Hersey makes it 8-1 with win over Wheeling
After a tough loss last week at Rolling Meadows, Hersey junior lineman Matthew Mysza said that it was important for the Huskies to set the tone Friday night against Wheeling.
"We wanted to come out and dominate the line," said Mysza. "It was important for us to finish strong and go into the playoffs by rebounding from last week."
The Huskies were able to shake off the disappointing loss to the Mustangs in Week 8 (a 38-35 final score) by putting up 41 first-half points in a 41-16 Mid-Suburban East win over the visiting Wildcats.
Mysza and the rest of his offensive line mates led the way for Hersey, especially in pass protection, allowing quarterback Ryan Justice to throw for 305 yards and 4 touchdowns.
The Huskies will go into the postseason with a record of 8-1, 4-1 in the East.
Wide receiver Kacper Rutkiewicz caught 6 passes for 207 yards, and the big night led the senior to school record.
It was reported that Rutkiewicz either tied or broke the Hersey single-season record for receiving yards with a mark hovering at 1,087 yards for the year.
"He deserves it," said Hersey coach Joe Pardun of Rutkiewicz's record-setting night. "I can't say enough good things about him. He's worked his tail off for four years."
Hersey put up 2 first-quarter touchdowns, on a 33-yard catch by Rutkiewicz and a 33-yard run from Jordan Hansen.
The Huskies tallied 4 more TDs in the second quarter to put the game out of reach.
First Justice threw 27 yards to Vince Carso for a score; then Rutkiewicz ran 2 yards for another touchdown; and Hansen followed with a 33-yard TD catch.
Rutkiewicz closed out the half with the final score, a 74-yard bomb from Justice.
"I'm so glad I have the opportunity to play with this team," said Rutkiewicz. "They do everything for me and without them none of this (my success) would have happened. I'm so happy right now."
"This is a great program. The guys trust you and the coaches trust you -- we've got the best coaching staff in the world. No one's better than these coaches."
Wheeling played much better in the final 2 quarters, scoring on two Michael Best-to-Daniel Provost touchdown passes, from 26 and then 50 yards.
"At halftime," said Provost, "our coaches told us it didn't matter what the scoreboard said, they wanted to see us come out and fight for our seniors.
"We didn't give it our all in the first half, but in the second half we came out and showed we had something left in the tank."
On the defensive side for Hersey, Anthony Cardi had an interception while teammate Blake von der Lippe recorded a couple of quarterback sacks.
"We're looking to go deep in the postseason," said Rutkiewicz. "This team -- were obsessed -- we want to win so bad. We doing everything we can, and I can't wait for the playoffs. Bring 'em on."