By: Luke Drase
Rolling Meadows used their ground and pound attack with extreme efficiency Friday night to defeat Deerfield 31-13 and improve to 3-1 on the season.
Each of Rolling Meadows four rushing touchdowns were scored by four different players, showing off the Mustangs depth in the position.
The first touchdown of the night came on Rolling Meadows’ first possession of the game. After a three and out from Deerfield, the Mustangs marched down the field, capping it off with a 2 yd TD run from Tim Szylak.
Szylak said: “Our offensive line were explosive out there. They really got out there, they got to their blocks and they helped those explosive plays to where we had one on on situations with the safety.”
The rest of the first quarter flew by without much action. It wasn’t until midway through the second when Rolling Meadows scored again, this time off a 14 yard run from Charlie Svoboda to give Rolling Meadows a 15-8 lead.
Things were not going Deerfield’s way for much of the first half, but a Rolling Meadows muffed punt looked to turn the tide a little bit.
On the first play from scrimmage after the turnover, Deerfield finally got on the board when Ryan Nagelbach found Ari Nadler for a 20 yard touchdown pass to make it a 15-7 game.
In the final minute of the half, Rolling Meadows cashed in on a Deerfield interception with a field goal to give them a 18-7 lead going going into the break.
After a three and out by Rolling Meadows to start the second half, they got the ball right back after another Deerfield interception. The Mustangs proceeded to score their third rushing touchdown of the night. This time a two yard run from Willis Goodwin.
Rolling Meadows got the ball back not much later. This time it was Jared Axelrad’s turn to join in on the scoring, this time an 11 yard touchdown run for the Mustangs.
“I thought Jared had a really, really good game this week,” said Rolling Meadows coach Matt Mishler.
“We have three really good running backs and it’s such a luxury to have those three guys out there and not miss a beat and it’s really good to our team.”
Deerfield managed to score a 79 yard consolation touchdown courtesy of Jonathan Dawson late in the game and even managed to recover the onside kick.
However, a flurry of turnovers from both the Warriors and the Mustangs brought the game to a screeching halt, and both teams seemed content to just let the clock run out.
Rolling Meadows finished off the non-conference slate of their schedule with a respectful 3-1 record. Meadows will face Wheeling next week as MSL East play commences, and expectations are high for the Mustangs.
Coach Mishler said: “Our first goal is always to win conference. I think the East is going to be an absolute dogfight this year. I think it’s anybodys game and it’s going to come down to a lot of times, who wants it more.”