Trojans win battle of unbeatens, sit atop FVC

The Trojans had been having a remarkable start to their season. With three games and three wins, many started to get excited about how special this team could be.

There were many others, however, who have seen this before. Before they started to get genuinely excited, they wanted to see this team beat the Huntley Red Raiders- the only other undefeated team in the conference.

Huntley is good. Year in and year out. There’s no other way to put it. A division 8A team, they have won the FVC numerous times in recent years.

Many conversations concluded with a heavy statement: there was a chance for the win, but the Trojans would have to dominate all aspects.

Last Friday, the Trojans proved there was never a need for doubt, and if the commanding 35-20 win did not show that, maybe the top spot of Saturday morning’s updated 6A rankings would.

It started not even two minutes into the game. Ben McDonald fired a pass to Danny Daigle for a 49-yard touchdown, then five minutes later, McDonald ran one in himself.

The defense was a brick wall. They really were dominating, and the early 14-0 lead showed it.

“Playing from behind is really tough. We learned that last year playing here,” Coach Brad Seaburg said post-game. “Getting that lead was huge.”

The trojans know all too well how badly a rough first half at Red Raider Stadium can affect a team’s chances. Last season, despite the defense playing a great second half, key injuries and going down two touchdowns in the first cost the Trojans their second regular-season loss. This year, they knew they had to go out and score first, then keep it up the entire game.

This continued to show during the second quarter. Huntley scored twice, but they missed both extra points, including one the Trojan defense blocked. On the other side of the ball, the offense kept their foot heavy on the pedal. Danny Daigle scored his second TD of the night with about five minutes remaining in the half.

At that point, the 21-12 score was all the Trojans fans believed they could ask for. A nine-point lead over Huntley going into half is a great feeling. But the Trojans offense did not plan on stopping there.

After marching up the field in the final minute, Ben McDonald lobbed a pass to the front corner of the endzone, right to the outstretched, diving arm of Quinn Priester, who batted it down to his other hand and finally landed in the touchdown grass.

Many will agree when I say it was one of the best catches I have ever seen in a high school game.

“That was awesome,” Priester simply said of it. “Especially before halftime. Ben [McDonald]  and the offensive line gave me a chance. It all comes down to Coach Seaburg having trust in me to make that play.”

This was a big game for Priester. One of the top baseball prospects in the nation, the right-handed pitcher spent much of his summer on the mound, playing in multiple large stage prospect games, including one at Wrigley Field. In addition to all that, he continues to play football — just not at QB.

“A lot of this, you don’t do it for yourself,” Priester said. “When they moved me from quarterback, it wasn’t ‘oh, shoot, I can’t believe I’m not playing QB anymore,’ it was more of a, ‘I get to help the team in another way.’”

“Quinn’s a difference maker, wherever he’s at. Catching, blocking, anything…he’s a difference maker. Getting him the ball is something that we definitely want to do,” Coach Seaburg said.

In the second half, the defense of both sides stood tall, each team scoring only a TD apiece. The Trojans did their damage in the first half and played conservatively in the second, and it led to the 15-point win, their first 4-0 start since 2015, and the number one spot in both the conference and 6A.

“We’re going to enjoy this for a little while,” Coach Seaburg said, “but then we’re going to get right back to work.”

After the Trojan win, Huntley shares second place with two other teams, with Prairie Ridge and Jacobs both winning their week four matchups and improving to 3-1.

This week the Trojans will play Dundee-Crown Saturday at 1 p.m., looking to go 5-0 — something that hasn’t happened since 2014. It is also Homecoming week, and if you can’t tell by the painted windows, the clever pick-up lines on posters, and the senior class dressed as senior citizens, school spirit is at a high. Come on out to the game Saturday. C-G students and alumni have fantastic reasons to be proud of their team.

“It feels great,” Priester said of the team’s special start. “There’s a lot more work to be done, though. This isn’t our goal. Our goal is fourteen games.”