Rolling Meadows' incredible comeback beats Hersey
Rolling Meadows has produced a number of quarterbacks that have won huge games for the Mustangs. Add Carson Schiller to that list.
Schiller threw a 27-yard touchdown pass to Daniel Sobkowicz with 21.8 seconds to play as the Mustangs stunned Hersey 38-35 before nearly 4,000 screaming fans Friday in Arlington Heights.
The win gave Rolling Meadows (9-0, 5-0) the Mid-Suburban East title for the second consecutive year with both of those coming in wins over Hersey (8-1, 4-1).
"The amount of times we were down tonight and could have given up to a great football team and conceded defeat," Rolling Meadows coach Matt Mishler said. "It just speaks absolute volumes of their makeup."
Schiller came into the game completely overshadowed by Hersey quarterback Jordan Hansen and rightfully so. Especially when Hansen drove the Huskies down the field to take the lead on his fourth touchdown, a 15-yard run, to give Hersey a 35-31 lead with 1:40 to play.
After Sobkowicz gave Meadows life with a return to Mustang 45, Schiller got started. He completed a pair of passes to Sobkowicz and another to Oseini Nife. Schiller then threw a sideline pass to Sobkowicz, who made a sweet back shoulder catch between a pair of Hersey defenders who then both fell down as Sobkowicz tiptoed his way down the sideline for the score.
"I just knew if he could get the ball to me," said Sobkowicz, who had 9 catches for 126 yards. "That is just how we were playing. We were locked in the whole game. I just adjusted to it. It was a great ball. I thought I was going to get out of bounds but they both missed, so I thought why not."
Schiller, who was 22-of-34 for 313 yards, 3 touchdowns and a conversion pass, looked locked in all night.
"We played with a chip on our shoulder," Schiller said. "It has been an incredible ride. I learned from the best quarterbacks ever. I learned from Asher (O'Hara) and Arek (Kleniuk) and I watch (Jimmy) Garappolo play."
Schiller also watched as Hersey jumped out to a 14-0 lead and looked in complete control. The Huskies opened the game with an 87-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Ben Clawson and then had a 90-yard touchdown run from Hansen.
Meadows, which had trouble running the ball early, had Charlie Schmidt bust off a 25-yard touchdown run to close to 14-7.
Hansen and Hersey answered right back just two plays later. Hansen had a 53-yard scamper to put the Huskies up 21-7.
Meadows was able to stay close, scoring on a 1-yard run with 2:49 left in the half to make it 21-14. it stayed that way when Hersey missed a field goal just before the half.
After a 35-yard field goal by Meadows' Danny Fallon to make it 21-17, the intensity really picked up. Hansen scored his third touchdown of the game and the Huskies now led 28-17.
Meadows responded with a pair of touchdown passes from Schiller. The first came on an 18-yard toss to Jimmy Golaris near the end of the third quarter.
The next came on a fourth down play when the Mustangs opted not to punt thanks to some heavy lobbying by Schiller. He proved his oratory skills are also special when he hit Oseni on a 46-yard post pattern for a touchdown and the throw to Sobkowicz for a 2-point conversion and a 31-28 lead with 4:28 to play.
Hansen, who would finish with 253 yards on 30 carries, put the Huskies back on top but they just couldn't hold on.
"That was a great game," Hersey coach Joe Pardun said. "Everyone was telling me on the way out. It hasn't caught up with me in my mind. We know what we learned tonight."