By Jack Ankony, executive sports editor
The Prospect football team’s matchup with the Rolling Meadows Mustangs was full of ups and downs. On Sept. 28, the Mustangs scored on their second offensive play on a 48 yard touchdown run by Mick Szylak after the Knights went three and out on their first possession.
The slow start was erased by senior Anthony Burkardt who returned the ensuing kickoff 84 yards for a touchdown. Though the Knights ended up losing 42-24, this game produced plenty of excitement. Momentum was constantly shifting throughout an action packed third quarter.
With 7:15 in the third quarter and a 21-10 lead, the Mustangs were driving and looking to put Prospect away. Rolling Meadows’ junior quarterback Arek Kleniuk fumbled the snap which was scooped up by Prospect junior Michael Shafis and returned for a 70 yard touchdown.
Suddenly a game that Rolling Meadows seemed to have control of was up for grabs.
At the five minute mark of the third quarter, Prospect’s defense came up with a big stop to force a punt. The punt was drilled directly into the offensive line and recovered at the line of scrimmage by Prospect sophomore Adam Mekky.
Prospect head coach Mike Sebestyen reached into his bag of tricks for a play that would give the Knights a 24-21 lead and excite the Prospect faithful. Junior quarterback handed the ball of to Shafis on the right side who gave the ball to senior slot receiver Connor Heimdal on a reverse. Heimdal flipped the ball back to Martin who delivered a perfect pass in stride to sophomore receiver Matt Neal for a 51 yard touchdown.
Unable to keep the momentum on their side, the Knights defense allowed the Mustangs to drive 73 yards for a touchdown by senior Willis Goodwin to take a 28-24 Rolling Meadows lead.
Deep in their own territory, the Knights tried to take a shot down the field, but Martin was hit before he could throw it and fumbled the ball on the Prospect 15 yard line. The Mustangs immediately took advantage of their field possession and punched in a touchdown by Szylak within the first minute of the fourth quarter to take a 35-24 lead.
The Knights had a chance of coming back with five minutes remaining in the game, but an interception thrown by Martin in the end zone sealed the deal for Rolling Meadows. Kleniuk finished the game off by throwing a touchdown to Matt Tanny with 3:25 left in the game. Kleniuk finished the game with 262 yards passing and at one point completed nine passes in a row.
“We have to play better and we just didn’t tonight,” Sebestyen said. “I thought our defense played really well at times, but we just left them out there too long and eventually we got exposed.”
The Knights will travel to Wheeling next week to face the Wildcats will enter the game with a 1-5 record after losing to Hersey, 35-0 this week.