The best in Meadows’ history

Anna Czulno

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The Mustangs ended their playoff run last weekend with a quarterfinal loss against Benet Academy in the State Playoffs. Despite the defeat, this year’s team is still the only football team in Rolling Meadows history to go 9-0 in the regular season and advance to the quarterfinals in the State Playoffs.

The road to State first began when they played the Thornwood High School Thunderbirds. Key interceptions by the Mustang defense helped them secure a large lead in the first half and even though the Thunderbirds were able to score two late touchdowns in the fourth quarter, the Mustangs were still able to eliminate the Thunderbirds from playoff contention. The final score was 44-12.

“We were really excited at halftime, so we were all positive after the half,” senior Charlie Cox said. “When we started playing again, we were pumped up so that gave us momentum for our next games too.”

The next roadblock the Mustangs went up against was Lincoln-Way Central High School. This was the first game of the season where the team only had a small lead going into the second half of the game. Senior Nick Delporte batted down a pass late in the third quarter, allowing the Mustangs to keep a three point lead. After a game-sealing interception by junior Willis Goodwin late in the fourth quarter, the Mustangs scored another touchdown to put the Knights away for good. The final score was 23-13.

Last week’s game ended the team’s chance for a State title. Benet Academy’s strong defense shut out the Mustangs dynamic offense, who failed to convert in the red zone, going 0-4 despite reaching it four times. Senior Kevin Haltman did return an interception, scoring the night’s only touchdown. After the touchdown, senior Kevin Lacosse ran into the end zone for a two point conversion. Despite the heartbreaking loss to Benet Academy, Lacosse was very happy with how the team played, and he believes that their ability to cope with defeat will only bring them closer together as brothers.

“We came to the realization that we weren’t going to see each other everyday anymore, so it made us want to spend our free time with each other,” Lacosse said.

Head Coach Matt Mishler credits the Mustang defense for allowing the team to have such a strong regular season and playoff run.

“I think our defense has kind of been the catalyst of this team for the entire year,” Mishler said. “They’ve pretty much shut everybody down with how they’ve played, and they’re just an amazing unit.”

Mishler also believes that without the leadership of senior captains Asher O’Hara, Delporte, Haltman and Lacosse, the team would not have been as successful as they were.

“There’s just a lot of great leadership on this team, and you can’t really measure their contributions to the team,” Mishler said.

While this year’s football season is over, the Mustangs have left a legacy that will exist for many years to come, shaping the future of the Mustangs Football program.

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The best in Meadows’ history