Prospect's Skoog, Carlucci cause big problems for Buffalo Grove

Prospect quarterback Jake Skoog and wide receiver Nick Carlucci have a special connection. And that connection spelled huge trouble for Buffalo Grove Friday.

Skoog and Carlucci hooked up eight times, with four of those going for touchdowns as Prospect buzzed the Bison 63-28 in Buffalo Grove. The win enabled Prospect (6-2, 3-1) to clinch a playoff spot.

“They were pretty special tonight,” Prospect coach Dan DeBoeuf said. “And they are both juniors which is pretty exciting. These guys have a ton of upside.”

Skoog was 11-of-19 passing for 299 yards and 5 touchdowns while rushing for another. It was also apparent that he was looking many times for Carlucci.

“He has been my wide receiver one since my freshman year,” Skoog said. “It is all about trust. I have been trusting him for three years now. I know when I throw it he will go and get it.”

Carlucci was on the receiving end of 8 of Skoog's completions for 230 yards.

“That's my brother,” Carlucci said. “It is that easy. But we couldn't have done it without the whole team. I don't mean to be corny, but it is true.”

The first half had the scoreboard on tilt as Prospect built a 42-21 lead at the break.

Prospect scored the game's first touchdowns with Skoog connecting on a pair of touchdown passes that covered 56 and 13 yards.

Buffalo Grove then got its offense in gear behind Payton Diaz (16-of-34, 209 yards). The senior drove the Bison 80 yards on 11 plays converting a fourth-and-goal from the 8 on a pass to Jalen Marshall to make it 13-7.

The second quarter began with three touchdowns in just 1:10.

Prospect began the flurry as Skoog ran for a 3-yard touchdown. Two plays later, Diaz tossed a 48-yard touchdown pass to Vincent Romano.

Not be undone, Prospect's Nathan Tader returned the ensuing kickoff 76 yards for a touchdown and a 28-14 lead for the Knights.

Prospect continued its scoring trend with a pair of long touchdown plays. Skoog connected with running back Noah Easter on a wheel route for a 54-yard scoring play.

Charles Knee intercepted a Bison pass, and then didn't take one. Rather, Knee weaved and bobbed his way to a 64-yard touchdown to make it 42-14.

Buffalo Grove scored just before the end of the half as Diaz threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to Shannon Hawthorne to make it 42-21.

Buffalo Grove (5-3, 2-2) made it look interesting early in the third quarter. Caden Helkowski returned a fumble 60 yards to the Prospect 1. Four plays later, Matthew Maradkel crashed over the goal line to cut the deficit to 42-28.

But Skoog and Carlucci wouldn't let the Bison get any closer. The duo does connected on a 45-yard touchdown play. They would then be part of a 69-yard scoring play that put the game out of reach.

Michael Ocampo-Pugh added a 1-yard touchdown to close out the scoring for the Knights.

“We did a lot of god things tonight,” DeBoeuf said. “But you can still see our immaturity as a team, so we need to get some things cleaned up.”

Buffalo Grove, which will need a win next week over Rolling Meadows to clinch a playoff spot, was without Anthony Palano, Samuel Cho, Tyler Baker and Alex Branas.

“That's four starters who all go both ways,” Buffalo Grove coach Jeff Vlk said. “It is like missing eight guys. We thought the smart thing to do was to hold them out because we can possibly make a playoff run here. If we were out of the playoff hunt, they all would have probably played. We are playing the long game here.”

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