Prospect outlasts Elk Grove

By Greg Swiderski
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 3/26/2021 11:38 PM

Two of the better running backs in the Mid-Suburban East squared off at Prospect High School Friday night.

Prospect's Luke Zardzin and Elk Grove's Ian Ridge each scored 4 touchdowns but the host Knights held on to a hard-fought 49-38 win.


Ridge scored on runs of 1, 39, 26 and 3 yards, accounting for 313 yards in 45 rushes.

Zardzin's scores came on runs of 21, 8, 5, and 1 yard. The running back/linebacker carried the ball 21 times for 189 yards. Zardzin had 2 receptions from quarterback Gary Moeller for 15 yards.

"Ridge and I have know each other for many years," said Zardzin. "I knew it would be a track meet."

The Grenadiers (0-2, 0-2) seemed to stun the 2-0 Knights as Ridge, a Drake University recruit, ran the Wildcat offense on their first series. Ridge's 53-yard burst set up his first touchdown with 8:30 left in the first quarter and a 6-0 lead.

Zardzin countered with a 21-yard score at the 6:23 mark.

Elk Grove quarterback Joey Gaskill gave the Grens a 14-6 lead on his 70-yard run and followed that with a 2-point conversion.

Zardzin's 5-yard run with 10:06 left in the first half gave the Knights a 22-20 lead that they would not relinquish.

Moeller (13 of 16, 176 yards) threw the first of 2 touchdown passes to Noah Marx for 30 yards for a 29-20 lead with 6:58 left before halftime.

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At one point Moeller completed 13 passes in a row.

"It's like a family out there," said Moeller. "We have a lot of experience from last year. Zardzin in the backfield and good receivers. It's only been two weeks since basketball ended and my body is feeling better. We had a great game plan going in. We knew what we wanted to do and it came out well. I was sitting pretty back in the pocket thanks to our O-line. No complaints there."

Marx scored the next 2 touchdowns for the Knights to start the second half.

Marx returned the third quarter kickoff 90 yards and a 35-20 lead. Later in the quarter Marx caught an 11-yard pass from Moeller for a 42-20 lead.

"We feel good about the players we got," said Prospect coach Dan DeBoeuf. "They work super hard. We lean on the experience we have in a strange year like this and it shows. Our offensive line are the five most important guys on the team. Without them we can't do anything."

Clayton Kamp, Gary Gilmer, Christo Nicolau, Eric Malinowski, and Matt Pankauskas led the Knights' offensive line.

Gaskill connected with Joshua Bilodeau on a 65-yard touchdown pass before Zardzin countered with a 1-yard run.


Ridge scored 2 fourth-quarter touchdowns on runs of 26 and 2 yards.

"We anticipated that they would do a lot of different things with their offense and it was a good plan," said DeBoeuf.

Each team would finish with 381 yards of offense.

"We have 32 players who try very hard to do their best," said Elk Grove coach Miles Osei. "Our kids gave a great effort. There's no questioning that."

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