ALGONQUIN – Jacobs football coach Brian Zimmerman felt last week’s one-touchdown loss to Crystal Lake Central could have gone in his team’s favor if not for some self-inflicted mistakes.
While the Golden Eagles didn’t play error-free football Friday, Zimmerman felt his team’s performance against McHenry was much more in line with what his team is capable of this season.
Jacobs defeated McHenry, 48-32, in their Fox Valley Conference game to move to 2-1 ahead of a Week 4 game at Prairie Ridge.
“This was a pivotal game. McHenry always plays us tough,” Zimmerman said. “We persevered from last week when we felt some things didn’t go our way ... and we should have cleaned up. I thought we did a better job of cleaning up some of our mistakes [tonight]. We ran hard. And we’re a good football team. I think some people maybe didn’t realize that.”
The Golden Eagles got big running performances from seniors Ben Ludlum and Nasir Canty, or the duo that Zimmerman calls their version of “thunder and lightning.” Ludlum ran for 206 yards on 20 carries, including scores of 16, 36 and 27 yards. Canty ran for 129 yards and two scores.
Jacobs ended the night with 368 rushing yards on 48 attempts, or 7.7 yards a carry.
“It’s really hard to stop those two kids,” Zimmerman said. “[Canty] is a big powerful kid, and then you’ve got Ben, who can cut on a dime and make anyone miss.”
Jacobs looked like it was going to run away from McHenry after Ludlum’s second TD of the night, a 36-yard burst up the middle to give the Eagles a 35-10 lead with 10:24 left in the fourth. But the Warriors came right back and scored on a 43-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Andrew Hoffman to Kyle Kaempf, a connection that was open all night for McHenry (0-3).
The Warriors recovered an ensuing onside kick and scored again on a five-yard run by Andrew Hettermann to cut the Eagles’ lead to 35-24 with 6:41 left.
Jacobs answered, however, with Ludlum providing a big 39-yard run down the sideline and Canty scoring from six yards out with 4:41 left, giving the Eagles a 41-24 lead (extra point was missed).
“I think we just ran out of steam there in the end, maybe emptied the tank too early,” McHenry coach Jon Niemic said. “[Jacobs] has a good running game, and in high school football, you’ve got to be able to stop the run, and tonight we did not do that. What I was impressed most of with both of their backs is their ability to play behind their pads. They really brought the boom to our guys a few times, running downhill, running behind their shoulder pads.”
Jacobs QB Max Benner completed 3-of-8 passes for 70 yards, hooking up twice on scores with tight end Grant Stec, who accounted for all of the Eagles’ receiving yards Friday. It was the fourth TD for Benner in the past two games.
Hoffman finished 17 of 36 for 261 yards passing and two scores. Kyle Kaempf had a game-high nine catches for 165 yards and two touchdowns (19 and 57 yards).
Hettermann added 62 yards and two touchdowns to lead the McHenry rushing attack. Zach Maness had five catches for 75 yards.
Niemic said the Warriors need to do a better job of stopping the run, which is something they’re going to see plenty of again in Week 4 against Cary-Grove.
“We’ve got to figure out a way as a team to be able to stop the run against teams that line up in double-tight and double-wing and try to slam it down your throat,” Niemic said. “We’ve got to be able to step up and stop the run. They dominated the line of scrimmage.”
Jacobs 48, McHenry 32
McHenry 7 3 0 22 – 32
Jacobs 7 14 7 20 – 48
J–Stec 9 pass from Benner (Rocha kick), 6:33
M–Kaempf 19 pass from Hoffman (Wirch kick), 0:53
J–Canty 1 run (Rocha kick), 9:49
M–Wirch 22 FG, 4:52
J–Ludlum 16 run (Rocha kick), 1:18
J–Stec 34 pass from Benner (Rocha kick), 5:31
J–Ludlum 36 run (Rocha kick), 10:25
M–Kaempf 57 pass from Hoffman (Wirch kick), 9:36
M–Hettermann 5 run (Wirch kick), 6:41
J–Canty 6 run (kick missed), 4:41
J–Ludlum 27 run (Rocha kick), 2:18
M–Hettermann 32 run (Kaempf pass from Hoffman), 1:44
RUSHING–McHenry: Hallin 12-37, Hettermann 8-62, Hoffman 5-33, Team 3-minus 11. Total: 28-121. Jacobs: Ludlum 20-206, Canty 19-129, Almeda 5-15, Perez 2-15, Benner 1-4, Team 1-minus 1. Total: 48-368.
PASSING–McHenry: Hoffman 17-36-1-261. Jacobs: Benner 3-8-0-70.
RECEIVING–McHenry: Kaempf 9-165, Crowley 2-13, Maness 5-75, Hallin 1-8. Jacobs: Stec 3-70.
TOTAL YARDS–McHenry 359, Jacobs 438.