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updated: 10/4/2012 9:16 PM

Royster's emergence complements Milas at Meadows

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By Ryan O’Gara
Daily Herald Correspondent

To no one's surprise, Jack Milas has been quite productive for first place Rolling Meadows (5-1) this season. The Ball State-bound quarterback has thrown for 1,571 yards for 21 touchdowns against only 2 interceptions.

But the Mustangs haven't averaged 38 points on Milas alone. Aiding in that offensive production has been a balance between the passing game and running game, led by Steven Royster.

"It's something we talk about every week," said coach Matt Mishler. "We know that teams are going to do some things to try to stop our passing game. If they want to only put five guys in the box, we have to be able to run the ball."

Royster played an important role in last week's 49-28 victory over Prospect, rushing for 123 yards and 2 touchdowns. The senior caught the go-ahead score in the fourth quarter and added a 4-yard touchdown run to close out the game. His most impressive play was in the first quarter on a 66-yard run in which he turned a dead play into a touchdown.

"He was a guy we were really counting on going into this year," Mishler said. "We had a lot of confidence in him and he has performed great."

Vikings mourn MJD: Fremd will be playing with heavy hearts tonight at Schaumburg after starting offensive lineman Clay Dukewich's father, Mike, passed away on Saturday evening.

A huge fan of the program, Mike was at last Friday's loss to Palatine and even went to Schaumburg's game at Barrington on Saturday to get a good look at the Saxons.

The team's support has been tremendous. Nearly ever player on the varsity and most under-level players made an appearance at the wake earlier this week. The Vikings will also wear Dukewich's initials, MJD, on their helmets in his honor.

"We've dedicated this whole week to him," said Fremd coach Lou Sponsel. "That's the great about football is that you can rally around something like this."

Bowled move: Having lost their last two games, St. Viator figured it was in for a tough practice on Monday afternoon. Coach Brandon New told the team to bring their running shoes, hinting they would be participating in a 5K. But New flipped the script on his team, instead taking them to the bowling alley.

"When I told them we were going bowling, the kids went nuts," New said. "We had a great time. We got away from football for a bit and got back to having fun."

Two-Minute Drill: Sponsel will oppose his former boss, ex-Fremd coach and current Schaumburg defensive coordinator Mike Donatucci, for the first time tonight. Sponsel served as an assistant coach for 9 of Donatucci's 19 seasons at Fremd and was an All-State linebacker for him in 1995. "Our kids have great respect for him," Sponsel said. "He's like a second father to a lot of our players so they want to go out and play their best in front of him." ... Hersey's 2-0 start in the East after opening the season with three losses in four games hasn't surprised Prospect. Said coach Mike Sebestyen: "People were quick to dismiss them because of their record and didn't look to see that they were getting better every week against good teams. They deserve a lot of credit and (Hersey coach Dragan Teonic) has done a heck of a job." ... Conant understands what's at stake tonight when they host Palatine. "Everyone knew that coming into this season that they were going to be the team to beat, and that hasn't changed," said coach Bill Modelski. "We certainly have our work cut out for us, but we're a pretty confident and resilient bunch. We believe." ... Elk Grove quarterback Adam O'Malley has become a threat to run the football this season, and that has opened up things for the rest of the offense. Last week, O'Malley ran for an for an 84-yard touchdown on the Grenadiers' first play from scrimmage and went on to throw 4 touchdown passes. Said coach Larry Calhoun: "The defensive end has to stay home and can't sell out and attack the ball. Even if he's not running the ball, the threat of him running the ball is part of what makes a defense play straight up and be more honest with what they're doing."

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