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Rolling Meadows started its 2013 football season with a bang — even if the Mustangs became the last MSL team to finally kickoff the new season.
After having to cancel Friday night's scheduled opener with Chicago Lincoln Park due to inclement weather the host Mustangs and Lions played Sunday afternoon.
Senior running back Kevin Montero took the opening kickoff 92 yards for a 6-0 lead and the Mustangs never looked back, rolling to a 46-22 triumph.
Montero started the final five games last season and was ready for the opening game.
"It was a great way to start the season, " said Montero. " Returning the kickoff was awesome. It really filled the team with emotion. We were disappointed when we couldn't play Friday night. Starting those games last year I knew what I had to do for this season. As a team we've really worked hard to prepare for the season. Coach (Matt Mishler) tells us we could be the most exciting offense that he has coached since he has been here. We just have to continue to work hard and be ready for Fremd Friday."
The Mustangs made it 12-0 on Bobby Suchecki's first of 4 touchdown passes to Matt Campbell (4 receptions, 71 yards) on a 43 yard toss with 7:54 left in the first quarter.
The Lions countered when quarterback Anthony Balark (13-for-35, 196 yards, 1 INT) threw the first of 2 touchdown passes to Jose Deleon for 67 yards to make the score 12-7.
Rolling Meadows countered with Suchecki (10-for-15, 145 yards) hitting Campbell with a 10-yard scoring pass and a 18-7 lead with 3:52 left in the quarter.
Montero (6 carries, 61 yards; 4 receptions, 51 yards) scampered into the end zone on a 10-yard run early in the second quarter for a 26-7 lead.
Suchecki found Campbell for touchdown catches of 11 and 7 yards before the end of the first half.
Reserve running back Antonio Atencio, who led the Mustangs in rushing with 114 yards in 15 attempts, put the final Meadows score on the board on a 1-yard run with 1:07 left.
Rolling Meadows played out the second half with reserves on offense and defense.
Balark threw a 58-yard scoring pass to Deleon in the third quarter and ran the ball in from the 2-yard line in the fourth.
"Suchecki did a real nice job in handling the offense in his first varsity start," said Mishler. " Montero could be real special for us. He's got speed, size and strength. We're excited to see what he can do as the season goes on. I think this game taught our players that they have to be prepared to play everyday. We just need to get better every week. Playing the second half gave good experience to the other players. That can help during the season.
"When we scored on the opening kickoff I'm sure that took the butterflies out of everyone's stomach."
The Mustangs' defense only gave up 15 rushing yards to the Lions. Rolling Meadows picked up 368 yards of offense.