Jacobs falls short in final minute vs. Crystal Lake South
Crystal Lake Central quarterback Colton Madura and wide receiver Jake Carnrite had it working most of the night, especially when it mattered most.
Three consecutive plays, Madura hit Carnrite for big gains. Then, when Carnrite was covered, Madura rolled right and fired a touchdown pass to sophomore Jason Penza with 57 seconds remaining.
Central's defense put up one last stand as the Tigers, No. 8 in The Associated Class 6A poll, held off Jacobs, 41-34, Friday in their Fox Valley Conference game at Owen Metcalf Field.
"Those are situations in practice we do during the week, the kids didn't panic and just executed and knew what we needed to do," Tigers coach Jon McLaughlin said. "Get the ball, get out of bounds. It was nice to come out on the right side of that one."
Central (2-0, 2-0 FVC) could have been in much worse shape, but trailed only 20-13 at halftime. Jacobs (1-0, 1-0) lamented its missed first-half opportunities, most notably a fumble while going in to score on its first possession and a high punt snap late in the first half that set Central up on the Golden Eagles' 18.
"We left 14 points off the board easily," Eagles coach Brian Zimmerman said. "We shoot ourselves in the foot, we had a couple bad play calls, they made some adjustments on the other side.
"I hope we showed people we were better than they thought we were. I don't feel they were a better team than us. I got a lot of respect for (Central). It's tough to swallow when we should have had a three-touchdown lead for the second half and we were up by one."
Jacobs running back Ben Ludlum ran for 165 yards and a 78-yard touchdown. Quarterback Max Benner threw touchdown passes to Grant Stec and Nick True in the first half.
The Eagles led most of the game until Central took a 34-27 lead late in the third quarter. Jacobs came back to tie at 34-34 on Michael Almeida's 5-yard run with 2:09 remaining, but Central had just enough time for its final drive.