POLO – In a scoring anomaly, Polo had identical 43-0 halftime leads in both the sophomore and varsity football games against Ashton-Franklin Center.
The varsity ended up winning 62-6, and it was a pair of twin sophomores – quarterback Brody Grobe and running back Brooks Grobe – who combined to score the first three touchdowns.
“We have a good mix of seniors, juniors and sophomores,” Polo coach Andrew Hofer said. “The two Grobes and Juan Dominguez didn’t even play in the fresh-soph game.”
Not only did Polo put a physical beating on AFC, but it showed signs of returning to its proud gridiron heritage and being an NUIC contender.
“We’ve finally clicked as a team,” senior Jeff Kimpel said. “Now, we got to get Stockton. We have them at our place next week.”
It probably didn’t take long for Polo to start focusing on Stockton after completely shutting AFC down and scoring nearly every time it touched the ball.
“I’ve got goose bumps thinking about having Stockton here,” Hofer said. “I hope wehave a great atmosphere.”
While the Grobes were getting the offense in gear, a physical Marco defense knocked AFC’s starting quarterback Bret Gittleson and top back Jake Chapman out of the game on consecutive plays in the first quarter.
“We didn’t set out to hurt them,” assured defensive back Ivan Grogan, who had a punt return for a touchdown called back by a penalty.
“Physically, we never let up and came ready to play,” added lineman Miguel Dominguez.
Junior Kevin Cheeseman added a pair of touchdowns on a 25-yard run and juggling 37-yard pass reception to increase Polo’s lead to 36-0 midway through the second quarter.
AFC was stymied twice on fourth-down attempts on its own side of the field in the second quarter. The second of those led to a running clock, as Kimpel ran 10 yards for the touchdown and 43-0 lead.
“We struggled. We’ve just got to get better,” AFC coach Brad Winterland said.
Brian Cavanaugh ran untouched for 80 yards on the second-half kickoff for a 50-0 lead, and Polo substitutes saw action the rest of the way.
“Coming in this week, we thought we played pretty good against East Dubuque (33-6 loss), but left too many points on the field,” Hofer said. “We had good days of practice this week and executed the game plan really well tonight.”
Jake Hageman scored AFC’s lone touchdown on a 2-yard run.