Grayslake North advances behind historic night for senior QB Donohue
There were only five fans in the opposition's bleachers to start the game at Grayslake North on Friday night. There was probably a good number of parents and friends in the home stands, but on a first glance, Senn fans did not make the trip up north.
The same went for their team. There were 11 white Bulldog (5-5) jerseys out there at a time, but they lost to Grayslake North (9-1) in a 55-0 drubbing.
It may have been a pretty regular contest for the Knights, as it was their fourth game out of their last five in which they've won by three touchdowns or more. However, it took only one defensive stop, and one offensive play for history to happen.
After forcing a turnover on downs, Grayslake North took over at their own 21-yard line, and with one snap of the football, they went up 7-0. Senior quarterback Jacob Donohue delivered a strike to sophomore receiver Cameron Bates, and with it, Donohue became the school's all-time passing touchdown leader with 60.
"Jake, he's a gamer," said coach Brian Johnson through a chuckle. "He's got really good pocket presence, and then when he gets scrambling he finds the open guy. He has an uncanny ability to do that."
Quickly, it became a contest within a contest. Who would score more touchdowns: Bates or senior sophomore receiver DeAndre Neely Jr.? Bates scored another one after his first, but then Neely Jr. got seriously involved. He finished with a total of 166 yards worth three touchdowns.
Of course, the senior quarterback was the one to arrange all of those touchdowns. The Donohue Show paused for two commercial breaks, as senior Michael Jefferson Jr. scampered for a 33-yard rushing touchdown in the second and junior running back Jose Muñoz did the same for 18 in the third. Regular programming continued in between the two with a 59-yard, on-the-run pass to Neely Jr. in the second.
That was the last Donohue touchdown of the night. He did not play a snap in the fourth. After a scoop and score by sophomore linebacker Landon Dovel, the score was 55-0. Donohue finished with 5 passing touchdowns.
It didn't appear to be the most evenly matched football game. Grayslake North had just come off a win against Class 6A first-seeded Wauconda for a share of the Northern Lake County title, and Senn had 18 players on the sideline. Total.
It was an uphill battle for the 14-seed, indeed. The Bulldogs had few first downs and zero points.
In the end, the Knights advanced to the second round and will face the winner of Saturday afternoon's matchup between Chicago Amundsen and Machesney Park Harlem.