Prospect blows out Wheeling 49-14
A couple years ago, a Mid-Suburban League team finished its regular season going 7-2 overall and 3-2 in its division, settling for a third-place finish. That squad, Hoffman Estates, would then embark on a deep postseason run that eventually landed them in a Class 6A semifinal the weekend prior to Thanksgiving.
This year, Prospect, a team from MSL's East Division, finds itself in the same situation as it reached that record with a 49-14 win at Wheeling Friday Night.
"Our goal was to focus on our ourselves and I thought our guys did a good job with that," Prospect coach Dan DeBoeuf said.
In collecting their seventh win, the Knights got big play after big play in the first 24 minutes of action as it found the end zone all six times it had possession of the football. Prospect compiled 498 yards of total offense.
Gary Moeller went on a 51-yard run on Prospect's first snap of the football to get things going. Noah Marx then followed it up with the first of his 2 touchdown jaunts from 53 yards out. Luke Zardzin added a 2-point conversion run making it 15-0 with 7:06 left in the opening quarter.
Moeller then went airborne, finding Brian Doherty from 12 yards out to extend the Prospect advantage to 22-0 with 3:48 remaining in the first.
Zardzin (7 carries, 160 yards) and Marx (2 carries, 83 yards) each added 30-yard TD runs, leaving the Knights up 36-0 with 7:35 left until halftime.
A 5-play, 80 yard drive after a Ryan Traviolia end zone interception that Moeller finished off with his second touchdown toss to Tyson Splinter (18 yards) gave the Knights a 43-0 lead at the break that set the stage for a running game clock in the second half.
Wheeling (0-9, 0-5) found pay dirt one time each in quarters three and four as junior tailback Paul Ufir scored from 3 yards out. He finished with 160 yards rushing on 34 attempts. Backup quarterback Brandon Roman added a 32-yard touchdown run with 1:50 remaining in the contest for Wheeling's second touchdown.
A 40-yard scoring strike from Frank Covey to Owen Walter on the game's final play accounted for Prospect's final points.
Moeller (176 yards combined passing and rushing) credited his offensive line: Eric Malinowski, Caleb Smith, Armen Surenian, Sebastian Swistak and Micah Sahakian for paving the way for the 498 yards of total offense they accumulated on the night.
"(They) opened everything up with our runs, and (passing) it was pitch and catch on the edge," he explained.
Wheeling coach Brian Hauck took the opportunity to praise his 12 seniors for their hard work and dedication throughout the season.
"We have a tough group of seniors and they've been a part of our program for all four years," he pointed out. "They've given everything for the program and did everything we asked them to do. They led, and the tough thing is it's not a season that went our way."
Meanwhile, DeBoeuf and his staff begin the process of playoff preparation for the school's 17th appearance and second straight.
"It's nice that we have that experience," Prospect's coach said. "A lot of kids were on the field for us last year, so to have that playoff experience in their pocket is good."