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updated: 9/17/2016 12:04 AM

Haltman, Rolling Meadows stop Maine West

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  • Mustangs wide receiver Jose Camacho tries to get away from Maine West defenders after a first-half catch at Maine West on Friday.

      Mustangs wide receiver Jose Camacho tries to get away from Maine West defenders after a first-half catch at Maine West on Friday.
    Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

  • Blake Holfeld of Rolling Meadows tries to elude tacklers during a return in the first half at Maine West on Friday.

      Blake Holfeld of Rolling Meadows tries to elude tacklers during a return in the first half at Maine West on Friday.
    Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

  • Maine West's Rafael Ynocencio tries to recover a fumble as the ball rolls out of bounds in first half against visiting Rolling Meadows on Friday.

      Maine West's Rafael Ynocencio tries to recover a fumble as the ball rolls out of bounds in first half against visiting Rolling Meadows on Friday.
    Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

  • Matt Litas of Maine West returns a punt in the first half against Rolling Meadows on Friday.

      Matt Litas of Maine West returns a punt in the first half against Rolling Meadows on Friday.
    Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

 
By Alan Ferguson
Daily Herald Correspondent

Kevin Haltman had a dream before Friday night's game at Maine West that he would return an interception for a touchdown but it got called back because of a personal foul.

Reality proved much kinder to the Rolling Meadows senior linebacker as he brought back two picks for scores -- sans yellow flags -- in a 13-0 victory.

Haltman's first interception came at midfield in the final minute of the first half and the second, a 39-yard return with three minutes left, ensured the Mustangs would remain unbeaten.

"I was not expecting that. I couldn't be happier, but it's all 11 of us, not just me," he said. "If the defense wasn't where they were supposed to go, if the corners weren't defending the wide receivers, the ball wouldn't have been thrown there. I was just in position to get it."

Haltman's heroics also came on the two-year anniversary of his grandmother Arlene's passing.

"I dedicate this game to her," Haltman said.

The Mustangs (4-0) leaned on their defense to continue their best start since 2007, when they won their first seven games.

Two key penalties hindered Rolling Meadows' attempt to add to its string of decisive victories, by a combined 126-28, from its first three games. An illegal block led to the end of a drive into Maine West territory in the first quarter, and a holding call erased Asher O'Hara's 30-yard pass to Jose Camacho that would have put the Mustangs on the 6-yard line early in the second quarter.

Rolling Meadows had eight flags for 80 yards after committing nine penalties for 75 yards in the previous week's 48-14 rout of Maine East. The Mustangs will try to clean that up when they start their drive for a fifth consecutive Mid-Suburban East title next Friday at Wheeling.

"I thought (Maine West) outplayed us tonight. I'm not going to say our guys didn't deserve to win because they deserved every bit of it. It was hard-fought," coach Matt Mishler said. "(Both teams are) going to both go back and see a lot of things we could have done better tonight."

Maine West (2-2) lost top running back Anthony Henley in the fourth quarter because of an injured lower right leg, and coach Jason Kradman said his status is "very questionable" for next week's Central Suburban North opener at Maine East, perhaps longer.

The Warriors were also without their other top runner, Marteen Robinson, and two-way lineman Mike Milewski, who is out for the season with a torn ACL.

"We've hit a rough patch of injuries, for sure," Kradman said.

Maine West also made some costly miscues, and the biggest was an offensive pass interference that erased a touchdown in the third quarter.

"Our defensive staff did an unbelievable staff preparing, led by (coordinator) Steve Piha. A lot of guys on defense stepped up, and we had several of those guys playing both sides of the ball," Kradman said. "Offensively, we certainly moved the ball at times. We just couldn't finish."

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