CRYSTAL LAKE - It took a little while, but by the second quarter on Friday Prairie Ridge’s football team found its offense.
After a first quarter in which the Wolves managed just one first down against Woodstock, junior quarterback Brett Covalt hit senior running back Danny Meikel for a 9-yard pass on fourth and 5 midway through the second quarter. The fourth-down conversion triggered the Wolves’ momentum and Covalt capped the drive with a 1-yard touchdown to erase a three-point deficit and help the Wolves roll to a 35-17 victory against the Blue Streaks in a Fox Valley Conference crossover Friday night.
“We definitely came off slow and I think some of that was on me,” Covalt said. “Some of it was not getting the snaps (quickly) and not getting things going. We’ll work on that this week. But once we came together, things started (happening). As soon as everyone comes together, we won’t be making mistakes.”
The Wolves seized the chance to capitalize on the Streaks’ missteps, the most significant of which came on the heels of Covalt’s touchdown that put the Wolves ahead, 7-3, with 5:10 left in the second quarter.
Woodstock fumbled away the kickoff return and Prairie Ridge (1-1 overall) recovered and started to drive from the Streaks’ 24-yard line. A 21-yard pass from Covalt to junior running back Brent Anderson (11 carries, 127 yards) set up another scoring play from the 3, which Covalt ran in to make it 14-3 with 4:31 left in the first half.
The Streaks (0-2) responded with senior receiver Jordan Sumner’s 70-yard kickoff return for a touchdown just 13 seconds later to put Woodstock within four, 14-10.
Woodstock never got any closer. Meikel, who had a breakout game in the absence of running back Steven Ladd, who is sidelined with a shoulder injury, rushed in a 34-yard score with 1:44 left before halftime to give Prairie Ridge an 11-point cushion, 21-10, at the end of the second quarter.
“We’re still trying to put everything together, but we saw signs of what we can do,” Prairie Ridge coach Chris Schremp said. “Meikel did a nice job, Anderson got some tough yards when we needed them. We certainly ran the ball pretty well tonight.”
Woodstock quickly answered Meikel’s 57-yard touchdown with 9:57 left in the third with a 55-yard bomb from junior quarterback Jace Pohlman to receiver John Kruse to pull within 11, 28-17.
A 5-yarder from Wolves senior fullback Zack Greenberg with 6:58 left in the fourth put the game out of reach.
Pohlman earned the start Friday over senior quarterback Alan Hafer, which was simply a coaching decision, Woodstock coach Steve Beard said. Pohlman finished Pohlman was 14-for-23 for 180 yards and one pick in his debut.
Kruse finished with eight catches for 100 yards, and running back Michael Santucci had eight carries for 46 yards.