Hersey routs Buffalo Grove to cap 9-0 regular season
With the Class 7A playoffs in one week, the Daily Herald's No. 2-ranked Hersey wanted to put the finishing touches on its first perfect regular season since 1975 Friday night against visiting Buffalo Grove.
And the Huskies (9-0, 5-0) did that in style as they built a 28-0 lead over the Bison at halftime before rolling to a lopsided 49-6 Mid-Suburban East victory.
Buffalo Grove (4-5, 2-3) will find out if it has enough points to qualify for the IHSA playoffs on Saturday.
Hersey methodically put the Bison away starting with a 4-yard touchdown run by Brett Kersemeier (84 yards on 17 carries) before the first of 7 extra points by Carson Koclanis made the score 7-0.
The Huskies hit paydirt again when sophomore quarterback Colton Gumino (10-for-14, 183 yards passing) scored on a 33-yard keeper for a 14-0 lead.
Then Hersey senior quarterback Carter Hansen (101 yards rushing on 14 carries) scored on a 6-yard TD run before a 2-yard TD run by Gumino with just 21.9 seconds left in the second quarter really put the Bison behind the eight ball.
"I'm just really proud of our kids putting it all together, and the beautiful thing about football is it takes every single one of us," said Hersey coach Tom Nelson. "We're going try to play our best football (in playoffs), put together our best game plan, make sure we're at our best when the time comes, and execute at a really high level."
In the third quarter Hansen scored on a 5-yard TD run for a 35-0 lead before Buffalo Grove broke up the shutout on a trick play. Mitchell Verdico hit Samuel Cho with a 64-yard TD pass on a halfback option to make the score 35-6 right after Hersey had scored.
But the Huskies answered that score with a 2-play, 80-yard scoring drive. Chuck Meister broke a tackle and scored on a 44-yard TD pass from Gumino to boost the lead back to 42-6.
Hersey's Nasir McKenzie added a 7-yard TD run with 3:34 to play to close out the scoring.
Buffalo Grove quarterback Payton Diaz was 14-for-33 passing for 157 yards, but the Bison struggled to get standout senior Michael Cervantes going on offense.
"We did our jobs on the offensive and defensive side of the ball. Our line is just unbelievable this year, and I've got great receivers that help me out on offense," said Gumino. "We've got tricks up our sleeve that coach Nelson helps us out with, and he's just a great coach."