CG bounces back with 41-20 win over Tigers

Cary-Grove Trojans Football is committed to winning. I know this, you know this, everyone and their mother and grandmother knows this. 

Trojans football has three state titles in their history, and they have all come in the 21st century. They have been runner-up three times, in 2004, 2012, and 2014. 

They haven’t missed the IHSA playoffs since Cheaper by the Dozen was released. 

So when CG football loses for the first time in three years, especially with how it happened in the last minute against Crystal Lake South, it might feel like the souls of everyone surrounding the team were just snatched from them. 

This may have been felt by the players and coaches the way it was felt by the fans, but for those on the field, it really is just about blowing up that loss in a bubble, letting it go, and working even harder to get back on track. 

“The way we responded tonight was outstanding,” Coach Seaburg said after their 41-20 win over the Crystal Lake Central Tigers improved them to 2-1 on the young season. “We knew in the first half we had so many self-inflicted wounds. Even [at] the start of the second half we had some self-inflicted wounds. As a team, we kept [fighting] back, and it was a great win.”

The first quarter of the game produced zero points for both sides, and overall the defenses took center stage, as well as some early penalties on CG and CLC. 

The self-inflicted wounds Coach Seaburg talked about began to open up in the second quarter. 

First, it was a holding penalty on a Peyton Seaburg touchdown pass to negate it. Next, a run to the outside turned into a fumble and the Tigers recovered. 

The Trojans defense countered the mistakes made by their offense with an interception a few plays later, and the wounds suffered before were starting to heal. 

Peyton Seaburg ran into the endzone from 18 yards out to start the scoring with 6:44 to go in the first half, although CG missed the extra point. 

Colin Desmet found a gap in the Central defense and took a 66-yard run to paydirt to extend the CG lead to 13. 

Things were looking brighter for the Trojans, but a few more mishaps occurred. 

The Tigers offense got themselves on the board with a long touchdown pass on third-and-15 to cut the Trojans’ lead to six with less than a minute to go before halftime. 

The CG defense started the second half well, but Central stuffed the Trojans at their own five-yard line on a punt return, and then a fumble on a would-be touchdown started fresh bleeding for the Trojans.

Until their next drive started. All of the mistakes made started to fade away as well as the momentum CLC earned. 

The Trojans slowly but surely drove inside Tiger territory, and with the help of an unnecessary roughness penalty by CL Central on third-and-12, Cary-Grove took back the lead on a second Peyton Seaburg touchdown run. 

That lead and the momentum CG earned stayed where they were heading into the fourth quarter, as the Trojans led 20-13.

A drive that started at the Cary-Grove seven ended in a Holden Boone touchdown run from goal-to-go territory, and the Trojans extended their lead to double digits to start the fourth. 

“We came out and identified what Central was doing defensively, and [we] did a nice job of seeing it and answering,” Coach Seaburg said of the team’s running attack. 

The Tigers next drive was a response to CG’s previous one. CL Central punched back with a touchdown of their own on a run by wide-receiver-turned-quarterback George Dimopoulos, and the Trojans lead was back down to single digits at 27-20. 

However, Peyton Seaburg led CG down the field on the next drive, with the biggest play a 50-yard run that put the Trojans in the red zone. 

He punched in his third touchdown run the next play, and after a huge interception by first-time defensive starter, quarterback Gavin Henriques, that essentially put this game to bed, Peyton Seaburg notched his fourth and final TD run to put the true cherry on top of a bounce-back win. 

To Peyton Seaburg, his success Friday night, where he ran 14 times for 121 yards and passed for 54 yards on four completions, was because of the guys around him, and not his own talents or strengths. 

“I’d have to give credit to the o-line,” Peyton Seaburg said. “The gaps were there the entire game, in the slots, [with] their blocks. It just makes the whole offense work.” 

For the Trojans, humility can go a long way toward success with Seaburg at the helm. 

As for the defensive side of the ball, Coach Seaburg cited their line-of-scrimmage play and making sure they were ready to make an impact on every down after their previous struggles. 

“We tackled better, aligned a lot better,” he said. “We got some turnovers which helped out as well.” 

All in all, this win was one not only the Trojans needed, but one they will hope to build on as they prepare to face the McHenry Warriors on Saturday at 1:00 PM in the Cary-Grove homecoming game.