CRYSTAL LAKE – It was just a matter of time.
After Huntley and Prairie Ridge played to a scoreless tie after one quarter, the Wolves’ relentless attack finally broke free for a 21-point second quarter Friday, and PR made a loud, definitive statement with a convincing 35-7 Fox Valley Conference victory over the Red Raiders.
“We made a few adjustments (after the first quarter) and our offensive line kept firing out and played well,” PR coach Chris Schremp said. “We stayed after it and (Tyler) Vasey made a couple of big runs and that got us going. I think we showed ourselves to be one of the better teams in the conference tonight, to play with a big school like Huntley is another confidence builder for us.”
Vasey, an elusive 6-0, 170-pound senior, rushed for 226 yards on 22 carries and scored on touchdown runs of 45 and 71 yards. He had a third TD called back by a penalty. He also threw for a touchdown, hitting Drake Tomasiewicz with a 19-yard scoring strike with 17.8 seconds left before halftime. It was a moment of redemption for Tomasiewicz, who dropped a TD pass on the previous play.
“Being up three touchdowns at half instead of two was a huge lift for us,” Vasey said. “Huntley is a great team and they were getting the ball to start the second half, so it was key to get that last score.”
After Vasey’s first TD, the Wolves (3-0, 3-0) got a gift touchdown when Nathan Greetham (22 carries, 166 yards) burst up the middle and fumbled at the 10. The ball rolled into the end zone where tight end Landon Miller pounced on it for a score. Greetham would later add a 15-yard scoring run in the third quarter to make it 28-0.
“Prairie Ridge has won a lot of games over the years doing what they do, so you have to give them all the credit,” said Huntley coach Mike Naymola, whose team dropped to 2-1. “We fell into their game instead of making them play our game. They get four, five yards at a time and then they break a big one. We had chances early, but we also had some missed opportunities, some missed throws, some dropped balls. We couldn’t seem to get (Prairie Ridge) off the field.”
On the night, PR ran 58 plays and totaled 479 yards - 460 rushing on 54 carries. Huntley managed 227 total yards, 139 of those coming on the ground. Raiders quarterback Sam Deligio was 7 of 17 for 88 yards.
Huntley drove deep into PR territory four times in the second half, but came up empty on three of those possessions. The Raiders reached the PR 6-yard line before Ryan Koelblinger broke up a pass on fourth down. Huntley was at the Ridge 19 when Dom Creatore intercepted Deligio. And in the game’s final minutes, the Raiders were on the 6 but failed on fourth down.
After a Zack Garifo interception to open the fourth quarter, Huntley got on the board with an eight-play drive capped by Haiden Janke’s 3-yard run with 8:52 remaining. On the next drive, however, Vasey broke loose for his 71-yard sprint to the end zone to cap the scoring.
“There are a lot of good teams in our conference and we face another great team next week in Jacobs,” Vasey said. “We just have to get into the film room (Saturday) and take a look and fix our mistakes and look to get better.”