ALGONQUIN - En masse, football fans stalked out of Jacobs’ humid field house Friday where they’d been holed up for more than an hour hoping lightning, the last vestige of an early evening storm that blew through McHenry County, would subside.
Instead, bolts continued streaking the sky around Jacobs Athletic Field and Jacobs officials made the decision no one wants to make hours into opening night. At about 7:50 p.m., Jacobs’ season opener against Barrington was postponed along with much of the rest of the area's Week 1 slate, leaving disgruntled fans and disappointed players searching for ways to regroup and pick up their spirits.
The game will begin at 1 p.m. on Saturday.
“It’s OK,” one woman called out to a group of Barrington players as they slung football gear over their shoulders. “I know it hurts.”
Sitting in his office behind his desk, Jacobs coach Bill Mitz shook his head. Never in 31 seasons as a head football coach had Mitz had a season opener postponed, he said.
“One year we played at Lake Forest and we had a delay for about two or three hours,” said Mitz, referencing his 28 year tenure at Stevenson. “Another year we were at Zion (-Benton) and we finished playing at midnight, but I’ve never experienced something like this. This is different.”
About 7:45 p.m., with lightning still coming every 10 to 15 seconds, Mitz started to grow concerned not only about whether the Eagles would play but whether his players would be mentally prepared to do so.
Only Woodstock North (at Wauconda) and Harvard (at Rock Falls) played full games Friday. Marengo was delayed and eventually postponed, trailing 10-0 in the first quarter at Mendota.
“Let’s face it. Tonight was a circus atmosphere here with everyone crammed in the gym,” Mitz said. “We didn’t want to wait until 8:30, 9 o’clock and have the kids laying around for a few hours, then try to play a football game. By doing this they get home, recharge their batteries, get some rest tonight, have a nice breakfast and get ready to go. Tomorrow we’ll come in and it will be like game day.”
Marian Central at Crystal Lake South, 1 p.m.
Richmond-Burton at Johnsburg, 1 p.m., free admission
Dundee-Crown at Elgin, 1 p.m.
Barrington at Jacobs, 1 p.m.
Alden-Hebron at Christian Liberty, 1 p.m.
Bartlett at Huntley, 2 p.m.
Prairie Ridge at Niles Notre Dame, 2:30 p.m.
Oswego East at Woodstock, 4:30 p.m.
Larkin at McHenry, 6:15 p.m.
Cary-Grove at Wheaton North, 7 p.m.
Hampshire at Burlington Central, 7 p.m.
Crystal Lake Central at Grant, 7:30 p.m.
Mendota 10, Marengo 0 in 1st, re-start 7 p.m.