Jackson's actions help Maine West outrun Mundelein

By Greg Swiderski
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 8/25/2018 12:02 AM

Junior David Jackson helped give Maine West a jump start in its football home opener against Mundelein.

With the game scoreless in the middle of the first quarter, Jackson returned a punt 44 yards without being touched to give the Warriors a 7-0 lead.

"It was like a shot out of a cannon," said Maine West coach Jason Kradman. "It was a big score for us early in the game because on our first series we appeared sluggish. The specials teams, as it would turn out, played a big part in this game."

Mundelein surrendered the ball 7 times in a 42-0 loss to Maine West in both teams' nonconference season opener.

"This group has really worked hard since January," said Jackson. "We think we could be a pretty good team. Our special teams really played good tonight. We were able to take advantage of the turnovers we got."

Maine West forced the Mustangs into 7 turnovers. Three Mundelein errors in the second quarter proved decisive.

Jaden Dolphin intercepted a pass in the end zone on the second play of the second quarter to stop a Mundelein drive. With 5:41 left in the first half Isaiah Stem-Davis blocked a field goal attempt.

A blocked punt by the Warriors Emmanuel Ajose at Mundleins 16 and the recovery by Krystian Garbicz led to the first of Jake Bellizzi's touchdowns.

Bellizzi scored from the 13 yard line with 2:14 left in the second quarter and a 14-0 lead.

"The second quarter was important," said Mundelein coach Larry Calhoun. "Had we been able to score I think our defense could have held them down. Our defense in the first half played very well. We had a lot of new players and ou could see they had the jitters. But we have some good players and I think we'll get better."

Maine West went into attack mode in the second half.

The Warriors took the opening kickoff and went 73 yards in 9 plays to score on Bellizzi's 3 yard run for a 21-0 lead.

On the ensuing kickoff the Mustangs could not get to the ball before Maine West's Sumeet Saini recovered on the Mundelein 31.

Quarterback Danny Kentgen connected on a 22-yard touchdown to Sean Collins. Kentgen completed 16 of 32 passes for 155 yards and a total of 3 touchdowns.

Dolphin would slash his way through the heavy mist for a 45-yard touchdown and Jackson caust a 4 yard pass to finish the scoring.

Jackson caught 4 passes for 43 yards. He added 28 yards rushing in 5 attempts.

Bellizzi rushed 17 times for 72 yards. Bellizzi also had 6 tackles, of which two were for negative yards.

"I think I played all right on offense but good on defense," said Bellizzi. "This was a nice win to build on. We don't like as a defense giving up touchdowns. But, we were able to take advantage of the turnovers."

Mundelein finished with 133 yards of offense. Quarterback Isaac Wellman rushed for 22 yards for the Mustangs and completed 9 of 23 for 57 yards and 2 interceptions.

"We did three things well," said Kradman. "Our special teams played well, our defense was good and our offense played well in the second half. We just have to get that going a little earlier."

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