McHenry County notes: Cary-Grove gets tested by Jacobs; Marengo improves its outlook

Cary-Grove has played at a remarkable level of dominance throughout the season.

Entering Week 7, the Trojans’ relentless offense was putting up 50 points a game, and the defense had allowed 78 points, about half of what Huntley’s next-best defense had allowed (155).

So Jacobs providing the most resistance C-G had seen Friday night should benefit the Trojans, who are poised for another deep Class 6A playoff run.

C-G defeated the Golden Eagles, 36-22, at C-G’s Al Bohrer Field, but had only a one-score lead in the final quarter. Although it never felt like C-G was in any trouble, there was a sense of relief when fullback Nick Hissong ran for a 33-yard touchdown and a 14-point advantage with 5:03 remaining.

Jacobs played C-G to a 15-15 first half. The Trojans (7-0, 7-0 FVC) came out and scored twice in the third quarter, but the Eagles (4-3, 4-3) cut the lead back to a touchdown early in the fourth.

“The guys responded really well,” Trojans coach Brad Seaburg said. “We only ran 16 plays in the first half. We just executed our offense better (in the second half). It was a good high school football game and two teams that were fighting hard.”

The FVC recently produced Class 6A state champions for three consecutive seasons (Prairie Ridge in 2016 and 2017, C-G in 2018) and the Trojans, through seven games, have won by bigger margins than any of those teams.

In 2016, Prairie Ridge had wins over C-G and Huntley by 12 and 11 points in the first two weeks. In 2017, the Wolves beat C-G by one point and Huntley by eight in the first two games.

In 2018, C-G’s closest regular-season game was a 29-22 win over Crystal Lake South in the opener.

Before Friday, C-G’s closest game was a Week 6 win over Huntley, 44-13.

Stec’s new offer: Jacobs sophomore tight end-defensive end Grant Stec received an offer from Iowa last week. Illinois made Stec’s first offer a few weeks ago.

Stec had one catch in Friday’s game, but it was something special. Quarterback Max Benner dropped a pass between two C-G defenders, and Stec dived to catch it while getting a foot inbounds before hitting the ground. He also had a nice grab on the 2-point conversion when Benner had trouble with a low snap and rolled right before throwing a pass.

Stec is 6-foot-6, 220 pounds and started as a freshman in the spring.

Improved outlook: Marengo desperately needed its 21-20 victory over Plano in their Kishwaukee River/Interstate 8 Blue game Friday. The Indians (4-3) can become playoff eligible with a victory this week over winless Sandwich.

Marengo finishes the regular season hosting Richmond-Burton.

A big factor in Friday’s win was Marengo’s defense, which struggled to get stops one week earlier in a 41-32 loss to Rochelle.

“We just have some youth. We’re getting better from week to week,” Indians coach Paul Forsythe said.

Welcome back: Harvard started like a team that had to shake off some rust after missing two games because of a COVID-19 quarantine in its 29-24 victory over Sandwich.

The Hornets fell behind, 16-0, in the first quarter, then roared back with 21 points in the second quarter. Harvard added another score in the third quarter to move to 2-5, 1-3 in the Kishwaukee River/Interstate 8 Blue.

“It was nice to get on track to recover from being down early,” Hornets coach Sean Saylor said.

Saylor said the Hornets had to modify their practices under the quarantine.

“The plan was to get guys healthy that had been banged up and develop players the best we could with the opportunities they were given,” Saylor said. “It was definitely a challenge preparing midseason with a partial squad.”

Bear down: Three Chicago Bears players were in attendance at Marian Central’s George Harding Field on Friday when the Hurricanes took on St. Rita.

Injured Marian player John Herff was one of several people who posted pictures on social media with the Bears’ Tarik Cohen, Darnell Mooney and Dazz Newsome.

St. Rita (5-2) beat the Hurricanes (3-4), 44-28. The Mustangs are ranked No. 5 in Class 7A.

Who’s in: C-G and R-B, both at 7-0, are playing for high seeds in their respective classes. Jacobs, Crystal Lake Central, Prairie Ridge and Hampshire all became playoff eligible at 5-2 on Friday.

Crystal Lake South (4-3) could give the FVC a sixth team with a win in one of its last two games. The Gators play at Prairie Ridge and host Huntley.

Marengo can get in with a win against Sandwich on Friday.

Marian Central and Woodstock (both 3-4) likely will have to win out to make it in. Marian hosts Fenwick and travels to Chicago DePaul. Woodstock travels to Sycamore, then to Woodstock North.

Joe Stevenson

Joe Stevenson

I have worked at the Northwest Herald since January of 1989, covering everything from high school to professional sports. I mainly cover high school sports now.