Hersey pulls away from Rolling Meadows in 2nd half
Let's not call Friday night's battle between Rolling Meadows and Hersey so much a football game.
Let us better yet call it as more a boxing match that paired two 1-0 MSL East teams seeking a key edge in divisional play that could get them to a 2-0 mark. They used the playing surface of the Huskies home turf at Roland Goins Stadium as more of a squared circle as it left an impression that it would be who could be the last one standing that would emerge victorious.
After throwing a successful combination of a pair of roundhouses and an uppercut it was the hosts who hoisted their hands in victory 35-14 which left them 6-0 on the season and 2-0 in the East.
"The biggest thing for us was that for us was that we knew it was going to be a tough game, they're a good team," Hersey two-way standout Chuck Meister said. "(They were) 4-1 coming in. After a big win at Prospect (last week), everyone's saying (that) you got to beat them, you got to beat them. We showed why we're one of the best teams in the state. We (feel like) we can play (with) anybody."
What lent Meister and his teammates to that feeling was how it responded to the Mustangs' challenge that had seen them rally from their second deficit of half number one to even things up at 14 at the break when Evan Grace (32 of 45 passing for 250 yards) found Jimmy Cox from a yard out 5 seconds before halftime.
Hersey got things going to open the second half thanks to a 30-yard kickoff return from Carson Grove that put the home team on the Meadows 48.
Then, three plays later, Meister (12 carries, 95 yards) made it pay dividends when he rumbled 35 yards for what would be the go-ahead score at 21-14 just 84 ticks into the second half.
It was on the ensuing kickoff that was moved near midfield due to a 15-yard personal foul flag on Meadows that the game's turning point took place. Carson Koclanis' squib kick died at the Mustangs 4 and the Huskies pounced on the ball to retake possession.
Meister then took advantage as he took it to pay dirt on the next snap expanding the Huskies' advantage to 28-14 fourteen seconds later.
He added a third TD jaunt from 8 yards out on Hersey's next possession that settled matters.
The Huskies, who clinched a playoff berth with the win, now head on the road for the next two weeks of divisional play at Wheeling and Elk Grove prior to its regular season home finale vs. archrival Buffalo Grove. According to their first-year mentor Tom Nelson, that will be tough sledding, no pun intended.
"We knew it was going to be a challenge especially coming off the win at Prospect (last week) and I'm proud of the way our guys finished and played some good football in the second half," Nelson said.
"The MSL East is really strong right now and we expect every Friday night to be a brawl."