ALGONQUIN - Fourteen points. Two weeks.
That defensive statistic in and of itself would have been enough to make Jacobs’ football team pretty happy Friday night.
Fresh off last week’s shutout against Prairie Ridge, the Golden Eagles allow two early touchdowns but then held an upstart McHenry team scoreless after the first quarter. The offensive show that helped Jacobs post a 42-14 victory against McHenry in Fox Valley Conference Valley Division play was just icing.
“We just wanted to finish,” defensive lineman Mark Mamola said. “Bend, don’t break. We just don’t want them to score. That’s the No. 1 thing.”
McHenry fullback Thomas Hellios (20 carries, 86 yards) brutalized the Eagles’ defense early, tallying 72 yards by halftime with one 2-yard touchdown and two 12-yard bursts during the Warriors’ first drive of the second quarter with the score tied at 14. Jacobs called a timeout to regroup, and Hellios never broke for more than five yards again.
“We’d been wrapping him up but we hadn’t been hitting him hard enough to get him to the ground,” Mamola said. “We finally hit him.”
The Warriors (2-2 overall, 0-1 FVC Valley) ran 83 total plays Friday to Jacobs’ 40. Beyond utilizing opportunities more effectively, the Eagles stayed away from blue-collar scoring plays.
The Eagles (2-2, 2-0) forced a turnover on downs to end McHenry’s drive and stop Hellios, and Jacobs quarterback Bret Mooney capitalized. Mooney finished a seven-play drive with a 36-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Hunter Williams (four catches, 48 yards) with 5 minutes 25 seconds left in the second quarter to go ahead 20-14.
The strike was Mooney’s second of three 30-plus yard touchdown passes. His first was to junior receiver Camden McLain with 10:58 left in the second quarter to knot the score at 14.
“I think for Camden, this was his breakout game,” said Mooney of McLain’s 123-yard performance on five catches.
Mooney found McLain again for a 34-yard touchdown with 2:18 left in the first half to lead 28-14 at halftime. Josh Walker, who’d returned the game opening kickoff 91 yards for a touchdown, ran in a 37-yard score with 2:47 left in the third quarter to put Jacobs ahead 35-14.
Mooney’s 13-yard touchdown pass to sophomore receiver Casey Dennison with four minutes remaining in the fourth completed the Eagles’ scoring.
“We watched a bunch of film this week,” Mooney said. “ … We knew what would work and what wouldn’t. It was a good all-around game.”