CRYSTAL LAKE – Prairie Ridge’s football team racked up 364 yards of offense and a 42-0 lead against McHenry less than 10 minutes into the first quarter Friday.
The Wolves, who were ranked No. 1 in IHSA Class 6A heading in, scored 35 points on their first eight plays, and quarterback Nick Nissen capped the scoring outburst with a 21-yard touchdown to buffer his team’s already monumental lead.
The Wolves matched a season high scoring total and buried the Warriors, 55-19, Friday in their Fox Valley Conference Valley Division game.
“After last week [against Jacobs] where we felt we didn’t play as well as we should have, we wanted to have a sharp game this week,” said Nissen, who finished with a game-high 272 total yards and three touchdowns.
Nissen faked a handoff inside and ran 53 yards to the Warriors’ 2 to set the tone against their conference rival. Connor Greenwald capped the drive with a two-yard touchdown run, his first of two goal-line scores, to give the Wolves (8-0 overall, 5-0 FVC Valley) a 7-0 lead.
The Wolves’ offense improved their efficiency on their ensuing possessions in the first quarter, as Nissen led the unit on two one-play scoring drives. The first was a 69-yard quarterback keeper around the right side for a touchdown, followed by a 23-yard run to the left to put the score at 28-0.
“The line made really great blocks,” Nissen said. “Some plays didn’t look open at first, but then somebody would make a huge block to spring me to the outside.”
Steve Bashor added a 31-yard touchdown run for the Wolves in the first quarter.
Facing a monumental deficit, the Warriors put together their first scoring drive at the start of the second quarter when John Konstantelos took a handoff up the middle for a 16-yard score.
Nissen responded for Prairie Ridge with his final two scoring strikes of the game, a 40-yard pass to Sean Valentine and a 9-yard run to close out the half, 55-6.
McHenry’s passing attack, led by senior quarterback Robert Tonyan, was potent but not enough to get the Warriors back in the game. Tonyan finished 26 of 40 for 331 yards and two touchdowns, both of which came in the second half.
“We knew they’d be tough,” Tonyan said. “We just stuck together during the game and played the best we could.”