Rolling Meadows defense has stood tall all season

Updated 10/24/2019 10:24 PM

The best defense in the Mid-Suburban League East, the Rolling Meadows defense, is the pride of Scott Otahal.

The Rolling Meadows defensive coordinator was a defensive player at Rolling Meadows himself, a standout linebacker in the late 1980s.


He's been the defensive coordinator at Rolling Meadows since 2011 and this year's version of his defense might be one of the Mustangs' best ever.

Rolling Meadows is allowing just 13 points per game but has rolled up nearly 30 sacks and is allowing fewer than 100 rushing yards a game.

On Friday, the Mustangs will be faced with the unique challenge of trying to slow down the high-flying, high scoring Hersey offense in the tilt of the year in the Northwest suburbs.

Hersey is averaging nearly 50 points per game.

Both Rolling Meadows and Hersey come into the game undefeated with perfect 8-0 records.

"Scott has done a great job for us," Rolling Meadows coach Matt Mishler said. "He gets our guys in a great position to make plays and it's all 11 for us defensively.

"We do a great job of really getting after the quarterback. That's where it starts with us. That goes hand in hand with stopping the run. Scott understands that to stop the run you have to have a successful blitzing defense."

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The Mustang defense is led by Nate Pedraza and Jose Aleman. Pedraza is a Ball State commit.

"Those two guys are the engine and they make the whole thing go," Mishler said. "They are hard to block and they go 100 miles per hour. They are tough and physical and they never give up. But we can't be good with just two guys up front. It's every single guy and our defensive coordinator is the best in the business at getting them all to play together."

Dialed in: The No. 1 order of business for the Rolling Meadows defense Friday night in Arlington Heights will be to slow Hersey star quarterback Jordan Hansen.

Hansen is among the top rushers in passers in the area and recently committed to Northern Illinois.

Getting that big decision off his plate has made Hansen even more laser focus on Hersey football.

"Jordan is a very cool customer to begin with," Hersey coach Joe Pardun said. "He handled his business well (during recruiting), but I'm sure like anyone, it helps to have that college decision off his plate.

"I've had many conversations with Jordan and he's always been concerned about putting us first. He buys into it and it works for him and his success has been our success this year."

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