Cary-Grove faces 1st deficit, responds in big way
Cary-Grove had never trailed at any point this season before Friday's Fox Valley Conference game against Huntley.
After a 16-play, 74-yard yard scoring drive by the Red Raiders that took up more than seven minutes on the clock, capped by a 1-yard scoring run by Ryder Hunkins, the Trojans found themselves in unfamiliar territory.
The deficit didn't last long for C-G, however, as the Trojans responded by going 73 yards on eight plays in a little more than two minutes on its opening drive. C-G's defense came up with a big fourth-down stop on Huntley's next possession and rolled from there, piling up 453 rushing yards en route to a 44-13 win over Huntley.
C-G, which scored 44 unanswered points, moved to 6-0 overall and 6-0 in the FVC with the victory. Huntley dropped to 2-4, 2-4 FVC, and needs to win its last three games to guarantee a place in the postseason.
"It was a good test," said Trojans senior fullback Nick Hissong, who rushed for a game-high 213 yards on 21 carries, including scoring runs of 1, 9 and 45 yards. "It was good trailing for the first time and seeing how we can respond. I feel like we responded well by getting out there and driving right down the field.
"We needed that."
Hissong scored the Trojans' first two TDs and ran in the 2-point conversion on each one. His second touchdown run gave C-G a 16-7 lead with 2:08 left in the opening quarter. On that drive, the Trojans needed only four plays to go 80 yards, with Hissong breaking a run of 46 yards during the drive.
"He had a real good game against Crystal Lake South and then some of our other guys have kind of taken over," Trojans coach Brad Seaburg said. "You kind of forget, not us, but defenses might look at as, we've got so many guys on the edge that you've got to be aware of, and Nick was able to take advantage of some things tonight."
C-G came up with a key defensive stop against Huntley in the first quarter, stopping Hunkins on fourth-and-1 at the Trojans' 20-yard line. C-G linebacker Zach Petko was among the Trojans players in on the play to stop Hunkins.
"That was a really big game-changer and it just turns momentum and it gives the offense energy to get a good drive going," Petko said. "It was kind of the entire inside of the defense that all kind of stuffed them. That is one of the best parts of football."
Trojans quarterback Jameson Sheehan ran for 60 yards, including a 44-yard score in the first half, and went 4-of-9 passing with 67 yards. Wade Abrams had 81 yards rushing on four carries and a touchdown run of 46 yards, and Drew Magel had 81 rushing yards on six attempts and a 20-yard touchdown. Noah Riley added three catches for 55 yards.
Hunkins had 88 yards on 30 carries for Huntley, and Emanuel Tinajero had 67 rushing yards and a 60-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. Quarterback Sam Deligio was 9-of-20 passing for 86 yards. Chase Jetel had 21 yards receiving, and Carter Knutsen ran for 22 yards.
Huntley coach Matt Zimolzak knows the importance of the next three games.
"You've got to do everything right against a team like that," Zimolzak said. "We can play against these guys, but we've got do everything right. We've got to improve some things and win the next three games, and that's the way it is. There's nobody easy in the conference anymore. We don't have the luxury of that anymore."