8/24 7:30 H
Week #7 vs. Park Ridge
Wolves Howl, Then Silent
Skokie (Basrak Field) - There was a full moon Friday night and the 30th ranked Wolves of Niles West were howlin' as they dashed off to a 14-6 lead with three minutes left in the games opening quarter over 4th ranked Park Ridge (Maine South).
Rashard Mendenhall (jr. 6' 193 HB/CB) would blaze 65 yards down the field on the third possession of the game to give Niles West a quick 7-0 lead.
Maine South would respond on a Sean Price (jr. 6'2 174 QB) pass to Lewis Borsellino (jr. 5'9 162 WR/CB) for a 37 yard TD. A missed extra point would leave them trailing by one.
Walter Mendenhall (sr. 6' 192 ZB/FS) would help cushion the Wolves lead, taking a 14 yard Mike Pantazis (sr. 6' 164 QB/FS) pass in for a TD, helping the Wolves dance out to that 14-6 lead over the favored Hawks.
Unfortunately the Hawks would have other plans as they would come screaming back starting with a 88 yard kick return by Borsellino for a TD. A two point conversion would tie up the game with 2:45 left in the first.
While it looked like a possible barn burner for both teams early on, Maine's defense put the breaks on the Mendenhall brothers, and the Wolves offense all together. Allowing only a 34 yard Ryan Verissimo (so. 5'11 161 K) field goal with 33 second left before the half.
Head coach David Inserra wasn't at all surprise that the Hawks started the running clock against the Wolves. "Going into the game that was our expectation. After the first quarter we were like 'maybe this isn't going to happen', but that was our expectation coming into this game."
Price threw a masterful game (17/33 326, 3 TDs 1 Int), he got enough support from his line and running backs to give him time to throw while keeping the defense on it's heals looking for the run.
Nick Rice (sr. 5'8 158 HB) would only rush six times, but that would be enough to net him 70 yards & 3 TDs. Helping keep the Wolves focused on more than just Price's passing attack.
As the Hawks huddles after their victory Inserra asked them "how many more games do we have?" His players gave a resounding answer of "seven!" One has a feeling that the state title, not a conference title is the only goal this team has this year.
For Niles, Rashard Mendenhall finished the game rushing for 158 yards on 14 carries with 1 TD & Jake Cusack would have two sacks on a defensive squad that got to Sean Price 4 times.
Albert DeCicco, would lead the Hawks in receiving with 5 receptions for 73 yards & a TD & sophomore Tyler Knight would connect on a 47 yard field goal.
by Vincent Johnson
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