A milestone victory for Cary-Grove coach Seaburg

Updated 9/18/2021 12:44 AM

McHenry's 15-play, 80-yard drive put the Warriors on the scoreboard midway through the second quarter and brought some energy to the sideline.

There was one problem: The No. 1 team in The Associated Press Class 6A poll was about to get the ball back.


When Cary-Grove gets the ball lately, it scores. Often quickly.

"It's everything we practice," Trojans quarterback Jameson Sheehan said. "We just get the offense going. They change a front and we just execute. We have playmakers."

The ensuing drive actually took almost three minutes, a real clock-eater by recent Cary-Grove standards, and ended in another touchdown. The Trojans added another score before the half on Toby Splitt's 85-yard punt return and rolled on to a 56-14 victory over McHenry on Friday night at McCracken Field.

Cary-Grove (4-0, 4-0 FVC) gave coach Brad Seaburg his 100th win. Seaburg has lost only 20 games as the Trojans coach. The Trojans scored on their first seven possessions and twice had one-play drives of 60 yards, a pass reception to running back Wade Abrams and a run by Drew Magel.

For an example of how efficient Cary-Grove's offense is, in the last two games, Magel has touched the ball seven times, has 252 yards and 5 touchdowns.

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"Jame-O's doing a great job of distributing the ball," Seaburg said of Sheehan. "He threw it well when we needed him to. We got the ball on the perimeter and we have speed. Once the ball gets on the perimeter, if we can get blocks out there, we have a lot of really fast guys."

The offensive line of Max Katsenos, Zach Petko, Nolan Sharkey, Aaron Caspary and Niko Neckopulos, along with tight ends Noah Riley and Michael Gustafsson did its usual outstanding work.

"It all starts with the O-line, up front with those hogs," Sheehan said. "They're the hardest workers at practice. They lead us all the way through. It's such a brotherhood of offensive players. It's awesome."

Abrams finished with 60 rushing and 60 receiving yards. Fullback Nick Hissong carried seven times for 78 yards and 3 touchdowns.

"It's really cool to see everyone working together, everyone doing their jobs to a point where we're scoring touchdowns in a matter of (a few) plays," Splitt said. "Everyone's doing their jobs, filling in for their spots. It's good stuff."


Splitt's toughest play may have been kicking the extra point after his long punt return touchdown.

"We had such great blocking on that," Splitt said. "I couldn't have done it without everyone doing their jobs. I had a great block from (Nick Wojcik) and had a great block from John Elef (Eleftheriou) toward the end zone. Everyone on that (punt return) team deserves as much credit as I do."

Cary-Grove athletic director Jim Altendorf took a few minutes after the game to address the team about Seaburg's milestone victory.

"We've had fantastic players and our coaching staff is second to none," Seaburg said. "It's really not an individual (honor), it's more of a program and coaching staff (honor). We have a great program and a great coaching staff and great support from the school."

Cary-Grove meets No. 7 Prairie Ridge (4-0, 4-0) at 1 p.m. next Saturday.

McHenry running back Dylan Drumheller rushed for 112 yards on 18 carries and Brody Hallin added 53 yards.

"It's really easy to pick on the things we've been doing wrong, especially stopping the run," Warriors coach Jon Niemic said. "We've become our own worst enemy at times. A few times we were playing behind the sticks, third-and-long, second-and-long. Against a team like Cary-Grove you can't do that."

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