CRYSTAL LAKE – Cary-Grove quarterback Peyton Seaburg and the Trojans’ offense didn’t have a whole lot go right in the first half against Crystal Lake Central, but responded with a flurry of points in the second half.
Seaburg ran for four scores, including three in the second half, as the Trojans beat the Tigers, 41-20, Friday night in their Fox Valley Conference game.
A week after giving up two touchdowns in the final five minutes in a loss to Crystal Lake South, C-G (2-1, 2-1 FVC) felt much better with the way it executed and finished against the Tigers (0-3, 0-3 FVC).
“Just overall responding to adversity, the kids did a great job,” said C-G coach Brad Seaburg, Peyton’s dad. “Our defense played outstanding in the first half, but offensively we had two many penalties. We had a touchdown called back on a penalty, things we had control over.
“In the second half, the kids came out and executed.”
The teams combined to finish with 16 penalties. After a low-scoring first half, C-G got going in the last two quarters.
After Tigers’ quarterback George Dimopoulus scrambled from eight yards out to cut the Trojans’ lead to 27-20 with 6:51 to go in the fourth quarter, C-G answered quickly, mostly on the legs of Peyton Seaburg. The Trojans sophomore quarterback scored his third and fourth TDs in a span of two minutes and 15 seconds in the fourth quarter.
On the ensuing possession after Dimopoulus’ score, Seaburg came back with his longest run of the day, a 50-yarder in which he faked giving the ball to fullback Colin Desmet and ran the ball to the Central 18. After a two-yard run by Desmet, Seaburg then took the next carry in for 16 yards.
C-G then got the ball back after only two offensive plays by the Tigers. Gavin Henriques intercepted Dimopoulos for the Trojans’ second interception of the night and ran the ball back 50-plus yards to Central’s 7. A couple of plays later, Seaburg rushed in his fourth TD from 6 yards out for the final 41-20 score.
“We just had to respond after every touchdown [Central] scored, we just had to keep going on offense,” Peyton Seaburg said. “We executed pretty good in the second half, but we definitely have to clean some things up. We’re getting better every week. Our goal was to be 9-0, but now it’s 8-1. We’ve just got to keep going.”
The Trojans ended the game with 422 rushing yards on 57 carries. Desmet led the team with 130 yards, including a 66-yard touchdown in the second quarter to put the Trojans up 13-0.
Seaburg ran for 116 yards, scoring from 11, 2, 16 and 6 yards. Andrew Prio rushed for 85 yards and Holden Boone rushed for 52 yards, including a 1-yard score at the start of the fourth quarter. Mykal Kanellakis had the Trojans’ longest reception in the game, a 38-yarder, and also recorded an interception.
Dimopoulos had a nice game for Central, completing 15 of 26 passes for 230 yards, including a 60-yard TD to Griffin Buehler (eight catches, 158 yards) down the right sideline, in addition to his 8-yard rushing score.
Central’s other score came on a fumble recovery by Cayden Parks in the end zone after a failed pitch by the Trojans. The Tigers had another chance to score with a short field when the Trojans mishandled a punt and Buehler recovered the ball at C-G’s 25-yard line.
The Tigers, however, weren’t able to convert and went into halftime trailing 13-7.
Central coach Dirk Stanger felt there was a discrepancy in penalties but was proud of his team for their fight. Carter Kelley added 54 yards receiving, and Vince Honer ran for 77 yards on 15 attempts.
“I’ll be honest with you, I thought there was a huge disparity in the penalties tonight,” Stanger said. “Hopefully I can’t get fined for saying that, but it wasn’t even close. ... But that’s not why we lost, we’ve got to take advantage of our own opportunities when we get them.
“These first three weeks, we’re playing three of the toughest teams in our conference. The fight that they’ve had, I’m confident they’re going to continue to fight week after week. We’ve just got to keep believing and trusting each other. The wins will come.”
Cary-Grove 41, Crystal Lake Central 20
Cary-Grove 0 13 7 21 – 41
Crystal Lake Central 0 7 6 7 – 20
CG–P. Seaburg 11 run (kick missed), 6:44
CG–Desmet 66 run (Apgar kick), 2:42
CLC–Buehler 60 pass from Dimopoulos (Dayon kick), 0:47
CLC–Parks fumble recovery (kick missed), 7:28
CG–P. Seabug 2 run (Apgar kick), 1:47
CG–Boone 1 run (Apgar kick), 10:54
CLC–Dimopoulos 8 run (Dayon kick), 6:51
CG–P. Seaburg 16 run (Apgar kick), 5:43
CG–P. Seaburg 6 run (Apgar kick), 3:28
RUSHING–Cary-Grove: Desmet 18-130, P. Seaburg 13-116, Prio 11-85, Henriques 5-22, Boone 3-52, Schuppe 3-26, Team 3-minus 9. Totals: 56-422. CL Central: Honer 15-77, Gaunuard 4-18, Dimopoulos 3-13. Totals: 22-108.
PASSING–Cary-Grove: P. Seaburg 3-5-0-61. CL Central: Dimopoulos 15-26-2-230.
RECEIVING–Cary-Grove: Prio 2-22, Kanellakis 1-38, Desmet 1-1. CL Central: Buehler 8-158, Kelley 4-54, Bochert 2-12, Hammond 1-6.
TOTAL YARDS: Cary-Grove 483, CL Central 338.