CG’s slow exposition fuels blazing resolution in win over Huntley

We all know the saying from the classic Dr. Seuss story Horton Hears a Who, right? “A person is a person, no matter how small.” 

In the case of the Cary-Grove Trojans on Friday night, that remark was converted into  “A win is a win, no matter the start.” 

The bumpy and rocky road that Cary-Grove endured “created some adversity”, according to Head Coach Brad Seaburg. 

“In this game right here, we faced a couple things. One, it was our first turnover of the season. Two, it was the first time we’ve ever trailed in a game,” Coach Seaburg said.

The Huntley Red Raiders were able to draw first blood in the game Friday night, going north of 15 plays and taking away more than half of the first-quarter clock. It was 7-0 Huntley after that long statement drive. 

Coach Seaburg didn’t really have anything to say to the team about this unexpected start against a beatable 6A squad, however. 

“We gotta take care of business, and we gotta move on. They scored and we just gotta move on,” Coach Seaburg said. 

The Trojans surely moved on and didn’t stop. They utilized their potent offense to drive down the other end of the field to get right back into the game. 

After they capped that drive with a touchdown, Coach Seaburg decided to go for two. To the fans in the audience, the way CG drove right down the field and scored after being down for the first time was a testament to how they play, a hard and relentless style of football. To the players, though, it was just another learning experience.

“I think it was a good example of [our style], but I think we can do even better in the future,” senior running back Nick Hissong said. “We just always are striving to get better and just always perfect things.”

Either way, the score after one quarter read Huntley 7, Cary-Grove 8. There is a reason it was this close: Cary-Grove hadn’t done enough to prove they had this game in hand. 

“We were really struggling to stop [Huntley] in general,” Coach Seaburg said. 

The very next drive after that proved to be the turning point, however, that told everyone this was Cary-Grove’s game to lose. 

Huntley faced a fourth-and-1 from the Cary-Grove 20-yard line after the previous play was moved back from a first to fourth down. 

Huntley had gotten good, modest gains all game, so this didn’t seem like a problem, right? 

Wrong. Huntley handed the ball off, the Trojans stuffed them just enough, and the ref, to the delight of the CG sideline, moved his hand to the left side. 

“It was just a great motivation thing,” Hissong said. 

The energy on the Cary-Grove sideline seemed to change dramatically after this stop. Huntley had been right in it, and the Trojans knocked the wind and “Old Momentum” right out of them. 

“It gave our defense some confidence, it gave the offense a shot in the arm. It was good for our team,” Coach Seaburg said.

Four plays and 80 yards later, CG extended their lead to nine after another touchdown and two-point conversion to take a 16-7 into halftime. They didn’t look back after that, rattling off 28 more consecutive points to lead 44-7 in the fourth. 

“Offensively and defensively, we responded really well, particularly in the second half,” Coach Seaburg said. 

Huntley got their second touchdown late in the game on a long run. The damage was already done, however. Huntley fought hard, but it wasn’t enough to secure an upset win over the number 2 class 6A team in the Land of Lincoln, according to the Associated Press. 

Cary-Grove was able to overcome their first deficit, their first turnover – their first adversity, really – to move to 6-0. 

The Trojans maintain their top spot in Class 6A football in Illinois, and in first place in the Fox Valley Conference heading into their home matchup Friday night against Jacobs. 

“We will get our gameplan in, practice on Tuesday, Wednesday. We will watch a lot of film and see what [Jacobs] like to do, and try to take away that,” Coach Seaburg said of their preparation for next week. 

The phrase “It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish” can be used to describe Friday night’s game, but also the games ahead. 

Starting 6-0 means nothing for Cary-Grove if they can’t end with a great regular season record, make a deep postseason run, and possibly get all the way to the Class 6A championship game in Champaign, Illinois when the brisk weather rolls around.