Jacobs overcomes penalties to stay unbeaten
It wasn't as clean as coach Brian Zimmerman wanted it to be. But in the end, nothing is cleaner than being 3-0.
Jacobs (3-0, 3-0) survived too many penalties and a late surge by McHenry to pick up a 28-22 Fox Valley Conference victory Friday night.
The Golden Eagles tallied 378 yards of offense, all of which came on the ground, led by 190 yards and two touchdowns from Antonio Brown and 108 yards and another score from Joey Scrivani.
But postgame, the biggest thing on Zimmerman's mind was cleaning up 11 penalties for 92 yards and allowing some big plays down the stretch that allowed the Warriors (0-3, 0-3) to make this one close.
"(McHenry) comes hard, and we knew that coming in," Zimmerman said. "We talked about not making mental mistakes. And yet there were too many mental mistakes that we made. Now we got some nice plays from some kids, but we have a lot to clean up."
It seemed in the bag early in the fourth quarter when Scrivani scored, a 4-yarder with 9:16 left to play. That made it 28-7.
But McHenry and quarterback Dominick Caruso had different ideas. Caruso threw for 14 yards on third-and-12 to set up a touchdown on which Evan Griffiths carried the ball across the goal line with 5:52 left.
Then, a huge 46-yard hookup on fourth-and-19 between Caruso and Joseph Crowley put McHenry in the red zone. The helped Caruso find Teagan Panarese for a 13-yard score on third down to make it 28-22 with 57 seconds left. It was the last of 22 completions in 36 attempts for Caruso, which resulted in 327 yards.
The ensuing onside kick failed as McHenry fell for a third straight time to open the season by eight points or less.
"We just have to keep battling," McHenry coach Joel Beard said. "Our kids, they are hanging in there. They are giving everything they got, and that's all we can really ask.
"Record aside, we are right where we need to be."
Beard could have done without the big plays that put the Warriors in such a big hole. The first was a miscommunication on a pass play that wound up being a Jacobs interception with T.O. Boddie coming down with the football.
Then, on the other side of the ball, Brown gashed the Warriors with some big runs. His two scoring plays came on runs of 26 and 60 yards as the Golden Eagles took a 14-0 second-quarter lead.
"I saw straight grass," Brown said of his long touchdown run. "I was more north and south because I messed my ankle up a little. I wasn't trying to do anything fancy or anything.
"We are more used to wearing our opponents down mentally."
McHenry pulled within 14-7 at halftime on a 1-yard scoring run by Caruso. But the Warriors had difficulties slowing down the Golden Eagles' ball control offense on the next two drives, both of which were touchdowns.
Caruso completed seven passes to Jacob Zarek for 128 yards. Zach Maness had six receptions for 96 yards.