Written by: John Nee '93
Things did not go as planned for the Mustangs in their 2017 opener at Soldier Field. After giving up a quick scoring strike to a very potent St. Patrick offense and a turnover on special teams, St. Rita found themselves down 13-0 to the Shamrocks before the crowd had even settled into their seats.
A 66-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Jake Zylman (Nathan Hale - Crestwood/7-17, 204 yards 4 TDs, 11 carries, 116 yards) to senior receiver Mike McDevitt (Keller Regional Gifted Center) cut the deficit to 13-7 late in the first quarter, but the Shamrock offense continued its assault on the Mustang defense as they took a 33-14 lead into the halftime locker room.
In the second half, the Mustang offense came alive--scoring on four of five possessions to start the half. A 19-yard scoring strike from Zylman to senior tight end Tim Zaleski (St. Catherine/4 catches, 122 yards, 3 TDs) cut the 19-point halftime deficit to 11 after a successful two-point conversion run by sophomore Jake Stefanski (Troy Middle School). A one-yard touchdown run by senior running back Shaun Rule (Calvin Christian Academy/16 carries 104 yards, 1 TD) kept the Mustangs close.
After back-to-back Zylman to Zaleski TDs (27 yards and 66 yards), St. Rita trailed 47-44 with just over eight minutes to play, but a botched FG attempt and a three-out in their final two fourth-quarter possessions doomed the Mustangs as they dropped the opener 47-44 to St. Pats.
St. Rita (0-1) will open their 2017 home schedule this Friday night, September 2, as the Olympians of Rich Central High School (1-0) travel to Doyle Stadium for a non-conference affair. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30pm.