said Sullivan, whose menacing star turn included 2 of the defense's 6 sacks.
Playing without injured senior middle linebacker Jake Johnson for the second straight game and mostly without junior linebacker John Gagliano, who left in the first quarter with a re-aggravated ankle and did not return, Cary-Grove (5-1, 5-1) limited Fox Valley Conference foe McHenry (3-3, 3-3) to 159 total yards.
"Our defensive line was phenomenal," Cary-Grove coach Brad Seaburg said. "It just caused so much trouble. And there were times where we, offensively, didn't put them in great positions. They did a great job."
Supporting actors made Oscar-worthy contributions for a defense that did not allow a point for the fourth time in six games. Senior Mark Butts once again started in place of Johnson. Junior Sean Pedersen and sophomores Michael Dec and Ben Hurt Haller joined Butts in a rotation.
"We trust everyone that is playing Cary-Grove football because it costs a lot to play for us," Sullivan said. "Anyone who comes in, we know that we can trust him. If the coaches trust him, we should trust him, too."
Offensively, senior fullback Blake Skol rushed for 98 yards and raced for touchdowns of 34, 4 and 47 yards to increase his season total to 14.
The Trojans took a 20-0 halftime lead, thanks to a 13-yard scoring run by sophomore Wade Abrams, Skol's 34-yarder, and a 36-yard pass from senior quarterback Luke Eleftheriou to senior split end Ethan Carlson on fourth-and-9.
McHenry scored its only points when senior defensive end Kevin Sandoval sacked sophomore quarterback Jameson Sheehan in the end zone for a safety with 1:38 left in the third quarter to make it 20-2.
Skol responded with a pair of fourth-quarter touchdown runs and sophomore Nick Hissong capped the rout with a 5-yard run with 2:49 remaining.
Eleftheriou, who returned to the starting lineup after missing the previous seven quarters due to injury, rushed for 79 yards on 13 carries and completed 3 of 7 passes for 55 yards.
"I felt great," he said. "Our offense didn't skip a beat on anything in practice and everything felt good."
So what movie character did Eleftheriou -- who recently received an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy -- choose to dress as?
"I'm Captain America from the Avengers," he said.