Zach Sheasby had quite a fourth quarter Friday night at Rolling Meadows.
First the Buffalo Grove senior caught a touchdown pass from his wide receiver position midway through the final period to give the Bison their first lead of the game.
Minutes later, now playing defensive back, Sheasby intercepted a Mustangs pass in BG territory to stop a Meadows drive.
The end result was a come-from-behind 22-16 win for the Bison, one that propelled them to an 8-1 overall record and a 4-1 finish in the Mid-Suburban East.
Just two years ago BG finished 1-8, but the Bison have engineered a remarkable turnaround.
"These kids are such hard workers," Bison coach Jeff Vlk said. "All the work they've put in in the off-season, they're just a gritty group. We've been down before in games, and I can't say enough about their resilience."
Meadows finishes the regular season at 6-3 overall and 3-2 in conference.
"I thought it was a game of a lot of missed opportunities," said Mustangs coach Matt Mishler. "For the second game in a row we've gotten in the red zone or deep in (our opponent's) territory, then we'd have a turnover that would give them life.
"But they (BG) are a really good football team. There were two good teams going at it tonight."
Meadows scored first on a 10-yard run by quarterback Arek Kleniuk. Then BG found the end zone on a 26-yard TD pass from Connor Adams to Matt Prawica.
The Mustangs took a 10-7 lead into halftime on the strength of a 27 yard Yamil Roman field goal.
Meadows grabbed a 16-7 advantage when Kleniuk hit Willis Goodwin with a 6-yard scoring strike. But BG mounted a fourth-quarter rally on a Tom Trieb 2-yard run, and the Adams pass that found Sheasby deep in the end zone from 22 yards away.
That gave the Bison the 6-point lead and with Meadows driving again, Sheasby came up with his big pick with 3:33 remaining.
"They were running kind of a post and a wheel combo," said Sheasby. "The pass was underthrown a little bit and I just saw it and dived for it."
Meadows got one more chance after a defensive stand, getting the ball back on its 20 with 1:13 left after a BG punt.
But the BG defense, led by defensive lineman Justin Gold, who knocked down and almost intercepted a Meadows pass attempt, wouldn't let the Mustangs get another first down.
The rushing attack was strong on both sides as Trieb ran 23 times for 137 yards for BG. Tim Szylak finished with 167 yards on 21 rushes for Meadows.
"It means a change of culture in our school," said Sheasby of Friday's clutch win and BG's stellar season overall. "With all the work we've put in, it just means everything to us. We've put in a lot of work this whole season and it means so much that it's paying off.
"It was a great team effort."