Comeback falls short, but Trojans show resolve

Winning, in any sport, isn’t easy, high school football isn’t an exception. To win, you have give maximum effort, focus, and intelligence. Even then, sometimes you can give all that and still come up short due to the other team giving even more, or just a little dumb luck.

The lesson here is simple: winning isn’t easy, so appreciate every single win, no matter the opponent. Friday’s game showed us more than ever how unfortunate circumstances and dumb luck can decide the outcome of a game full of quality effort from both sides.

Many of you are probably ready to “white-out” this one from memory: two key injuries and a second-half comeback that almost led to an outstanding victory, but came up short. But before you do, think about the positives taken away from Friday’s 41-32 loss.

C-G’s Ben Ferrell caught a touchdown pass with seconds remaining in the first half, and though the score was still 35-19 Huntley, it sparked some excitement and hope in a somber C-G crowd.

The score was not the only cause of this mood, as two of the Trojans’ best players, Max Skol and Danny Daigle, suffered injuries in the second quarter. Skol walked off the field by himself with some sort of leg injury. After it was looked at and taken care while on the bench, he reentered not long later, still in the first half.

Minutes later, Daigle stayed on the ground post-play, obviously injured. Though seeing him walk off the field provided some hope to the trojan crowd, he later walked to an ambulance, now obviously holding his arm. After halftime, he was back on the sidelines, without pads, wearing a sling.

Returning from halftime, the Trojans looked like a brand new team. The offense built up 13 points, and while that was very good, the great part of the second half was how the Trojan defense stepped up, going from 35 points allowed in the first half to only six in the second half.

Though the comeback came up short, the defense looked great and allowed the offense to try to snatch the victory away from the Raiders. Without Daigle, the Trojans looked to some other talented offensemen to step up in his place, and they performed well.

Max Buss and Michael Boyd each got a touchdown in the second half, resulting in a 13-point offensive surge that came within only three points of the Raiders at the start of the fourth quarter.

Between the defensive turnaround and the offensive players that stepped up and performed without Daigle, this game should not be completely forgotten. The second half of this game gave us hope that even if we are without Daigle for a week or a while, we can still win.

Cary-Grove, 3-2, now sits tied for third in the FVC with Jacobs. Huntley and Crystal Lake Central, 4-1, hold second place, and undefeated Prairie Ridge blew Bartlett out of the water, winning an easy game 63-7.

As this week is homecoming week, the excitement of the theme days, pep rally, parade and upcoming dance will ensure that many eager C-G fans, students and alumni combined, will flock to the home field to see 1-4 Dundee-Crown face the Trojans.

After that game, last-place Crystal Lake South will come to town for C-G’s last regular-season home game of the season. For the last two weeks, the Trojan crowd will follow the team to out-of-conference South Elgin, and then to Crystal Lake Central for what will easily be the most important game remaining of the regular season. A win that night could easily decide a Trojan playoff berth.

A win takes intelligence, focus, maybe some luck, and most of all, effort. If the Trojans bring all that, like the second half of this Friday’s matchup, the Trojans fans and players alike should have nothing but confidence.