Trojan Times

Perfect preparation for playoffs

Mike Fornelli, Staff Writer

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Every week, there was a doubt about what was to come.

Even after the great start, they didn’t think C-G could possibly beat Huntley. Later, they questioned whether the 7-0 Trojans could beat their biggest rival and win the conference.

After it all, there was one last doubt for this regular season. The Trojans had won the conference, they had gone 8-0, and they had been on top of 6A for four consecutive weeks. However, there was no way they could possibly beat 8A powerhouse Naperville Central, right?

55-41.

The Friday night win by a double-TD margin capped an incredible undefeated regular season — the first for the Trojans since 2014.

The win didn’t come easy, but both offenses showed why they stand as two of the best in the state. The Redhawks had an early 20-7 lead after the first quarter; however, the Trojans defense stood like a wall and the offense came back with three touchdowns of their own, taking a 27-20 lead just before half.

“Playing a team like that, who has one of the best offenses in the state,” head coach Brad Seaburg said, is “a good challenge right before the playoffs.”

In the second half, the scoring was rampant — the Trojans had 28 and the Redhawks 21. One reason for why this was such a high-scoring contest was the offensive style of play, specifically for the Trojans.

If you watched the Trojans for the first time this season, it would be easy to think of them as a pass-first offense. While for this year that may be true, in no way has it always been that way. Up until this year, C-G was famous for their ground-and-pound play, running the option over 80 percent of the time.

The Trojans noticed that Naperville Central played to that style, on both sides of the ball, and altered their game to accommodate. Instead of the pass plays that have worked great the first eight weeks, the Trojans decided to run the ball mostly, and it worked flawlessly.

One player that really shined under this unique offense was junior Blake Skol. Just like his brothers did over the last few years, Skol can really run the ball — and it showed. He ran for 224 yards, including four touchdowns, one of which he ran 77 yards downfield for the Trojans’ first points of the night.

With the win came not only the undisputed number-one seed in the 6A playoffs, but also the satisfaction of an undefeated regular season.

“I think after the Huntley game was the time where we felt like ‘alright, this team has a chance to be pretty good,’” Coach Seaburg said. “That was probably the game where a lot of our kids really started to realize it.”

However, the Trojans run is far from over. In order to win the whole darn thing, they need to win all five of the possible remaining games — one loss would end it all.

A perk, however, to being the one seed is that you will not start off with as tough of a team as some others. In this case, the sixteen seed that CG will face are the Wauconda Bulldogs (5-4), sneaking into the playoff bracket as one of four teams from the Northern Lake County Conference.

However, per usual, Coach Seaburg and his team are preparing just as much as they would for any other playoff game.

“We know that any team that makes the playoffs is a good team,” he said. “Any team that makes it makes it for a reason. We’re preparing for them like any other team.”

For the rest of the 6A bracket, two other FVC teams punched their tickets — Crystal Lake South (5-4) and Prairie Ridge (7-2) will take on Kenwood (8-1) and Hinsdale South (6-3), respectively.

While we should celebrate the great regular season it was, we also must realize there is still a long road ahead. It will hopefully be exciting and successful, and most of all, end with one last game in Champaign. The playoffs are back, and it all starts this Friday against Wauconda.

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Perfect preparation for playoffs