Erik Jacobsen’s football notebook

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Bret Mooney took a break from engineering game-winning drives to solidify his plans to play Division-I football over the weekend.

Jacobs’ senior quarterback committed to Colgate on Monday night after a two-day visit to the Hamilton, New York school Saturday and Sunday. The whirlwind trip came after Mooney led the Golden Eagles to a 36-35 win against Cary-Grove and sole possession of first place in the Fox Valley Valley on Friday night in Algonquin.

Colgate, which competes in the Patriot League, was the first school to offer a scholarship to Mooney over the summer. By accepting, he follows in the footsteps of his father Keith Mooney, who played linebacker at Purdue.

“There’s life after football, and I feel like Colgate sets me up best to be successful after I’m done playing,” Bret Mooney said. “The selling point was it is the closest you can get to the Ivy League where they pay for you to go to school.”

Mooney’s athleticism and 6-foot-4, 215-pound frame make him a dynamic threat on offense. He has completed 103 of 172 passes for 1,386 yards and 16 touchdowns and run for 481 yards on 90 carries in his second varsity season.

“I’m extremely happy for Bret,” Jacobs coach Bill Mitz said. “He’s going to a school with a great tradition in football and academics.”

Jacobs (5-2) puts its five-game winning streak on the line when it visits Huntley on Friday. The Golden Eagles can clinch at least a share of their first conference title since 1979 with a win.

Mooney connected with receiver Nick Gierlak on touchdown and two-point conversion passes with 2.2 seconds left in last week’s victory against Cary-Grove. In the previous game Mooney orchestrated a 52-yard, game-winning touchdown that included a lateral pass to Josh Walker as time expired against Crystal Lake South, but he wouldn’t mind skipping the last-second heroics this time around.

“The last few games we’ve been playing the last five or six minutes better than the other team, but hopefully these next few games we’ll be able to play all 48 better than the other team,” Mooney said.

Chargers look to rebound

Dundee-Crown is still feeling the sting from last week’s 42-0 thrashing at the hands of Prairie Ridge, which coach Vito Andriola thinks is a good thing.

“Last week we couldn’t move the ball, we couldn’t stop (Prairie Ridge) and our special teams weren’t good, and those are all recipes for ugliness,” Andriola said. “The most important thing is we seem humbled and embarrassed, which is great because that means we care.”

The Chargers will take another crack at clinching their first playoff berth since 1994 when they host McHenry (2-5) on Friday. In addition to trying to secure an undefeated season at home, Dundee-Crown (5-2) is also hoping to end a 23-game losing streak against the Warriors that dates to 1989.

Defensive lineman Christian Ochoa is expected to miss his second straight game after sustaining an injury in practice last week, but defensive end Jerrod Raap should be back in the mix after sitting out against Prairie Ridge.

Whip-Purs eye win No. 6

Hampshire made things look easy while rolling to a 48-7 win against Woodstock last week and a 42-12 triumph against Woodstock North in Week 6. The goal is to keep up the strong play when struggling Johnsburg (1-6) comes to town Friday.

At 5-2, the Whip-Purs are playoff eligible for the first time since 2008, but with only 28 playoff points they are far from assured of earning a postseason bid with five wins. That means taking care of business against the Skyhawks is critical, especially with a tough test at Cary-Grove looming in Week 9.

“We’re playoff eligible, but we’re not so sure how the points are going to stack up,” Hampshire coach Dan Cavanaugh said. “We’ve played well the last couple weeks, and we need to continue that because Johnsburg has some weapons on offense and plays good defense.”

Rockets not far off

Judging by some recent results, Burlington Central’s 2-5 record is a bit deceiving, not that it is much consolation for a team that will miss the playoffs for the second year in a row.

The Rockets provided undefeated Harvard with arguably its toughest test of the season in a 17-13 slugfest in Week 4. Burlington Central was at it again against another playoff-bound team last week when its upset bid fell short in a 14-13 overtime defeat at Richmond-Burton.

“We played well last week, but we just didn’t make a couple plays when we needed to,” Burlington Central coach Rich Crabel said. “Those are the types of things we have to overcome if we want to get to the level where we’re beating good teams.”

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