Sports teams frequently come up with slogans to unify their efforts.
After Palatine's 33-10 win over host Wheeling on Friday night in a Mid-Suburban League crossover, the Pirates let out their chant: "Hold that rope."
"That means to keep things tight and help another player up when they're down," said Palatine quarterback DJ Angelaccio. "It helps us to keep a good mental attitude."
Angelaccio keyed the first Palatine win of the season. The senior signal caller completed 13 of 18 passes for 209 yards and 2 touchdowns. Angelaccio rushed 4 times for 66 yards.
Jason Rivera led the Pirates (1-1) with 6 receptions for 124 yards and caught both touchdown passes.
"When coach calls my name, I'm ready," said Rivera. "All the receivers work hard all week running routes, and DJ gets us the ball. DJ's got a cannon for an arm."
Wheeling (0-2) held its own for most of the first half.
The Wildcats took the opening kickoff and drove to the Pirates 8. John Quintero made good on the possession by booting a 25-yard field goal with 5:51 left in the first quarter.
The Pirates, though, marched 72 yards on 12 plays to score on Marcus Stoudmire's 3-yard run with 1:34 left in the first quarter.
Things turned for Wheeling when punter Lawrence Knish fumbled on a fake punt at the Wildcats' 40 after a hard hit.
Alertly, Bryant Smith of Palatine scooped up the ball and score for a 14-3 Pirates lead with 5:51 left in the first half.
With 1:45 remaining Angelaccio connected with Rivera on a 19-yard scoring play to open the lead to 20-3.
Palatine put the game away to start the second half on an 8-play, 66-yard drive. The Pirates scored on Jake Moertl's 10-yard run for a 26-3 lead.
Just before the quarter ended Angelaccio connected with Rivera on a 23-yard pass play and a 33-3 lead.
"We have some skilled players who can do many things, which helped us get through tonight," said Palatine coach Corey Olson. "DJ did enough when he needed to. I had heard that phrase of 'Hold that rope' somewhere. You look for something for the kids to hold on to."
While Palatine accounted for 369 yards including, 74 yards from Stoudmire on 10 carries, the Wildcats received some good plays too.
Ryan Glassberg led the Wildcats' ground game with 120 of his team's 209 rushing yards in 20 carries. He scored the Wheeling touchdown on a 6-yard run with 4:01 left.
Wheeling (0-2) finished with a total of 230 yards.
"I thought we came out and played them toe to toe for most of the first half," said Wheeling coach Brian Hauck. "Mau (Gurney) did a nice job at quarterback running the offense. Our sophomore quarterback Austin Hembd had some good moments also.
"What our kids need to learn how to do now is to finish plays, reps and games. I think when they watch the game films tomorrow they'll see what they have to do better. At times we played with a little uncertainty. Overall I thought we played with good effort. Bit by bit they are learning what they can do as a team."