8/24 7:30 H
Week #9 vs.Chicago (St. Rita)
St. Rita Does it Again
But for the second straight year, the Crusaders were denied an outright title.
Wade Weyer's 10-yard touchdown run in overtime capped off 24 unanswered points as the Mustangs roared back from a 17-0 deficit to defeat the host Crusaders 24-17 and set off a wild celebration on the visitor's sidelines.
The win stopped a 15-game regular season home winning streak by the Crusaders which dates back to the final home date of 2001. It also prevented the Crusaders from finishing the regular season undefeated and also from clinching the outright CCL Blue Division Title.
Weyer finished with 22 carries for 209 yards and all three St. Rita touchdowns to finish with 1,633 yards on the season and over 4,000 for his illustrious career. The Crusaders were paced by Scott Linn's 159 yards on 17 carries.
The Crusader defense stood tall in the first half as Joe Gibson's interception of a Mike Kafka pass resulted in a 35-yard return for a touchdown and a 17-0 Crusader lead. However, that is where St. Rita made a small discovery. With a spread of four wide receivers and only one running back, the Mustangs were able to get some running yards with a draw play. They used this formation and information to net a 55-yard field goal and cut the lead to 17-3 at halftime.
Then the Mustangs took over. After a blocked punt, Wade Weyer rolled in from 18 yards out to cut the lead to 17-10. You can feel the momentum starting to shift as the Mustangs took a long drive into the fourth period.
The Crusader defense stood up again as they forced a Weyer fumble on the 1-yard line and recovered, igniting the overflow crowd at Gary Little Stadium. After an exchange of punts, the Crusaders launched a last-gasp division title drive. Taking a page from the Mustang book, the Crusaders went to the hurry-up offense and raced the clock which had dipped under two minutes. A 15-yard completion from quarterback Brennan O'Boyle to tight end Erik Faust got the Crusaders into Mustang territory. Three plays later, Joe Duffy came on to attempt a 41-yard field goal with 30 seconds remaining.
The kick sailed wide left. Setting up the overtime session and Weyer's heroics.
With the IHSA state playoffs looming, expect coach Steve Nye to make some adjustments and the defending Blue Division Co-Champions will be ready for a deep run toward Thanksgiving weekend in Class 8A.
By - Brian Snow
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