CARY – Cary-Grove has that look again.
It’s the appearance of a team poised to make a deep playoff run. The Trojans have a rich postseason tradition, and, more importantly, are strong on offense and defense.
Plus, they were getting healthier before Saturday’s 41-14 homecoming victory against Huntley. That game raised a question about quarterback Quinn Baker, who sat out the second half with a left hand injury. Baker will have X-rays on the hand today.
The Trojans (7-0 overall, 4-0 Fox Valley Conference Valley Division) are ranked No. 6 in The Associated Press Class 7A poll and have beaten every team by at least 14 points,
“It says a lot about our kids’ preparation each week,” C-G coach Brad Seaburg said. “At this point, we feel like we’ve beaten some good teams.”
The Trojans could have senior Ryan Dundon at quarterback to finish their regular season with Dundee-Crown and Prairie Ridge, but would love to have Baker back at least in time for the playoffs.
“It’s pretty painless [Sunday],” Baker said. “There’s not a lot of swelling. It was pretty sore [Saturday].”
The injury happened late in the first half, Baker thinks on a play when he stiff-armed a defender and his arm jammed awkwardly. Fortunately, Baker is right-handed, but he said the splint on his hand, along with the soreness, would have made it difficult to take snaps.
The Trojans should get offensive lineman Michael Gomez, a sophomore who started last season, back from a leg injury. Seaburg said Gomez has shed his stability boot and may return to practice this week. Also, running back Ryan Mahoney, who suffered a sprained ankle in Week 3, is back practicing and even played briefly Saturday.
Mahoney is one of C-G’s fastest players and would make the offense more dangerous. Fullback Kyle Norberg almost reached 1,000 yards with 201 Saturday and Baker has 638 yards. Kasey Fields has played well in place of Mahoney, but Fields also plays defense, which means another player going both ways.
C-G tried to throw a deep pass to Mahoney in the second half, but it was short and Mahoney was flagged for pass interference as he fought to get back to the ball.
“Ryan went to his doctor and the doctor said he was progressing well,” Seaburg said.
If the Trojans just get a favorable report on Quinn, things will be looking even better.