How Does DeKalb Stack Up?


Amy Bland

Prairie Ridge Wolves face DeKalb in the IHSA semifinals on Saturday, November 19, 2016 at 1:00 p.m.

The game PR has been waiting to get back to for a year is finally here. This Saturday, the Wolves will face DeKalb High School in the IHSA semifinals right here at Prairie Ridge. The Wolves will be playing for a spot in the state championship game. How do the 10-2 “Barbs” stack up? Let’s take a closer look.

The fact that PR is even playing DeKalb comes as a surprise to some. Last week, DeKalb won in an upset against Cary-Grove, beating the Trojans 35-21. It wasn’t a blowout by any stretch, but still an impressive victory. On their path, they beat Antioch 36-3, a team that was 10-0 when they faced DeKalb. In the first round, they defeated Marmion Academy.

DeKalb has had a very successful season. On their 10-2 run, they have scored a total of 452 points and have allowed 221 points. This gives them a point differential of +231. Compared to PR’s other postseason opponents, Deerfield had a differential of +7 and Lake Forest had one of +23 (after losses to PR).

Prairie Ridge has scored 599 points and allowed 105 points. This gives them a differential of +494 points. So, our point differential is higher than the total number of points DeKalb has scored all season, a very good sign that DeKalb could be a manageable opponent. So, DeKalb is winning, but who are they playing?

During the regular season, DeKalb played well against poor teams. All but three games were played against teams above .500. One of their losses came against Lake Park, who were just 2-7 on the year. They were 2-1 against teams above .500, defeating Sycamore and Morris, but lost to 11-1 Sterling High School. The Sterling game was particularly tough, as they lost an absolute battle 43-42. DeKalb has scored 40 points on more than five occasions. Mostly, they’ve gotten where they are by defeating mostly bad teams.

But DeKalb got hot at the right time. Three playoff victories against playoff caliber teams is much more weighty than their regular season performance. They’ve bested great teams, and PR will have to show up and play hard if they want to keep rolling on to the title.

Mr. Terhaar, the team’s offensive coordinator, told us that the team didn’t change anything with the prospect of playing CG. “We like to focus on who we are, not necessarily who we might be playing.” He went on to talk about how pressure is affecting, or not affecting, the squad. “2011 taught us a lot. We’re taking one game, one quarter, one play, one practice at a time. At our practices, you’ll hear about DeKalb, DeKalb, DeKalb. We want to do our work here first before worrying about things we can’t control.”

Prairie Ridge has a great shot at getting the chance to play for another state title. There is also no question that DeKalb will be a worthy opponent in that quest. This game won’t be a blowout likely, but after that 71-7 victory last week, it’s hard to see the game not coming out in the Wolves’ favor. The game is Saturday at 1:00 p.m., right here at Prairie Ridge.