Prospect records come-from-behind win against Buffalo Grove
When he was a sophomore, Ben Sahakian was just 5-foot-3 and 130 pounds. And despite the small stature, Sahakian decided he wanted to play football for the first time.
"I just wanted to be more," Sahakian said. "So I worked in the weight room and worked on the field. I finally got to show my skills."
Sahakian and the rest of the Prospect showed that they have plenty of skill. They shut down Buffalo Grove from the second quarter on and helped the Knights hold of the Bison 17-14 in the Mid-Suburban East opener in Mt. Prospect.
"We came together and made some plays," said Sahakian, who is now 6-foot-4 and 205 pounds.
"After we fell behind, I looked at our guys and said we had to play out game. We knew how to play and we know our responsibilities. We had to go out there and have everyone believe."
Buffalo Grove (4-1, 0-1) jumped to an early 14-0 lead. On the fourth play of the game, Prospect fired a pass down the middle and the Bison 's Dominick Marranos came from the free safety spot and picked off the pass. The senior returned it 55 yards for a touchdown and a 7-0 lead.
After another Bison stop on defense, the Buffalo Grove offense went to work. The Bison put together a 9-play, 67-yard drive. Michael Cervantes tossed a 4-yard touchdown pass to Scott Murray, who had leaked out of the backfield and it was 14-0.
But that's where the defense, led by Sahakian, Giovani Paredes, Richard Sepulveda, Peyton Burgh, Matthew Schacke and Charlie Carroll, took over. They held the Bison to 33 yards in the second half.
"We never panicked," Paredes said. "We were confident the whole time. We decided to step up and we played hard."
Prospect (4-1, 1-0) came back with a scoring drive of its own. The Knights went 70 yards in 9 plays with Frank Covey barreling over from the 10 to cut the lead to 14-7.
The Knights were able to cut the lead to 14-10 on a 38-yard field goal by Sahakian with 14-10 left in the third quarter.
Sahakian then followed with his second of three kickoffs into the end zone, giving Buffalo Grove the ball at its own 20.
After the Knight defense forced a three and out, Prospect took the ball at the Bison 43. Covey (18 carries, 62 yards), would score 8 plays later on a 5-yard run to make it 17-14 with 25 seconds left in the third quarter.
Buffalo Grove would get three more possessions after that, but the Bison were not able to move the ball past their own 33-yard line.
"All 11 kids played their tails off," Prospect coach Dan DeBouef said. "And hats off to our defensive staff for putting together an awesome plan."
DeBouef said his team grew up on Friday. "When we played St. Francis a couple of weeks ago, when we faced adversity, there were things that we saw we didn't like," he said. "Tonight was a perfect chance to go down that road again, and I think it shows the growth of our team."
"We got off to great start," Buffalo Grove coach Jeff Vlk said. "We stalled a little but offensively. We couldn't be consistent and that was the theme of the night."