McKenzie runs wild again in Hersey's win over Prospect
Nasir McKenzie is off and running for Hersey.
McKenzie, who is a senior running back, had his second 200-yard plus rushing game in a row as Hersey powered past Prospect 28-3 Friday before a packed homecoming crowd in Arlington Heights.
McKenzie, who tore his ACL as a sophomore, has shown that he is ready to take the pressure of a Hersey team that is considered to a be a pass-first offense.
"We are a run-first team," Hersey coach Tom Nelson said. "Nasir is a terrific football player and he has come a long way in his growth. He had a pretty serious injury and has battled to come back. I am really happy that people are starting to notice him. "
McKenzie was a workhorse Friday. He carried the ball 28 times for 211 yards and a touchdown. That performance came on the heels of last week's game at Buffalo Grove where he gained 226 yards.
"We open up with our passes and teams start doubling Carson (Grove)," McKenzie said. "It makes my job a lot easier. Every day we are out here grinding. I just think that helps make us better."
Hersey made things look easy on their first two possessions.
The Huskies needed just three plays to take a 7-0 lead. Gumino's 40-yard pass to Grove set up a 15-yard touchdown run by McKenzie.
Hersey then took a little longer to score on its next possession. The Huskies drove 57 yards in seven plays with Gumino tossing a 4-yard touchdown pass to Logan Farrell for a 14-0 lead with 5:14 left in the first quarter.
Prospect (4-2, 1-1) finally got its offense in gear.
The Knights drove to the Hersey 6-yard line. But the drive stalled and Carter Cremascoli booted a 23-yard field goal to cut the lead to 14-3.
Hersey scored just before the end of the half to increase its lead to 21-3. Grove crashed over from the 5 on a direct snap and sweep to the left to cap a 13-play drive.
Prospect had a couple other opportunities to get back in the game.
The Knights missed a field goal just before the end of the half.
In the fourth quarter, Prospect drove to the Hersey 1. But on three plays in a row, the extra offensive play due to a penalty on Hersey, the Huskies defense led by Brandon Pflomm, Ethan Sather, Georgie Naegele, Chuck Meister and Andrew Pignataro turned the Knights away.
"Our coaches were harping all week to play fast," said Pflomm, who had a sack and two other tackles for loss.
"They said to go down swinging and trust your gut. We are just playing fast and confident."
With the ball on their own 2, it took the Huskies just five plays to strike. McKenzie set up the score with a pair of runs covering 38 and 25 yards. Gumino (17-of-25, 251 yards) then went over the top on a 40-yard touchdown pass to Grove (9 receptions, 166 yards).
"When you have a player like Carson, you know he is going to draw attention," Nelson said. "You have to have plays off that."
Prospect was able to put up 254 yards of offense. But the inability to score touchdowns in the red zone hurt the Knights.
"We had the ball in the red zone five times and just didn't finish," Prospect coach Dan DeBoeuf said. "We score there and we are right in the game. They finished when they were down there and we didn't."