Prospect puts up more big numbers in win over Rolling Meadows
Prospect put the finishing touches on a 19th playoff football season on Friday night with a 64-24 on Friday night at Rolling Meadows.
Knights quarterback Brad Vierneisel once again had the magic touch with his arm, completing 11-of-15 passes for 234 yards as the Knights completed a 4-1 Mid-Suburban East campaign and improved to 8-1 overall.
With linemen Vincent Salerno, Malachi Tolliver, Andrew Heiss, Chance Rolfe and Olasubomi Sulaimon paving the way, Vierneisel found five different receivers - Frank Covey, Jake Parisi, Sean Konieczka, Sebastian Wildhart and Gavin Flanagan.
Vierneisel tossed four more TD passes to give him 31 for the season along with 2,641 yards passing.
"It's awesome to have guys like Frank (Covey) and all our receivers who can make a guy miss every play," said Heiss, a senior. "As much as we do our jobs, those guys make us look good every game. There are some times where we make the holes but it's nice to have Frank, Jake, Sebastian, Sean and Gavin make us look good."
The Knights are good at making the playoffs, reaching the postseason for the fourth time since 2018 while Rolling Meadows (4-5, 1-4) likely missed out for the first time in 11 years.
Prospect surpassed its average of 42 points per game by halftime, building a 43-17 lead.
The Knights scored on their first four possessions with Vierneisel's 54-yard pass to Parisi, a 6-yard TD strike from Covey to Parisi, a 40-yard pass from Konieczka (first of his career) to Wildhart, and Vierneisel's 21-yard strike to Covey, who made some nifty in-and- out cuts to reach the end zone for a 29-3 advantage with 9:21 left in the second quarter.
"I was proud of the energy we came out with tonight," said Prospect coach Dan DeBeouf. "I thought we did a lot of good things. There is definitely still some stuff we have to clean up going into the postseason, But now the fun begins. We're really looking forward to it."
The two teams then combined for 28 points in the final 2:20 of the half.
It started with QB Evan Grace's 1-yard keeper around right end to make it 29-10.
Covey returned the ensuing kickoff 77 yards to extend the Knights' lead to 36-10 before Meadows went 54 yards in five plays capped by Ben Petermann's 18-yard TD catch from Grace that made it 36-17 with one minute left.
Prospect came back with a 55-yard drive ending on Covey's 33-yard TD catch from Vierneisel with 17 seconds left in the half.
The Knights took a 50-17 lead with 9:32 left in the third quarter on Vierneisel's 39-yard pass to Parisi and they put the running clock into play with 11:56 left in the game thanks to Ivan Liu's 6-yard TD run that made it 57-17.
Rolling Meadows junior Devin Owen's 10-yard TD run up the middle (5:09 left) and Prospect junior Jaylyn Calhoun's 61-yard TD scamper with 2:07 left capped the game's scoring.
It is Calhoun's first year playing football and that was his first TD.
"He is a big time track and basketball player," DeBoeuf said. "He decided to come out and try it out and it was fun to see him have some success.
"Our junior varsity guys will get to play a game (Saturday) and there is a freshman game, too, So we'll enjoy that and then we'll watch the pairings (for the state playoffs) at night and get it going."
John Gavin had an interception for the Knights who also received a big sack from Charles Knee late in the game.
Meadows QB Grace, working behind Dan Fallico, Harvey Goodwin, George Barnett, Joey Maloney, Jack Stollfus and tight end Peyton Wiles, finished his career by completing 23 of 45 passes for 208 yards, including 7 receptions by Jimmy Cox for 62 yards and three to Petermann for 53 yards.