Daily Herald's 2017 Season Coverage
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updated: 9/7/2013 10:49 AM

Highland Park steps it up, subdues Mundelein

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By Irv Solomon
Daily Herald Correspondent

Mundelein's football team looked in good position at halftime to win for the second straight week after an Opening Night victory snapped its 18-game losing streak.

Highland Park led the visiting Mustangs 13-12 at intermission, but the Giants scored 18 unanswered points en route to a 31-12 nonconference win Friday night.

Highland Park quarterback Thomas Sutker started the scoring with a 1-yard touchdown run.

Mundelein's Emanuel Jones scored the first of his 2 touchdowns when he ran the ball in from 13 yards. Three minutes later, he took a handoff from quarterback Gavin Graves and scooted for 80 yards to give the Mustangs a 12-6 lead in the first quarter.

Graves finished the game completing 4 of 7 passes for 98 yards and 2 interceptions.

Highland Park (2-0) finished the quarter strong, as Kelshawn Shields ran up the middle for a 3-yard touchdown and 13-12 lead. The Giants never looked back.

"It was one of the weirdest football games I've ever been in," said Mundelein coach George Kaider, whose Mustangs fell to 1-1. "It was a strange game in which we never had good field position. Our backs were against the wall. We didn't execute and we were slow getting to the line of scrimmage."

Sutker (6 of 13, 235 yards, 2 TDs) also threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to Cole Greenberg midway through the third quarter.

"I just felt that we played hard but not very smart," said Highland Park coach Hal Childo. "We made a lot of bad errors, including fumbles and dropped passes. I was disappointed in the errors we made."

Round Lake 50, Prosser 0: Jordan Eder got his first win as head coach, and the Panthers snapped a 15-game losing streak.

Round Lake scored a touchdown on each of its six first-half possessions. Chris Perry rushed 8 times for 116 yards and 5 first-half TDs. He scored a sixth touchdown on an 80-yard interception return.

Perry's 9-yard TD run opened the scoring after quarterback John Ridley completed a 45-yard pass to Jalen Young.

Grayslake North 52, Milwaukee Hamilton 6: The host Knights built a 45-0 lead by halftime in crusing to the home-opening victory.

Grayslake North, which has scored 101 points, improved to 2-0.

Hoffman Estates 22, Buffalo Grove 21 (OT): A Buffalo Grove team that won't ever quit came up Friday night against a Hoffman Estates team that's just getting started.

Two programs rebuilding themselves showed why there's cause for optimism. But it took an overtime period and a nervous few seconds awaiting a referee's delayed call before Hoffman quarterback Jeff Mayes' daring 3-yard dive stood up for a 2-point conversion on the last play for a 22-21 Hawks win.

But why even go for 2?

"The decision was pretty simple," said Hoffman Estates coach Mike Donatucci, in his first home game leading the program.

After watching BG's Mike Schmitt go almost untouched for 10 yards and a TD on a neatly executed option on BG's first overtime play, Donatucci said he felt his tired Hawks might have trouble stopping BG (1-1) in a second overtime.

"We weren't doing it," he said simply.

So after Mayes read his check-downs perfectly and tossed a 7-yard TD to Keegan Mugerditchian in the right flat on Hoffman Estates' second play of overtime, it was 2 or bust.

"We had trust in the coaches," said Mayes, admitting a bit of surprise on the 2-point call. "We were expecting 1. But coach Donatucci said, 'Let's go for it.'"

It was a fitting, suspenseful climax to a game filled with drama.

BG patiently built a 14-0 lead, relying on field position, defense and special teams. Schmitt, playing both ways, Michael Dax, big Corey Gill (6-5, 332) and John Maddox, also going both ways, helped control Hoffman's offense. Schmitt scored on 14- and 10-yard runs, and triple-option quarterback Andrew Apel's 3-yard burst accounted for BG's points.

And the game seemed over. But Mayes got an unreal catch on a semi-broken play from Dante Cleveland for a 62-yard gain to set up Mugerditchian's first score on a 1-yard run to tie the game. Mayes, on the final play of the first half, darted 3 yards for a score after Kabrian Johnson (8 carries, 146 yards) bolted 47 yards to set up the tally.

"I have confidence in my receivers," Mayes said of Cleveland's play.

But Mayes said he also felt the late first-half score was crucial.

"I honestly think that was the most important play," he said of the score that gave him and the Hawks some confidence as they rallied from a 14-0 deficit for a second straight week.

For BG, Cleveland's catch and Johnson's runs of 47 yards in the first half and 43 in the second were the only big plays surrendered by a defense that otherwise played superbly.

-- Howard Schlossberg

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