After needing a late comeback to avoid a huge upset against Wauconda last week, host Stevenson wanted to make sure it did not have a letdown against Mundelein on Friday night in its North Suburban Lake Division regular-season football finale.
The Patriots deferred on the opening kickoff and that choice seemed to backfire on them as the upset-minded Mustangs marched 66 yards to take a 7-0 lead 4:21 into the contest.
But Stevenson (7-2, 5-1) almost immediately turned the tables on Mundelein as the Patriots built a 21-7 lead early in the second quarter before rolling to a 41-14 victory to wind up in a three-way tie for first place in the Lake Division with Lake Zurich and Lake Forest.
Mundelein (0-9, 0-6) was sparked by starting quarterback Gable Leppert on its opening drive as Leppert hit teammate Drew Malcolm with a 25-yard pass completion before connecting with Connor O'Donoghue for a 17-yard TD pass moments later. O'Donoghue had Stevenson defensive back Anthony Bozin all over him in the left corner of the end zone, but he was still able to come up with the TD catch in the left corner of the end zone before Jordan Bregenzer's extra point gave the Mustangs an early 7-0 lead.
Bozin got his revenge on the ensuing kickoff as he bolted 71 yards down to the Mundelein 8 to set up the Patriots' first touchdown.
Three plays later, Kevin Foley scored on a 1-yard TD run as he carried the ball all three times on the very short scoring drive. Stevenson starting quarterback Matt Micucci kicked the extra point to tie the score at 7-7 with 6:15 left in the first quarter.
Mundelein's next drive was spoiled right away as Stevenson defensive back Matt Morrissey picked off a Leppert pass and raced 23 yards with the interception return for a 14-7 lead with 5:26 left in the first quarter.
Senior running back Mike Ling (105 yards on 27 carries) proved to be a real workhorse for the Pats' offense which stuck mainly with their ground attack for the majority of the game.
After a 30-yard pass from Micucci to Troy Radtke put the ball at the Mundelein 22-yard-line, Ling scored on the first play of the second quarter from 1-yard out before Jeff Smith's extra point made the score 21-7 three seconds into the second quarter.