Jacob Donohue came into the season feeling really comfortable as Grayslake North’s starting quarterback.

However furnishing stability is easiest part of what he sees as his greatest task in his third season in the function.

Donohue wants to dominate.

“It’s my senior year, and I want to go out with a bang,” Donohue said. “I’m now not afraid to throw the ball to anyone, and the finest thing about this year is going to be fair having fun.”

Donohue had masses of fun in the Knights’ season-opening 38-26 nonconference road win against Vernon Hills on Friday evening. He accomplished 21 of 34 passes for 298 yards and four touchdowns, all to assorted receivers. Three of the TDs came in the Knights’ first four drives to location the tone.

Regardless of his trip, Donohue had to refine some things in the offseason after fresh coach Brian Johnson tweaked the offense. The Knights sprint a more pro-vogue location, rather than a free-flowing, five-huge outfit, which also suits Donohue fair fine.

“It’s been assorted, however I like it,” he said. “I was outdated-fashioned to passing even more. Switching between sprint and pass confuses the protection a diminutive more, and it takes some strain off me.”

Grayslake North’s Cameron Bates (10) celebrates his touchdown with teammate DeAndre Neely (11) during a game at Vernon Hills on Friday, Aug. 26, 2022. (John Konstantaras / News-Sun)

Donohue is also adapting to an almost entirely fresh receiving corps.

Senior DeAndre “DJ” Neely is probably the most experienced, and he supplies grand-play ability, which he confirmed on the Knights’ first play. He took a short pass from Donohue and grew to turn into it into a 71-yard touchdown.

Sophomore Cameron Bates made a good splash in his varsity debut, catching four passes for 61 yards and a touchdown.

It also is aesthetic clear that Donohue and Charles Pritchard are on the same page, as the senior reeled in 12 passes for 131 yards and a touchdown. Pritchard had previously played some cornerback, however this was his first varsity foray on offense.

“It’s fair practice, practice, practice,” Pritchard said. “We throw a ton of routes outside of practice, and hanging out more this summer season. I believe him, and he trusts me.”

In connecting with his fresh receivers early and usually, Donohue confirmed there’s now not a throw in the book he can’t make. He has a comfortable touch on deep balls, pinpoint accuracy and enough pop in his arm to throw outside the numbers.

That’s definitely something to maintain Johnson at ease as he and his staff implement game plans.

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“He’s got a really good command of knowing where guys are, and you saw that when he extended plays,” Johnson said. “He finds a way to calm glean the ball to guys when he vital to.”

Grayslake North’s Jacob Donohue (1) and Charles Pritchard (16) celebrate a touchdown as teammate Cameron Bates (10) looks on during a game at Vernon Hills on Friday, Aug. 26, 2022. (John Konstantaras / News-Sun )

Donohue also confirmed poise. After Vernon Hills reeled off 20 straight points to trim the Knights’ lead to 24-20, Donohue had the answer, going 6 for 8 for 51 yards on the ensuing drive, which culminated with an 8-yard scoring toss to senior Michael Jefferson.

“You can’t point to that you’re frustrated in that situation,” Donohue said. “I told the fellows, ‘You can’t stop.’ The fourth quarter was hard for us last year, and we finished the apt way this time around.”

The way Grayslake North grabbed back momentum was felt by all aspects.

Senior Jack Pristas rushed for Vernon Hills’ second of three straight touchdowns however was also playing linebacker when Donohue orchestrated the Knights’ insurance points.

“He’s really elusive, and we can’t let him glean outside like we did,” Pristas said. “He also plays shortstop in baseball, so he can throw those sidearm balls like Patrick Mahomes and glean those plays downfield. You have to maintain your ground on him.”

Steve Reaven is a freelance reporter for the News-Sun.