On a night when Prospect dedicated its new artificial turf with a ceremony before the game, the rain during the first half gave the surface its biggest test to date.
“The traction was pretty good,” said Knights senior quarter back Devin O’Hara. “Nothing too much to worry about. Gripping the football was hard but the footing was no problem.”
And neither was winning for the Knights, who cruised to a 34-14 victory in their Mid-Suburban League East opener against Buffalo Grove.
O’Hara gained 152 of his team’s 388 rushing yards while running for 2 touchdowns and passing for one at George Gattas Stadium.
Even though the Knights (3-2, 1-0) led 20-0 at half on a pair of 1-yard TD runs by O’Hara and a 27-yard TD pass to Nikki Gountanis, Knights coach Mike Sebestyen wasn’t totally pleased.
“I expressed that I was not happy we weren’t finishing drives and taking care of details,” he said. “The lineman at half told me we better run the football behind them.
“I looked at them in the face and said ‘OK, we’ll find out what you are made of.’ ”
Made of seniors Mike Houghton, Pat Cosetello, Kevin Kern, Zach Smith and junior Jackson Wrede, the offensive line made sure Jack Tuttle had plenty of room to run.
The junior running back scampered for 139 yards — more than 100 in the second half.
Tuttle ran the ball on every play of Prospect’s 57-yard TD drive that concluded with his 6-yard TD that made it 34-0 with 1:06 left in the third quarter.
“We told them the offensive line we would run the same play (with Tuttle) over and over and they responded,” said O’Hara, who was 3-of-5 for 31 yards passing. “They absolutely came through and I’m really proud of them.”
“Coach wanted to see the offensive line attack and that’s exactly what we did,” said Houghton, a 6-foot-4, 218-pound lineman. “We were pretty happy we were running inside the second half.”
Senior Stevan Isteefanos also ran for daylight behind the big men, rushing for 83 yards and a 1-run TD for the 27-0 lead midway through the third quarter.
The Knights’ defense made some big plays all night, including Houghton’s quarterback sack late in the first half after BG got the ball to midfield.
“I thought the defense did a very nice job of attacking,” Sebestyen said. “We talked about playing a full 48 minutes. We still haven’t and will need to the next four weeks.”
BG (1-4, 0-1) scored twice in the fourth quarter with 9 and 11-yard TD runs by running back Scott Smitheren and quarterback Andrew Apel.
“Smitheren and Apel did show some flashes but we have to battle all the way around,” said BG coach Mike DiMatteo. “They (Prospect) are bigger, stronger and better than us. That’s all it was.
“We were bad every which way, but the one thing I will say is these kids were playing as hard as they can. Right now, we have to get stronger and that takes time.”
“Give Buffalo Grove credit,” Sebestyen said. “That group has a lot of pride. They don’t stop fighting.”Copyright © 2013 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.