Prairie Ridge dominates Cary-Grove to stay tied for FVC lead
Prairie Ridge and Cary-Grove have combined for the last three Class 6A state championships.
PR won titles in 2016 and 2017 while the Trojans ran the table with an unblemished 14-0 mark to win the 2018 state crown.
Both teams entered Friday night's Fox Valley Conference showdown in Cary with identical 6-1 records.
The game before a packed house figured to be another classic between two premier programs.
That never happened.
Capitalizing on an early interception from Tyler Crawford, PR scored on a 13-yard run by Taidhigin Trost with 7:07 left in the first quarter and never looked back in cruising past Cary-Grove 42-7. The Wolves and Huntley are tied for the FVC lead.
"We gave PR a short field to start the game and that set the tone," said Cary-Grove coach Brad Seaburg. "They outplayed us in all parts of the game and played pretty flawlessly. We can't pout. We just have to get back to work."
PR (7-1, 7-1), which dominated both sides of the line scrimmage, was dominant in all facets of the game.
Senior quarterback Connor Lydon completed 5-of-6 passes for 126 yards which included a 63-yard TD to Trost.
"With the playoffs coming up, we want to get the passing game going," said Lydon. "We have worked on the passing game in practice and it really worked tonight. We are really playing well right now. You saw a glimpse on how good we can be and how far we can go in the playoffs."
PR coach Chris Schremp is impressed with Lydon's progress as a passer.
"Connor struggled against Huntley and after that game we adjusted his footwork and he was outstanding throwing the ball tonight," said the PR coach. "With the playoffs coming up, we know we have to throw the ball to win."
With Lydon engineering the option, the Wolves ran for 169 yards led by Trost with 56 yards including TD runs of 13 and 22 yards. Carter Evans bulldozed his way to 48 yards while Lydon scored on TD runs of 5 yards and 1 yard. Kyle Koelblinger scored on a 10-yard run.
"Our offensive line was outstanding," said Schremp. "We controlled the line of scrimmage. We got our playmakers and our athletes out in space and they made plays. Tonight was a huge boost for our confidence on offense."
The Wolves defense concentrating on Cary-Grove 3-year starting running back Blake Skol, holding the Trojans' talented running back to 27 yards on 17 carries.
"When defending the option we always concentrate on the fullback and plugging him up." said Schremp. "Our defensive line really executed the game plan and shut Skol down."
The PR defense limited Cary-Grove to 174 total yards, 154 rushing and 20 passing. Crawford and Marko Mancini had interceptions for the winners.
Greg Mistak scored the Trojans' only TD on a 13-yard run with 11:22 remaining.