Varsity Red Raiders football season recap

By Ryan Sroka

It is week two. The Huntley Red Raiders strode onto the field, one-by-one in their white away jerseys; straight-faced with swings of eagerness, Alex Janke took the hammer to lead the pack. What was thought to be a blowout turned into what could be called a dog fight. 

The two teams battled it out on the slightly uphill, wet field at Jacobs High school. The lights shone onto the two teams, a filled crowd on both sides of the field. Raider Nation is filled in swimsuits, sunglasses, and coconut breasts in what seems like summer weather.

The Raiders were upset that game to make them 1-1, facing a serious challenge with Cary Grove (defending 6a state champions) and Prairie Ridge (2017 state champions) in the next two weeks. The next two weeks defined this year’s football team and resiliency to fight through adversity. 

Senior wide receiver, Joey Cauldren, reflects on the game careful to mention, “the Jacobs loss was a reality check for our team. We realized that in order to be successful moving forward we needed to focus on executing the little things no matter the team.” 

They later went on and beat Prairie Ridge and Cary Grove who were both at the top of the conference. Huntley went on to demolish every other opponent in the conference and finished the regular season 8-1. Huntley shared a Fox Valley Conference Championship alongside Prairie Ridge. 

With a record of 8-1 the Red Raiders looked at a number seven seed in the stacked 8A IHSA playoff bracket. The raiders rolled past Chicago Taft 48-6 in front of a home crowd. The next test was Marist High School, a private school that recruits on the southside of Chicago. Marist was seeded number 23 because they had a 6-4 record in the most difficult conference in the state. Marist is the best 6-4 team that you can run into in the state of Illinois. 

  “We had a great week of practice and made some nice plays during the game. Unfortunately it came down to bad turnovers and lack of execution on both sides of the ball,” Cauldren said. 

The Raiders ended their season with a 14-7 loss to Marist. Although, there is a lot to be proud of with this senior group. Achieving conference and making it to the second round is a huge success for the Huntley football program moving forward.