Meadows dumps Deerfield in two OTs
Rolling Meadows safety David Zieba had 3 interceptions in regulation time Friday night against visiting Deerfield, but it turned out to be just a prelude to what was still to come.
The senior saved his best for the final play of the game.
With the Mustangs clinging to a one-score lead in the second overtime, Zieba batted down a potential Warriors game-tying pass in the end zone on fourth down to secure a Meadows 31-24 win.
"This was a tough game," said Zieba, who never before had recorded 3 picks in a single contest. "Double overtime, and just great play on both sides of the ball."
"Deerfield just played awesome tonight," said Meadows coach Matt Mishler.
Deerfield struck on the first play of the game, scoring a TD on a 79-yard pass play down the sideline, but a 22-yard field goal by Mustangs senior Danny Fallon narrowed the gap to 7-3. Meadows took the lead in the second quarter when Nife Oseni caught a 28-yard scoring strike from quarterback Carson Schiller, but a field goal from the Warriors knotted the game at 10-10 at halftime.
"We came back, we battled back," said Meadows running back Chris Divito.
Deerfield led 17-10 heading into the final period, but the Mustangs rallied to tie the game late in the period on a fourth down, 1-yard plunge from Divito.
The Warriors got the ball first in OT and scored, but Meadows tied it at 24-all on a Schiller pass to Daniel Sobkowicz.
Then the Mustangs used a little trickery in the second OT. Schiller pitched the ball to Jordan Wiles, who connected on a 6-yard pass to Sobkowicz to put the home team up by a TD.
Then the Meadows defense, led by lineman Nate Pedraza, forced Deerfield into a fourth-and-9 where Zieba made his game-saving defensive play.
"I saw them (Deerfield) doing a flag route," said Zieba of the final pass. "I jumped up, deflected the ball down and that was the end of the game."
Divito finished with 75 hard-fought yards on the ground for Meadows, while teammate Charlie Schmidt had 53 yards rushing, all coming in the fourth quarter.
Mishler said it was his first overtime game as a head coach, but added that he would have "rather had it not go that far."
"I'm so proud of our guys tonight," said the coach. "There were a lot of moments in this game where they could have just given up and thought it's never going to happen, but they hung with it and kept doing what we asked. They got it done."