Jacobs keeps playoff hopes alive with FVC victory over Burlington Central

Talk about home-field advantage; Jacobs had one Friday night and made the most of it.

The Eagles used ball-control offense, a punishing ground attack and the muddy home turf to their advantage in a 28-7 Fox Valley Conference victory over Burlington Central.

The outcome left both teams with 3-3 records in their quest to make it to five wins and a playoff berth. Jacobs plays next week at Crystal Lake Central while the Rockets take on Prairie Ridge.

The Eagles took the opening kickoff and marched 94 yards in 13 plays for a score (a 30-yard TD run by Caden DuMelle) and consumed more than half the quarter in doing so. After Central went three-and-out on its first drive, Jacobs put together another long drive - this one 67 yards in 16 plays - capped by Joey Scrivani's 4-yard scoring dash with 6:34 left in the second quarter.

"One hundred percent the [field conditions] played to our strength," Jacobs coach Brian Zimmerman said. "We're not a pass-heavy team. We like to power the ball, and we feel we have a variety of running backs that can get the job done."

That quartet of Joey Scrivani (10 carries, 118 yards), Caden DuMelle (17 for 101), TO Boddie (9 for 52) and Matt Scardina (8 for 40) helped the Eagles amass 364 yards on 50 carries, 7.3 yards per rush.

Jacobs' defense, meanwhile, limited Central to 38 total yards in the first half and 143 total yards on the night.

"Our goal was 150 yards or less, so we got that. We had a great week of practice, and our scout team really prepared us well," linebacker Paulie Rudolph said. "It's our goal to play physical football. We're starting to come together as a team. We knew they had some guys playing both ways, so we wanted to play physical against them."

Zimmerman lauded the play and leadership of Rudolph along with Rocco Sauer, Andrii Tymoshchuk, Scrivani and Matthew Shannon in sparking his team's defense.

"I'm proud of all those guys," Zimmerman said. "We were strong on the line, our secondary is gaining a little swagger, and our special teams have some young guys, but they're coming around."

Jacobs made it 21-0 just before halftime on a 38-yard run by Scrivani. On its first possession of the second half, Jacobs used yet another long series - 14 plays, 76 yards - to make it 28-0 when Scardina bolted in from a yard out.

Burlington Central got on the board midway through the final quarter on a 51-yard pass from Ryder Bergemann (4-for-6, 55 yards) to Caden West (2 receptions, 60 yards). The Rockets once again played without key contributors QB Jackson Alcorn and running back/linebacker Joey Kowall.

"[Jacobs] did a good job in the trenches, and they did a good job keeping the ball away from us," Central coach Brian Iossi said. "But we hurt ourselves as well. We'd have a good play then commit a penalty. We make a nice play then put the ball on the ground.

"But we still have the opportunity to make the playoffs. We gotta get two wins in the next three weeks, but we can do it."

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