Grayslake Central wins a thriller over Mundelein; Libertyville takes down Evanston

  • Libertyville's Tommy Latka led the Wildcats to a win at Evanston Friday night.

    Libertyville's Tommy Latka led the Wildcats to a win at Evanston Friday night. John Starks | Staff Photographer

 
By Mike Miazga
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 9/4/2021 5:42 PM

Fans attending Friday's Grayslake Central-Mundelein football game at Mundelein got their money's worth -- and then some.

Central won 34-33 on a late fourth quarter touchdown and subsequent 2-point conversion to improve to 2-0 on the young season.

 

"It was a whirlwind for sure," Rams coach Mike Maloney said. "It was a great high school football game with a great crowd and both sides making memories."

The Rams trailed Mundelein by a touchdown and were staring at a fourth-and-10 from their own 35 when Darryl Overstreet hit Kaiden Miller over the middle. The ball was initially tipped behind Miller, but back into his hands. Miller then took it 65 yards to bring Central within a point.

Instead of going for the tie with little time left, Maloney elected to go for the win and got it when Overstreet threw a bullet to senior tight end Kurt Heerdegen to put the Rams up a point.

Grayslake Central used a squib kick and astute tackling from Mickey Drevline and sophomore Matt Jens on the Mundelein lateraled return to seal the deal.

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"I was impressed with our resilience," Maloney said. "We showed leadership and poise under fire. We have 10 seniors on this team who are all seasoned veterans. When we were down by 7 with 40-ish seconds left in the game, I heard our left guard Matt Ziemke tell his teammates that we were going to score. These guys are gritty, believe in themselves and are hardworking."

Maloney noted Miller had close to 300 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns. His 97-yard receiving touchdown earlier in the game set a new program record for longest touchdown reception. The Rams had recovered a fumble on their own 3 and on the next play, Overstreet ran an RPO with a buck-sweep and slant on the back and found Miller who did the rest, splitting two defenders and outrunning the free safety. "Darryl had a nice read of the conflicted defender. He made the right decision," Maloney said. "We had athleticism on display all night. Darryl showed his leadership and his refusal to be denied."

Heerdegen finished with 2 touchdowns and Jeremiah Poyser added a rushing touchdown.

Overstreet also set the Central career record for passing touchdowns. He has 23 now.

"We are upping the standard and bar for Grayslake Central football," Maloney said. "This is a testament to the kids. Great players make good coaches. We challenged them. They set their jaws, ratcheted up their chin straps and got to work. We had a great crowd. We brought Ram Country to Mundelein. It was a fun night for the guys."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Central faces crosstown neighbor Grayslake North in Week 3 in the Northern Lake County opener for both squads.

Libertyville 35, Evanston 13:

The Wildcats got their season started a week late (Carmel game in Week 1 was canceled) and didn't miss a beat in this nonconference triumph in Evanston.

"Our team came out and played fast and physical," Libertyville coach Mike Jones said. "For our first game, they played very well. Defensively, we tackled well in space and ran to the football. Offensively, our offensive line was dominant and wore down Evanston's defense."

Running back Tommy Latka ran the ball 11 times for 174 yards and scored a pair of touchdowns (1 rushing, 1 receiving). Quarterback Connor Dickson had 2 rushing touchdowns for the Wildcats (2-0).

"Tommy Latka was the leader on offense," Jones said. "He ran with a purpose and carried the load in the running game."

On defense, Sam Pinsel dominated Evanston's offense with 4 quarterback sacks, 3 tackles and 2 assisted tackles.

"Sam Pinsel was a physical presence. He set the tempo for us defensively," Jones added.

Wauconda 20, Riverside-Brookfield 0:

Bulldogs coach Dave Mills was thrilled with his team's defensive effort in this nonconference road win at R-B. Wauconda has yet to allow a point this season.

"Our defense played lights out," he said. "They came up with game-changing plays."

Wauconda opened the game with a touchdown drive where Vincent Bennett connected with Colin Husko for a 44-yard score.

R-B responded by driving down to the 10-yard line, but Husko came up with a big interception in the end zone. "From that point on, our defense stopped Riverside," Mills said.

Husko came up with a second interception that helped set up an Austin Fink 37-yard field goal that put the Bulldogs up 10-0. A 20-yard field goal followed in the third quarter and a Collin Cheshire 9-yard touchdown run capped the scoring.

"I love how our defense is playing," Mills said.

Carmel 26, Lake Forest 14:

Corsairs quarterback Johnny Weber was 13 of 23 for 250 yards and 3 touchdowns in this nonconference win. Gabe Lynch ran 27 times for 164 yards and wideout Jon Buckley caught 7 passes for 184 yards and scored 3 touchdowns as Carmel evened its mark at 1-1.

Those strong offensive numbers were buoyed by an equally first-rate defensive effort, Corsairs coach Jason McKie noted.

"Our entire defense played fast and physical," he said. "We did a great job making some key stops and a big goal-line stand late in the game. It was a great team victory against a really good and well-coached Lake Forest team that was ranked No. 16 in the state. Our coaching staff did a great job preparing our players mentally and physically."

McKie would like to see Carmel reduce its penalties. "We have to do a better job of eliminating foolish penalties that cost us multiple opportunities to put more points in the board."

Chicago Taft 35, Grant 14:

Rylan Art scored both of the Bulldogs' touchdowns in the second half of this nonconference loss at Taft. Grant dropped to 0-2.

"Ryan stood out to us at quarterback for keeping our athletes focused on finishing out the game and continuing to fight until the end," Grant coach Chris Robinson said. "Taft is a solid program with size and depth. We have to continue focusing on what we are coached to do in order to be successful."

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