ALGONQUIN, Ill. -- Prairie Ridge senior linebacker Collin Corcoran disagreed that the eighth-ranked Wolves hadn’t endured any adversity before Friday’s game against No. 19 Jacobs.
“Through the summer, we go up against our offense, and we battle,” Corcoran said.
Every team can only wish to have such problems. But on Friday, Prairie Ridge was dealt with a real dose of adversity when Jacobs flew out the gates, scoring the game's first 14 points.
Trailing for the first time all season, Prairie Ridge didn’t flinch. Looking like a state championship-caliber team, the Wolves responded on both sides of the ball and rallied for a 35-14 road win in the matchup of Fox Valley unbeatens.
“They kept their composure and showed that they knew they could come back,” Prairie Ridge coach Chris Schremp said. “They really showed a quiet confidence tonight. We haven’t been down all year and to be able to come back from 14-0, a [Jacobs] fake punt … nothing was going our way. For them to keep their composure and come back really showed a lot of our team’s character.”
Prairie Ridge (7-0, 4-0) hadn’t won a game by less than 25 points all season and had outscored their opponents 270-32 heading into the night, but Jacobs wasn’t intimidated. The Golden Eagles (6-1, 3-1) proved early that Prairie Ridge was going to be challenged.
On the first possession of the game, Jacobs drove 80 yards in 13 plays, and Kyle Wright scored on an 8-yard run. Golden Eagles coach Bill Mitz had his team attempt an onside kick after scoring. Prairie Ridge recovered the ball, but the move displayed that Jacobs was looking to play aggressive.
Prairie Ridge fumbled on its first offensive play of the game, and Jacobs took over possession. Eleven plays later, Jason Judson hooked up with Caz Zyks for a 7-yard touchdown pass, and the Golden Eagles led 14-0.
Jacobs’ next drive may have decided the game. The Golden Eagles were moving the ball down the field again, which included a fake punt that led to a 26-yard play.
With Jacobs facing a fourth-and-2 on Prairie Ridge’s 15, Schremp inserted linebacker Brad Simms into the game. Simms had missed the entire week of practice with an ankle injury, and Schremp was hoping not to use him.
Zyks was given the handoff, and Simms got into the backfield and stopped from reaching the first-down marker.
“Just the energy, I think the kids got a little bit of a rush seeing him on the field,” Schremp said.
Prairie Ridge answered with its own touchdown drive, which was capped off with an 8-yard run by quarterback Nick Nissen. The Wolves trailed 14-7 at half.
The second half was all Prairie Ridge. It tied the game at 14-14 with a 70-yard touchdown by Jordan Getzelman on the opening drive of the third quarter. In the fourth quarter, Getzelman added another touchdown and fellow running back Connor Greenwald scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns.
Getzelman rushed for 169 yards on eight carries in the second half. Greenwald ran for 77 yards on 13 carries in the second half.
“It’s a great win,” Getzelman said. “We faced adversity today and we came back in the second half. We have a lot of confidence in our defense, and we came through in the end.”
Jacobs’ offense was held to 71 yards in the second half. Prairie Ridge’s Corey Barcoft and Corey Peterson each had interceptions. Corcoran had two sacks on the day.
“We came out flat, but we knew if we played our game, we can play with anybody,” Corcoran said. “We just kept playing our game and stood strong. It tells you something about our team. We keep fighting.”
Zyks rushed for 94 yards and a touchdown. Judson was 12-for-22 for 119 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.
Nissen was 6-for-13 passing for 93 yards. Nissen also rushed for 67 yards and a touchdown.