By Erin McGovern
Boosted with momentum from last Friday’s, Oct. 26, 35-14 win over Glenbrook North, the Knights are preparing for game two of the playoffs against 9-1 Wheaton North this Friday at home.
Despite a series of tough calls last week that kept the Knights from having the lead until early in the second half, Prospect was able to play one of the best games they’ve had all season, according to defensive coordinator Mike Kamedula, setting the standard for what Friday’s game will need to look like if the Knights are going to defeat the well rounded Falcons.
Wheaton has completed their regular season nearly undefeated, with only one loss to the other Dupage-Valley conference powerhouse, Glenbard North. Wheaton lost by a mere two points, ending the game 15-17 to record their only loss of the season.
“[The Falcons] are extremely athletic at all skill positions and have multiple players that can score on any play,” Kamedula said. “If we want to match those skills, we need to get better from a week ago and learn from what we weren’t able to execute against Glenbrook North.”
The Knights have put last Friday’s victory behind them and are entirely focused on getting everything possible out of the seven days between defeating the Spartans and taking on the Falcons, who are the best team they have seen so far this season.
According to head coach Mike Sebestyen, his team will need to play “mistake-free football” if the Knights are to hold off Wheaton’s versatile attacks. However, as much of a challenge as this will be, this is the kind of game that the players and coaching staff look forward to all season.
“Everybody is good, and there is pressure to play your best every week, as the competition gets better,” Sebestyen said. “This type of game is the type you want to be in, one that has so much riding on it.”
The Knights play at George Gattas Memorial Stadium at 7 p.m. on Nov. 2, giving them home-field advantage while they face their toughest opposition so far, which will hopefully ease the players’ nerves and help them to focus on their individual performances.
Defensive back coach Luke Miller believes the ability to play at home this week as well as the Knights recent winning streak will help them to bring their best game if they want to continue to advance.
“As you progress in the playoffs you want an increased level of focus and intensity,” Miller said. “[The players] need to keep their confidence and play more as a team.”
As for the Knights themselves, Friday’s game holds both a daunting challenge and an exciting opportunity to show what they can do.
“They’re a good team,” junior wide receiver Connor Knapp said. “Everyone has to play their best game in their individual spots, and if everyone plays well, then we should have a good chance.”
Senior running back and wide receiver Steve Isteefanos agrees that the game will be difficult, but has a positive outlook his teammates ability as well as his own to bring out the energy they will need to clinch a victory.
“It’s gonna be a tough game,” Isteefanos said, “but we definitely believe in ourselves and we should be able to come out with a win.”