Jacobs tasting revenge in gridiron opener against Huntley
Jacobs High School drew the short stick against Huntley last season, losing the season opener 35-0.
Now the Golden Eagles will get a chance for some much-anticipated revenge as they host the Red Raiders in the season opener.
Last season, Huntley and Jacobs were ranked No. 2 and 3, respectively, by the Courier-News, and both made it to the quarterfinals in the Illinois High School Association playoffs.
With that experience and a number of key players returning, there should be no shortage of great football to be had.
Jacobs went 7-5 last year and fell 28-21 to Fenwick High School in the playoffs. The Golden Eagles return a 52-man roster deep with upperclassmen.
Seniors Jermain Maegdlin-Ferguson and Trevor Fitzsimmons return as wide receivers, as does John Farrissey. The three will also alternate as cornerbacks.
Juniors Brad Silva, Aj Santi and Stephen Kavanaugh will carry the ball as running backs.
Sophomore Cole Bhardwaj takes command of the field as quarterback, while senior Resse Wiggins and junior Tommy Subaric will hold the offensive line.
On defense, the Golden Eagles feature Luis Corral as a strong safety and Nick Zonta and Brandon Barred at defensive ends. They will be accompanied by triple-threat junior Zac Matovich, who will alternate between guard, defensive end and middle linebacker.
Huntley went 8-4 last season and was shutout by first-ranked Loyola Academy in the state quarterfinals.
The Red Raiders are playing without defensive end Olalere Oladipo, who graduated and signed to play football at the University of Illinois under head coach Lovie Smith.
Oladipo had more than 18 college offers, which include Big Ten schools like Penn State, Indiana, Minnesota and Michigan State. Some other offers included from Missouri, Duke and California.
He was ranked No. 13 among prospects by 247Sports.com and had back-to-back sacks against Jacobs last season.
Huntley features a deep 189-man roster, with most key position filled by upperclassmen.
Senior Eric Mooney returns as the Red Raiders quarterback. He had a 40-yard touchdown run against Jacobs in last year’s opener and threw for 30 yards, scoring two touchdowns before having to leave in the third quarter.
Senior Cory Knipp also returns as backup QB. He helped to finish the Golden Eagles' season with a 2-yard touchdown run that virtually sealed the game for the Red Raiders.
Running back Andrew Hecht and Melvin Aninagyei-Bonsu return alongside wide receivers Ronel Noll and Michael Boland.
Front and center will be center linebacker Charlie Zornow. Junior outside linebacker Blake Ottaviano and senior outside linebacker Brock Dickte will work the offensive line.
Filling in the gap left by Oladipo are juniors Nate Schupbach and Kaden Alther. Guards Joe Curtin and Kyle Kubisztal will also help hold the line, as will defensive tackles Joey Wilson and Alexander Pitrone.
Rounding out the Red Raiders’ defense are Cam Carrington and Peter Murray (cornerbacks), Tyler Cross and Michael Talesky (strong safety) and David Szczepanik (nose guard).