Huntley football wins first round of playoffs


T. Koop

Taylor Koop

“Proud to Be an American” by Lee Greenwood plays as Huntley’s varsity football team walks onto the field holding flags to honor those who serve and to represent the two players going into the armed forces. 

The team suited up in their black uniforms for the first playoff game at home against Taft on Saturday, Oct. 2. Huntley’s ranking going into the playoffs was seventh in the 8A division. Due to the Chicago strike, the game was not officially on until Thursday night, but the boys were prepared. 

“Monday through Friday, we practiced like we had a game no matter what,” middle linebacker Rukkus Hunkins said when asked how they prepared for a game that might not happen.  

“We played every day this week as if we were going to have a game and the boys prepared very hard for this game,” offensive coach Zachary Davidson said. 

In the first round game, both sides of the ball had an amazing performance as Huntley’s offense ran 272 yards and passed for 95 for a total of 48 points against Taft. The defense held Taft to -6 rushing yards and less than 130 yards passing. 

Running back Ryder Havens ran the ball 20 times for 204 yards and 6 touchdowns, proving the dominating performance by the offensive line. 

The defense also forced two turnovers. Outside linebacker Mitchell Murray had one interception and Hunkins forced a fumble. 

Ultimately both sides of the ball did what they needed to do to beat Taft 48-6, advancing to the second round of the playoffs against Marist, a formidable opponent. Marist played Glenbard East and won 49-7, making them Huntley’s next opponent. 

“Marist is a very, very good team. Don’t let the record fool you. They are 5 and 4 but all 4 losses were close and to all playoff teams. They are going to be tough,” Davidson said. “I think we match up with them, kind of almost a mirror match. We’re going to have to play very well. They are well disciplined.” 

Fans are looking forward to this incredible match up next week for the second round of playoffs. Good luck to the Huntley Red Raiders!