HUNTLEY — On a night when the Prairie Ridge offense was its usual relentless, unmerciful self, it was the Wolves’ defense that played an integral role time and again, leading the Wolves to a 27-7 Fox Valley Conference victory over Huntley.
PR (3-0, 3-0 FVC) limited the Red Raiders (1-2, 1-2) to 143 total yards - 54 on the ground and 89 through the air. But it was a goal-line stand late in the first half that gave the Wolves a much-needed lift and carried them throughout the second half of the bruising contest.
Huntley had first-and-goal from the Wolves’ 1, but failed to score on three running attempts and one pass that preserved a 7-0 halftime lead for the Wolves.
¨That gave our guys a lot of confidence, and as the game went on you could see that confidence build,” Prairie Ridge coach Chris Schremp said. “We have a lot of young guys on that side of the ball and even our seniors are inexperienced. Heck, any time you can come into this stadium and win, it’s huge. It’s the toughest place to play in the Fox Valley.”
Offensively, senior Zach Bentsen ran wild, rushing for 218 yards on 20 carries and two touchdowns. His first score was a 2-yard dash late in the first quarter, but it was his second run - a dazzling 57-yarder early in the fourth quarter that gave PR a 20-0 lead.
¨He should have been down four times on that run,” Schremp said. ¨He set up blocks and cut back and made a great move.¨
Bentsen logged many of his yards on the jet sweep and received plenty of help from linemen Matthew Nygren, Sam Schultz, John Fallaw, Henrik Nystrom, Jack Schnoor and tight end Jake Dolan.
¨It was all them. Those guys just pound and move the line of scrimmage 5 yards off the ball and that makes it easy for me, " Bentsen said. “We had seen some things that we thought might work against their defensive scheme, but it was our basic (running) package and that made our jet and counters more effective.¨
The Wolves piled up 432 total yards, 384 of which came on the ground. Bentsen and running mates, quarterback Mason Loucks (18 carries, 82 yards, one TD), fullback Nathan Greetham (nine for 50), and running back Drake Tomasiewicz (three for 39, one TD) seemed to get stronger as the game went on. Loucks completed two of his three passes for 48 yards.
Ḧuntley got on the board midway through the fourth quarter when Sam Deligio found Joshua Witt for a 41-yard touchdown. It was Huntley’s first offensive score in nine quarters.
¨We are still getting our feet on the ground with some young guys on the offensive line,” Huntley coach Matt Zimolzak said. ¨That (goal-line stand) was huge. When we are inside the 5-yard line, we have to put in the ball in the end zone. But give (PR) credit. That is a good group over there.¨