Trojans blow out Hampshire, prep for tough test in Huntley

The majority of the post-game Instagram captions said it best: the Trojans really (red, white, and) blew out the Hampshire Whip-Purs in Friday’s week three matchup.

The 49-0 shutout win on the America-themed night was fun to watch for many reasons.

Starting with a fumble recovery before the kickoff baby powder cloud had even cleared, the Trojans had complete control of this game from the first to final play.

The undefeated Trojans (3-0) racked up 333 yards in just the first half, going up 42-0 with TDs from Blake Skol (3), Ben McDonald (2), and Quinn Priester.

Because of this, Coach Seaburg got to sub in some of his JV and even frosh/soph players for the second half, something that always seems to be a goal for him and his team.

“That’s what we talked about at half,” Seaburg said. “We wanted everybody to come in and contribute. Do their best, play their best. As long as they’re playing hard, that’s all that we really care about.”

“It’s great to see,” junior starter Blake Skol echoed. “God forbid, if anyone gets hurt, we know we’ve got good guys ready to step up.”

The post-game excitement of the Trojans fans was already shown in partying, cheering, and singing as the players walked back to the locker room. However, as everyone started to walk back to their cars, those following the live scoreboard of the close game Huntley and Prairie Ridge were playing over in Crystal Lake shouted another reason for celebration: For the first time since week one of 2016, PR had lost.

One may call it crude to celebrate a loss like that, but a rivalry is a rivalry. In the 30 straight wins over three seasons, the Trojans fell victim several times — two season openers and a last-second playoff heartbreaker. Of course, you have to tip your cap to the stunning streak that it was. However, in that moment, there was a obvious sense of happiness that came out of the Trojans fans.

However, as nice as it may be to see the PR loss, you can’t help but notice who gifted them said loss — the Huntley Red Raiders.

One of only two teams that beat C-G last year, Huntley seems to be on a good track again this season. Their 3-0 start matches the Trojans for the top spot in the FVC.

Only one of those teams can remain undefeated past this week, when the Trojans visit Huntley on Friday to decide who will own the conference crown for now.

Coach Seaburg agrees that Huntley will be a good test for this team, but said they won’t prepare for the game differently.

“Nothing. It’s always just about getting better,” Coach Seaburg said. “Our goal is to get better every week. That’s really our goal.”

The undefeated start has gained attention beyond the division. This past weekend’s 6A rankings put the Trojans at second-best in the state, up from third the week before.

“It’s a great feeling,” Coach Seaburg said. “It’s better than 2-1, and it’s a whole lot better than 1-2.”

“We’re super excited,” Skol agreed. “It’s the first time we’ve been 3-0 in awhile. Everyone’s super excited, but we just have to keep focused and keep getting better every week.”

Despite being a playoff team every year for more than a decade, this is the first time since 2015 the Trojans have started 3-0.

In fact, the last four times the Trojans started with a win in at least the first three games were in 2015, 2014, 2012, and 2009. Three of those four teams went as far as the state championship, including winning it all in 2009.

The upcoming battle against Huntley will be a true test for this team. It won’t just decide the conference lead, it will be a look at how this team may perform when it comes to tough 6A opponents in the playoffs.

For now, the attitude surrounding this team — both with the fans and in the locker room — is deservingly positive.

It’ll be fun to watch as this season continues, with the team always working even harder than they did the week before. All the hard work continues to show — these first three games have charted the path of a special season to come.