Hersey's Hansen accounts for 7 TDs in win over Elk Grove
Elk Grove hosted undefeated Hersey Friday night under the lights in a Mid-Suburban East matchup that concluded with a fireworks show.
The pyrotechnics were set off early and often by Northern Illinois University verbal commit and standout Hersey quarterback Jordan Hansen.
Hansen put on a rushing clinic against the Grenadiers, registering 4 touchdowns and sprinting for north of 150 yards in the 56-21 win.
The Huskies' senior signal caller also slung three additional end zone tosses.
"Our O-line does a great job," Hansen said. "Our receivers stood their blocks downfield and I was just trying to make a play with the ball. We always want to come out with competitive edge. It doesn't matter the opponent, we want to get the win. We have to stay focused."
But it wasn't always smooth sailing for the fifth-ranked team in the state. Right out of the gate on the first play from scrimmage, Elk Grove broke free through the "A" gap and scampered for an 80-yard touchdown.
Hersey (8-0, 4-0) gained its first possession and remained unfazed. Hansen tallied his first of four rushing end-zone visits to tie the game 7-7 just three plays later.
Following an Elk Grove three-and-out, Hersey reclaimed possession on a short field. Hansen scanned the field to find senior wide out Cole Vanstaalduinen. The two connected for a 49-yard, lead-stealing score. Hersey never looked back after jumping to a 14-7 advantage late in the first quarter.
"I thought we did a much better job up front finishing," said Hersey coach Joe Pardun. "We know next week is going to be one heck of a game (against Rolling Meadows). We're excited about it. The challenge was about playing with more energy, passion, competitiveness and just plain finishing plays better. I think our guys did an excellent job of responding tonight. I was really proud of them."
The 50-, 1- and 6-yard ensuing runs from Hansen, as well as a 20-yard toss to Hersey sophomore receiver Ben Clawson enabled the Huskies to take a comfortable 42-7 lead at half. Hansen added a 42-yard heave to Vanstaalduinen to start the third.
Elk Grove (2-6, 1-3) was able to piece together a pair of drives in the second half, including a 70-yard fling by senior quarterback Charlie Janczak to fourth-year receiver Mark Matos. Grenadiers' senior running back Shane Crimmins pitched in a 1-yard rushing score, but the deficit was too large for Elk Grove to climb back into the game.
"(Hansen) is a dynamic and special high school player," said Elk Grove coach Miles Osei. "He's given a lot of defenses fits. You have to be extremely disciplined against a player like that, which we weren't tonight. We're going to evaluate the film. We have one more week of football left. It's a good opportunity for us to start trying to raise or standard and our program."
Elk Grove meets Buffalo Grove next week.
Hersey gears up for that MSL East battle of the titans as it hosts undefeated and No. 8-ranked Rolling Meadows at home in a battle for the division title.