Hersey blanks Buffalo Grove to stay perfect at 5-0
Hersey may have a secret weapon.
While the Huskies high-powered offense is getting all the attention, the Hersey defense has been quietly taking care of business.
The Huskies posted their third consecutive shutout Friday when Hersey bounced host Buffalo Grove 35-0 in the MSL opener for both teams.
"Or defense is really talented and obviously really well coached," Hersey coach Tom Nelson said. "We know what we have here and that is all that matters. The lower end zone is always a point of emphasis for us. It is something we practice a lot. Credit the boys for executing."
The game was closer than the final score indicated. Hersey came up with a pair of stops inside their own 10-yard line to give themselves some extra breathing room.
The Huskies defense has allowed just 12 points this season. They are led by Andrew Pignataro, Logan Farrell, Ethan Sather, Chuck Meister, Carson Grove, Brandon Pflomm, Georgie Naegele and Brandon Jenkins, made big plays when needed to keep the Bison out of the end zone.
"We really like to attack the ball," Pingataro said. "Coach (Mike) Donatucci know this game so well. He has us all in the right spot. We just have lots of pride on the defensive side.
Hersey (5-0, 1-0) got on the board with a late first-quarter score on a 1-yard quarterback sneak.
The Huskies then put two-play scoring drive together to make it 14-0. Nasir McKenzie busted off a 25-yard run. On the next play, Colton Gumino hit Farrell on a 42-yard touchdown.
Buffalo Grove (3-2, 0-1) tried to get back into the game last in the first half. The Bison drove to the Hersey four. But a holding penalty moved them back 10 yards. Jenkins then picked off a pass in the end zone for Hersey.
Hersey, which came within inches of a touchdown just before the end of the half, when Farrell was ruled down, came back on the offensive in the second half.
The defense set up the Huskies third score.
After a fumble recovery by Naegele, Hersey drove the Bison 10. Gumino then connected with Farrell for a touchdown to make it 21-0.
But Buffalo Grove would not quite go away.
The Bison drove down to the Hersey eight. The Huskies then dialed up some pressure and forced three consecutive incompletions to end that threat.
Hersey then put the game on ice with a couple of quick strikes.
McKenzie blasted off on a 79-yard run. He then flowed with a 13-yard scoring jaunt to make it 28-0.
After the defense forced a punt, Gumino connected with a wide-open Grove on an 80-yard scoring play.
The Huskies would finish with 540 yards of offense.
Gumino accounted for 272 yards on 12-of-passing. McKenzie piled up 226 yards on 24 carries. Grove had 6 catches for 175 yards while Farrell had four catches for 89 yards.
"I am proud of our resiliency," Nelson said. "In the second half we made the adjustments necessary and execute at a high level."
Buffalo Grove coach Jeff Vlk said that missed opportunities early hurt his team.
"I am proud of the fight that our kids came out with," Vlk said. "They knew they were outmanned, but they came our ready to fight. We have to fix the mistakes we made obviously, especially in the red zone offensively and some perimeter tackling."