Prospect rolls by Buffalo Grove, into MSL championship game

  • Prospect's Luke Zardzin, left, takes a handoff from quarterback Gary Moeller resulting in a touchdown run in at Buffalo Grove High School on Friday.

    Prospect's Luke Zardzin, left, takes a handoff from quarterback Gary Moeller resulting in a touchdown run in at Buffalo Grove High School on Friday. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Prospect's Tyson Splinter hauls in a pass play resulting in a touchdown despite pressure from Buffalo Grove's Dominick Marrazzo at Buffalo Grove High School on Friday.

    Prospect's Tyson Splinter hauls in a pass play resulting in a touchdown despite pressure from Buffalo Grove's Dominick Marrazzo at Buffalo Grove High School on Friday. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Prospect's Tyson Splinter hauls in a pass play resulting in a touchdown despite pressure from Buffalo Grove's Dominick Marrazzo in varsity football action at Buffalo Grove High School on Friday.

    Prospect's Tyson Splinter hauls in a pass play resulting in a touchdown despite pressure from Buffalo Grove's Dominick Marrazzo in varsity football action at Buffalo Grove High School on Friday. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Prospect's Tyson Splinter celebrates his touchdown with teammate George Shiakallis in varsity football action at Buffalo Grove High School on Friday.

    Prospect's Tyson Splinter celebrates his touchdown with teammate George Shiakallis in varsity football action at Buffalo Grove High School on Friday. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Prospect's Owen Walter runs into a herd of bison for short yardage on a screen pass in the first quarter of varsity football action at Buffalo Grove High School on Friday.

    Prospect's Owen Walter runs into a herd of bison for short yardage on a screen pass in the first quarter of varsity football action at Buffalo Grove High School on Friday. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Prospect's quarterback Gary Moeller is stopped by Buffalo Grove's Ryan Grossman in the first quarter of varsity football action at Buffalo Grove High School on Friday.

    Prospect's quarterback Gary Moeller is stopped by Buffalo Grove's Ryan Grossman in the first quarter of varsity football action at Buffalo Grove High School on Friday. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Prospect's quarterback Gary Moeller is on the run from the Bison defense after a high snap in the first quarter of varsity football action at Buffalo Grove High School on Friday.

    Prospect's quarterback Gary Moeller is on the run from the Bison defense after a high snap in the first quarter of varsity football action at Buffalo Grove High School on Friday. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Prospect's Luke Zardzin plows ahead into Bison territory for yardage in the first quarter of varsity football action at Buffalo Grove High School on Friday.

    Prospect's Luke Zardzin plows ahead into Bison territory for yardage in the first quarter of varsity football action at Buffalo Grove High School on Friday. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Prospect's Luke Zardzin gains yardage and plows ahead into Bison territory in varsity football at Buffalo Grove High School on Friday.

    Prospect's Luke Zardzin gains yardage and plows ahead into Bison territory in varsity football at Buffalo Grove High School on Friday. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Prospect's Luke Zardzin plows ahead into Bison territory for yardage in varsity football action at Buffalo Grove High School on Friday.

    Prospect's Luke Zardzin plows ahead into Bison territory for yardage in varsity football action at Buffalo Grove High School on Friday. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

 
By Dick Quagliano
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 4/17/2021 7:11 AM

Prospect's Gary Moeller and Luke Zardzin were just too much for Buffalo Grove Friday.

Moeller threw for 5 touchdowns while Zardzin had 4 touchdowns, rushing for two and catching two of Moeller's touchdown passes, as Prospect rolled over the Bison 56-33 in Buffalo Grove.

 

The win gave Prospect (5-0, 5-0) the Mid-Suburban East championship. It also moves the Knights into the first MSL championship game since 1974 when they play at MSL West champion Barrington next Friday at 7 p.m.

"We are super excited to play somebody big," Prospect coach Dan DeBoeuf said. "I feel real good about our offense and our defense. You can't really can't pick one spot to stop. If you do, we will just do something different."

Prospect showed how dangerous it can offensively. The Knights scored a season-high 56 points and had 530 yards of total offense. They led 28-0 at the half, running 40 plays to Buffalo Grove's 23.

It was all Zardzin early. The Northern Illinois walk-on had 83 of his 154 yards in the first quarter and scored on a 4-yard run to make it 7-0.

"We knew they wanted to limit our big plays," Zardzin said. "Our offensive line did a great job tonight controlling the tempo."

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That line of Sam Tsagalis, Clayton Kamp, Eric Malinowski, Gary Gilmer, Christo Nicolau and Matt Pankauskas not only did a great job for Zardzin, but they protected Moeller very well too.

With that time, Moeller, was able to pick apart the Bison defense. He threw for a trio of second-quarter touchdowns, two to Tyson Splinter (5 catches, 69 yards) that covered 33 and 20 yards, and then a 4-yarder to Zardzin.

"We knew they started with a light box," said Moeller, who was 21-of-28 for 258 yards. "We then just pounded inside zone. Then, when they finally responded to that, we knew we could throw it on them."

Moeller, who verbally committed to Wisconsin for a preferred walk on, threw his fourth touchdown pass of the night to Noah Marx to make it 35-0.

Buffalo Grove showed why it belonged in the East title game. The Bison responded with 2 quick touchdowns on a 57 yard run by Scott Murray and a 10-yard pass from Ian Luyando to Ayden Anderson to make it 35-13.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

That led to a wild and crazy final quarter that had the teams combine for 41 points.

Zardzin had a 4-yard touchdown run and a 38-yard touchdown reception while Matt Raitano scored on a 24-yard burst for the Knights.

Buffalo Grove countered with Luyando (14-of-23, 237 yards) throwing a 27-yard touchdown pass to Pasquale Dellaquila and a 20-yarder to Anderson (8 receptions, 142 yards). Murray (11 carries, 160 yards) added a 64-yard touchdown run in the final 26 seconds.

"Our kids never quit," said Buffalo Grove coach Jeff Vlk, whose team will play at Palatine next Friday. "That was our message at halftime. We were going to go and play to end, regardless of the score."

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