Creator's 90-yard opening kickoff sparks Prairie Ridge's big win at Hampshire

When game film meets execution and pure speed, it can lead to big things. Prairie Ridge kick returner Dom Creator put all of those together on the opening kickoff Friday, racing 90 yards for a touchdown.

"[Prairie Ridge] coach [Chris] Schremp preached leading up to the game we needed something big on the kick returns and watching film, we thought we could get something special," Creator said. "We executed the reverse, had great blocking on the right side of the field and I just ran as fast as I could."

That return was just a sign of things to come for the Wolves (3-0, 3-0) as they won on the road, defeating Hampshire 50-12 in the Fox Valley Conference.

"Great start, no doubt about that," Schremp said. "We challenged the kids all week coming off two big wins, we knew we had to grab the momentum early to not give Hampshire any confidence."

The kickoff return wasn't the only opportunity to grab the early momentum. Hampshire turned the ball over on its first two possessions and the Wolves capitalized. Running back Luke Vanderwiel scored the first of his three touchdowns on PR's next drive with a six-yard touchdown run and Creatore added his own six-yard touchdown run to put the Wolves up 22-0 just minutes in the game.

The Wolves relied on their running game to control the tempo and clock throughout the first half. Running back Jack Finn had his number called often and he made his presence felt, highlighted by a 56-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. Finn finished the game with 142 yards on 18 carries.

Late in the second quarter, PR's passing game started to click, capped off with a Joe Vanderwiel to Luke Vanderwiel 15-yard touchdown pass right before halftime. Luke Vanderwiel had five catches for 45 yards and four carries for 88 yards, including a 67-yard touchdown run in the second half.

"We really put it together, we practiced hard, and our line did an amazing job of giving me time and giving the running backs running lanes, it was a lot of fun," Joe Vanderwiel said. He finished 5-of-8 passing for 49 yards passing and one touchdown, while rushing for 75 yards on 11 carries and a touchdown.

Defensively, the Wolves held Hampshire (1-2, 1-2) in check, not allowing the Whip-Purs to score until the second half. The defense forced two fumbles and had three tackles-for-loss.

"It all starts with our defensive line, they played low, the linebackers filled, and the safeties were outstanding, total group effort," Creatore said.

Hampshire's Cole Klawikowski had a strong game for the Whip-Purs, rushing for 122 yards on 15 carries and a touchdown. Gage Homola caught a 27-yard touchdown pass and had three catches for 59 yards.

"We played better in the second half, but we have to take care of the ball and we have to focus and improve this week and make the improvements that we can make," Hampshire coach Shane Haak said.

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