Cary-Grove scores fast, scores often
Normally, possessing the ball 2 minutes, 15 seconds of a half and running seven offensive plays to an opponents' 42 would spell trouble.
However, Cary-Grove's football team is anything but normal.
The Trojans executed one of the zaniest halves ever witnessed, scoring four offensive touchdowns on seven plays and amassing 274 total yards on their way to a 48-14 victory over Crystal Lake Central in their Fox Valley Conference game Friday night at Al Bohrer Field.
C-G (3-0, 3-0 FVC) had touchdown drives of three plays, two plays and two of one play in the first half, along with an interception return for a touchdown by defensive back Richard Moser.
Every scoring play went for at least 53 yards as C-G built a 35-0 lead at the break.
"The offensive line was blocking amazing," said running back Drew Magel, who ran three times for 161 yards and three touchdowns. "The outside was just wide open. I got the ball three times, three touchdowns, it was just wide open. The line blocked great.
"The coaches were saying before the game, 'Every time you get the ball, you should have the mindset to score.' And that's what happens."
Central (2-1, 2-1), which was ranked No. 6 in Class 6A, had the ball for 21:45 of the first half and put up 218 yards of offense.
"It's crazy," Trojans coach Brad Seaburg said. "We blocked really well on the perimeter. You saw a lot of big plays by our guys. They were, as teams should be, pretty concerned about (fullback) Nick (Hissong) and that opened things up for Wade (Abrams), (Drew) Magel and Jame-O (Jameson Sheehan). That was a big part of it too."
The Tigers suffered a big loss when quarterback Colton Madura was injured on the fifth offensive play and could not return. Central coach Jon McLaughlin said Madura was being examined at a local hospital.
"He went to move and something went out," McLaughlin said. "I don't know if it's a hip pointer or something tore. He's getting it looked at."
Sophomore Jason Penza, who starts at wide receiver, stepped in to replace Madura and the Tigers moved the ball at times, but could not stop C-G.
Abrams ran for a 53-yard touchdown on the Trojans' second play. The next drive went three plays, with Sheehan, the quarterback, racing for 79 yards.
Magel scored on runs of 57 and 65 yards, sandwiched around Moser's interception return.
"The energy was definitely there. We knew we had to come out hard, especially on offense," C-G offensive lineman Zach Petko said. "We were pushing them up front and opening up those holes for the running backs.
"We were just rolling. We were prepared this week and ready to go. We knew what we had to do and we got it done."
The Trojans put up 453 yards of total offense.
"I'd say 90% of defense is knowing your assignment and being lined up right," McLaughlin said. "Missed alignments and missed assignments is the big thing, and they found them right away. Against a team like Cary you have to give yourself a chance and line up right and do things that way."
Central had 379 total yards. Penza completed 21 of 28 passes for 315 yards and two touchdowns, both to Charlie Fleming.
"You just feel for them and feel for their quarterback," Seaburg said. "I hope he's healthy and it's just a little setback for them."
Fleming caught six passes for 92 yards and Jake Carnrite had five catches for 77 yards.
"That's a really tough situation (for Penza) to come in against the No. 1 team in the state, big crowd, big stage," McLaughlin said. "He did some good things and he made a couple mistakes he's going to learn from."