Maine West rallies to spoil Mundelein's upset bid
Mundelein was well on its way to pulling off a surprising upset against Maine West on Friday. But the game took a decisive turn when Warriors linebacker Isaiah Siem-Davis went mining for gold in the end zone.
Trailing 13-7 with time winding down in the third quarter, Maine West's Eduardo Cisneros blocked a punt and sent the ball rolling backward into the end zone. At first, it appeared Mundelein punter Alex Wing recovered the ball for a safety. But when officials dug through the pile, Siem-Davis had possession of the ball for what turned out to be the go-ahead touchdown in the Warriors' 27-13 nonconference victory.
"Basically what I did was I saw the ball on the ground, I saw the Mundelein dude grabbed it. I took it from him, simple as that," Siem-Davis said. "It wasn't really a wrestling match. I just got it. Easy money."
Host Mundelein was playing its first game under new head coach Vince DeFrancesco and unveiled a new run-oriented, double wing offensive attack. The Mustangs moved the ball and controlled the clock for a large part of this contest and led 13-0 in the second quarter.
"I thought we let one get away," DeFrancesco said. "I thought our kids came out, they fought hard. There's no moral victories. We're not happy with the outcome. We expected to win tonight. We thought we were the better football team tonight and we made some mistakes in the second half."
Maine West was sloppy at the start. After a three-and-out on their first drive, the Warriors didn't line up in a traditional punt formation and the kicker was swarmed by several Mustangs as he tried to boot it.
The blocked punt set up Mundelein at the Maine West 27-yard line. After two runs netted no gain, quarterback Isaac Wellman rolled to his right, sold the run and fired a pass to a wide-open Syam Atade-Nauguit for the first touchdown of the season.
After the kickoff, Maine West put together a 16-play drive and reached a first-and-goal at the 8-yard line. But the Mustangs forced four straight incomplete passes to keep the Warriors scoreless.
After Mundelein picked up a pair of first downs, Edder Rebollar-Velazquez recovered a muffed punt return to set up the Mustangs near midfield. From there, Mundelein used 8 runs to cover 48 yards, with Patrick Shawn taking it in from 8 yards out, to give the home team a surprising 13-0 lead.
Maine West responded with another long drive and this time on fourth-and-goal, senior quarterback Danny Kentgen hit David Jackson for a 3-yard touchdown to make it 13-7 with 1:48 left in the first half.
After completing just 9 of 22 passes in the first half, Kentgen caught fire. He hit 9 of 11 passes after halftime for 153 yards and 2 touchdowns. The backbreaker was a two-play 80-yard drive, which consisted of two completions to senior Jaden Dolphin. The first went for 44 yards over the middle. After a Mundelein offside penalty, Kentgen dumped a short pass across the field. Dolphin juggled the ball and the Mustangs coaches argued that it hit the ground. But Dolphin appeared to gain control just in time and ran for a 31-yard touchdown to make it 20-13 with less than a minute left in the third quarter.
"First half wasn't our half, but we had to get the boys riled up," Siem-Davis said. "I told them, 'Second half is our half.' We got the job done."
Maine West finished the scoring with a 13-yard TD pass to senior Jacob Riedl in the fourth quarter. Mundelein's rushing attack was led by juniors Rudy Orsornio (9 carries, 46 yards) and Joey Foreman (7 carries, 45 yards).
"I was disappointed by how we responded to adversity," DeFrancesco said. "We got better, but I think we could get even better. I think we could be a very dangerous football team this year."