Zimolzak realized that his Red Raiders needed touchdowns, not field goals, against the Wolves’ high-powered offense. He also knew what quarterback Eric Mooney could do.
So, twice on fourth-down plays deep in Prairie Ridge territory, but outside the 10-yard line, Zimolzak went for touchdowns. Both times, Mooney made his coach look brilliant, firing touchdown passes.
Mooney fired a perfect pass to the left corner of the end zone to Mike Boland on the first one. Then, he let a play develop until Ryan Antonsen found a spot between three Wolves’ defenders and fired a strike for the second.
Huntley lost the game, 51-43, and Mooney shouldered blame after throwing a pair of second-half interceptions.
What the senior showed that game, however, was how far he has come as a passer.
Mooney was third in the area in rushing and passing last season, leading the Raiders to the Class 8A playoff quarterfinals for the first time. He is just as dangerous running this season and more so when he is firing passes.
Both will be concerns for Cary-Grove (3-1 overall, 3-1 Fox Valley Conference) when it meets Huntley (3-1, 3-1) in a conference game at 7 p.m. Friday at Red Raider Stadium.
C-G is ranked No. 2 in The Associated Press Class 6A poll, behind Prairie Ridge. Huntley is No. 10 in 8A.