Cary-Grove's defense plays tough in FVC win against Jacobs
Cary-Grove's Preston Walsh was greeted by a bunch of happy teammates in the end zone after his 35-yard interception return late in the third quarter Friday, and the celebration continued moments later on the Trojans' sideline.
Walsh, a junior, said he'll never forget his first career interception and pick 6.
"It felt amazing," Walsh said. "We're a really good blocking team down the field. I'm going to remember that for the rest of my life. Just a huge moment for me."
And one of many huge moments for the Trojans' defense, as C-G came up with a big stop seemingly every time it needed one against Jacobs.
The result was a resounding 27-14 Fox Valley Conference win for the Trojans, setting up a battle of undefeated FVC teams between Cary-Grove (4-0, 4-0 FVC) and Prairie Ridge (4-0, 4-0) at C-G's Al Bohrer Field in Week 5.
Led by sophomore fullback Logan Abrams (146 rushing yards on 23 carries) and junior running back Andrew Prio (130 yards on 8 carries), the Trojans ran wild for 325 yards on 37 attempts, an average of 8.8 yards a carry.
But it was the Trojans' defense that stole the show.
Cary-Grove trailed 7-0 with just over 3 minutes to go in the first half when senior Kyle Jarecki came up with his first of 2 sacks deep in Jacobs' territory, forcing a punt.
On the next play for C-G, Abrams took a handoff and broke free for a 36-yard touchdown.
Jacobs got the ball to midfield on its next possession, but Trojans' defenders Connor Anderson and PJ Weaver combined to poke the ball loose from Jacobs tight end Grant Stec, a Wisconsin commit, and Thomas Battaglia recovered the ball with about 45 seconds until halftime.
The Trojans needed only three plays to score, with Andrew Prio getting a big 24-yard run down the sideline to start the drive. He ended the drive on a 16-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Peyton Seaburg for a 14-7 halftime lead.
Prio, who had 146 total yards and 3 scores, also may have made the play of the game as a defender midway through the third quarter.
With the game still at 14-7, Jacobs' Justin Gonzalez intercepted Seaburg on the Eagles' side of the field and returned it all the way to C-G's 10. But it was Prio who chased down Gonzalez, preventing the potential tying score.
The Trojans' defense then held strong and kept Jacobs out of the end zone on four consecutive plays. It was Prio who had a 58-yard touchdown on C-G's next possession for a 21-7 lead with 3:26 remaining in the third.
"Andrew Prio on that play runs the guy down and made a huge tackle," C-G coach Brad Seaburg said. "He could have been gone and this game could have been a lot different. It was a great effort by him and just a great effort by our defense tonight."
The Eagles (1-3, 1-3), whose three losses have come against Huntley, Prairie Ridge and C-G, scored the first and last points of the game.
Caden DuMelle had a 1-yard TD on the first play of the second quarter, and quarterback Daniel Curran ran in a 3-yard touchdown with 3.7 seconds remaining in the fourth.
DuMelle led the Eagles with 70 yards on 15 carries, and Matthew Scardina came off the bench with 61 yards on seven attempts. Curran finished 6-of-8 passing for 63 yards, with four of his completions going to Stec (34 yards).
Jacobs coach Brian Zimmerman said the Eagles made too many mistakes, which included nine penalties.
"It's kind of been the story of our season. Every time things are going well, we shoot ourselves in the foot," Zimmerman said. "We feel we're very talented and we're talented enough to hang with a lot of talented teams. Our kids have been through the wringer, and I'm extremely proud of them. Nobody picked us to compete with (C-G).
"If we want to make a run to the big dance, we've got to be able to eliminate the little mistakes."