Norberg, Mahoney push Cary-Grove past Auburn
Kyle Norberg ran through the Rockford Auburn defense while Ryan Mahoney ran around it.
You get the picture.
Norberg and Mahoney wrecked havoc on the visitors from Rockford Auburn. Accounting for 433 total yards, the senior backs keyed Cary-Grove's 41-7 win over the 16th seeded Knights in first round play of the Class 6A playoffs Saturday in Cary.
The top-seeded Trojans (10-0) will host eighth-seeded St. Patrick next week in second-round action. The Shamrocks defeated Glenbard South 41-15 Saturday.
Norberg, who punished Auburn for 233 yards on 13 carries, rushed for 4 touchdowns on runs of 13, 56, 1 and 86 yards. The senior linebacker also intercepted a pass.
"The offensive line has been phenomenal all season long," said Norberg. "They opened massive holes all night. The hogs did a great job of executing their blocks. We started a new slate tonight. We are now 1-0 and wanted to keep going."
Mahoney, who scored on a 1-yard run and a 95-yard kickoff return to start the second half, rushed for 104 yards on 10 carries and also caught a 12-yard pass from sophomore reserve quarterback Jason Gregoire, who replaced starter Quinn Baker.
"This is my third year in the playoffs, but there is still some nerves," said Mahoney. "I give all the credit to the offensive line and the special teams on the kickoff return. They were phenomenal."
Cary-Grove, which held a slim 7-0 lead after one quarter, seized control of the game with 21 unanswered points in the second quarter. Norberg tallied 2 rushing scores while Mahoney scored on a 1-yard run as the Trojans held a comfortable 28-0 lead at intermission.
Cary-Grove put the game on ice as Mahoney took the opening kick of the second half at his own 5 and raced past the Auburn defense untouched as the Trojans led 35-0 early in the third quarter.
"Our plan was to run the ball and Kyle and Ryan are key players in the run game," said Cary-Grove coach Brad Seaburg. "Kyle and Ryan both made big plays."
Auburn, which amassed 354 yards of total offense, was thwarted by the Trojan defense inside the Cary-Grove 20-yard line 3 times.
Norberg and senior linebacker Brock Bussenger intercepted passes in the end zone to keep the Knights off the scoreboard.
Baker, who has missed 3 games due to a finger injury, is expected to play next week.
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