Cary-Grove completes undefeated season
During a truncated season that was shortened even further due to an in-season quarantine, Cary-Grove kept on winning.
While the Trojans will be left wondering what could have happened if they played a full regular season and playoffs, they finished their undefeated season with an impressive 44-0 victory on Friday at Oswego East.
"Every team went through all the same things, and to go through the quarantine of two weeks and then getting our game canceled this week, and then coming back, there have been so many emotions," Trojans coach Brad Seaburg said. "It's an emotional roller coaster and our guys were as consistent as you can be. They did a great job. I've been saying it to them the whole time. I said we wish we could try to get 14 (games) with these guys but we only got four games, but we'll take it."
Cary-Grove (4-0) scored on its first three possessions of the first half to seize control of the game early.
After stopping the Wolves on the game's opening possession, the Trojans covered 80 yards on an eight-play, 3:57 drive that culminated with Nick Hissong (17 carries, 111 yards) blasting in for the two-yard touchdown.
After a safety made it 9-0, the Trojans extended their lead to 16-0 on quarterback Jameson Sheehan's 20-yard run which came after his potential 38-yard touchdown run was nullified due to an illegal block in the back.
"The seniors played their butts off and the O-line did amazing," Sheehan said. "Having those seniors up there like that plowing their way through was awesome."
Oswego East (2-4) fumbled the ensuing kickoff and senior Nathan Splitt was there to scoop it up and return it the other way to make it a 23-0 game early in the second quarter.
"I think Colin Desmet stripped it and it bounced perfectly into my hands and I ran with it," Splitt said. "It was a big momentum swing and maybe the last one, but it was a big one for us."
It was Splitt's first touchdown of the season. His brother Jason Splitt joined him on the end zone visitation list as his one-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter induced the running clock.
It was the first time that the senior Splitts both scored in the same game. How about that for a finish for the seniors, whose younger brother, junior Toby, also contributed in the victory?
"All our family is here so that was an awesome ending," Jason Splitt said. "I didn't even see my brother's touchdown because I was watching film on the sidelines."
The Wolves moved the ball on their first drive, but that was about all they were able to muster against such a formidable foe.
Oswego East had its schedule game with West Aurora canceled with the school going into a COVID-19 pause on Thursday, but the Wolves on Wednesday were granted permission to schedule the replacement game with the powerhouse from the Fox Valley Conference. Cary-Grove itself had a game with Huntley for the FVC title canceled.
"72 hours ago we thought we were done for the season," Wolves coach Tyson LeBlanc said. "I would've played the Bears if the Bears wanted to play us to give our kids another opportunity to get back on the field. I would've liked the score to be a little closer, but I felt we owed it to our seniors for all the stuff they've been through."
LeBlanc said he told his players at halftime that he'd rather be down 30-0 at halftime and playing on the field then sitting at home watching someone else play.
"Our program is going to miss guys like Michael Ford, Braydon Grabavoy and Coran Woods," LeBlanc said. "Those seniors that put a lot of time in, and not just them, but all of them. I'm so proud of how our kids fought and continued to play hard and played with class and that's all the stuff as a head coach that you want."