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Mooseheart quarterback gains yardage in the Ramblers 35-0 homecoming victory over Kirkland Hiawatha. Hart also threw three touchdown passes in the contest.
Mooseheart back Sahr Mahoney (No. 32) runs behind the blocking of J.J. Odunsi during the Ramblers victory over Kirkland Hiawatha. Mahoney scored four touchdowns in the contest, which the Ramblers won 35-0.
Mooseheart defensive lineman Brandon Gadson tackles Kirkland Hiawatha ball carrier Dale Steinhorst. The Ramblers limited the Hawks to 1 net rushing yard in the contest.
MOOSEHEART, IL, Sept. 29 – Three very important things happened for Mooseheart's football game as the Ramblers rolled to a 35-0 homecoming victory over Kirkland Hiawatha on Saturday.
First, the Ramblers made themselves playoff eligible. In the IHSA way of determining at-large playoff bids, teams with six wins are guaranteed a place while those with five are taken if they have enough playoff points through the season.
At 5-1, Mooseheart has three weeks to gain the victory it needs to automatically qualify for the postseason. But as everyone who counts sequentially knows, you can't get to six without first getting to five.
“That's definitely a big goal, to become playoff eligible,” Mooseheart senior quarterback Jon Hart said. “But the next thing is to secure that playoff spot. We're going to try to do that next week against CICS.”
The second thing to happen on Saturday was that the Ramblers' defense recorded a shutout, its first of the season. In fact, the last shutout Mooseheart collected was one year and one day previous – Sept. 30, 2011 against Kirkland Hiawatha.
“It's nice when you keep the other team out of the end zone,” Mooseheart coach Gary Urwiler said. “We haven't done that all year. Our defense has been struggling a little bit and they came up with a really nice game today.”
Finally, the Ramblers proved that stopping Oumaru Abdulahi isn't nearly enough to shut down the Ramblers. The Hawks came into the game keying on Mooseheart's star back. So the Ramblers shifted the bulk of their offense to the shoulders of Sahr Mahoney. And Mahoney responded in style. He gained 92 rushing yards. scored four touchdowns, two on passes from Hart, one on a 47-yard run and another on a 48-yard punt return.
“I don't know what happened today,” Mahoney said. “It's a pretty hot day and we all stepped up. I don't know what happened, but it was a good day for us.”
Mahoney also took time from halftime discussions to put on the crown and sash that belong to the homecoming king. The team's punter, placekicker and one of its defensive backs – Mahoney was a very busy Rambler.
“Now what I'm looking forward to is the homecoming dance, because that's my relaxing time,” Mahoney said. “This game was pretty good and we played pretty hard.”
Hart was solid as well. The senior threw three touchdown passes. The one non-Mahoney-related TD was a 16-yard pass to Abdulahi.
“It was a fun day,” Hart said. “We got just enough time by the line. The receivers got open and they made the plays.”
Homecoming day at Mooseheart is unique to Illinois high schools. While there are alumni who return – some from as far away as California and there are plenty of activities for the current students, the day is always made special by visits from members of various Moose state associations. Contributions from those Moose members are what make Mooseheart possible.
“It was a nice warm day and we had all these people out here to come cheer us on and yell,” Hart said. “To play well for them, that's just that much better.”
The Ramblers jumped to a 21-0 lead in a dominant first quarter. In that quarter, despite running only 9 plays compared to Kirkland Hiawatha's 16, Mooseheart outgained the Hawks 118-3. Mahoney caught a 51-yard pass from Hart, ran in his rushing TD and also secured his scoring punt return in the quarter.
“We're a team that relies on big plays and we got big plays,” Urwiler said. “We knew we wanted to come out right away and put some points on the board and (Mahoney) played a big part of that today.”
After a mutually scoreless third quarter, the Ramblers added to their lead in the third quarter, thanks to Abdulahi's TD catch. Mahoney caught a 9-yard pass from Hart with 7 minutes to play to complete the scoring.
Mooseheart has a short week before it returns to action in a Thursday contest against CICS Longwood. The 7 p.m. Contest takes place at St. Rita High School's football stadium at 7740 S. Western Ave. in Chicago.
Kirkland Hiawatha 0 0 0 0 - 0
Mooseheart 21 0 7 7 - 35
MHT—Mahoney 51 pass from Hart (Mahoney kick)
MHT—Mahoney 47 run (Mahoney kick)
MHT—Mahoney 48 punt return (Mahoney kick)
MHT—Abdulahi 16 pass from Hart (Mahoney kick)
MHT—Mahoney 9 pass from Hart (Mahoney kick)
First downs 10 11
Rushes-yards 41-1 22-171
Passes 12-18-1 8-12-1
Passing yards 156 105
Total yards 157 276
Fumbles-lost 4-1 1-1
Punts-avg. 6-38.3 2-32.5
Penalties 6-55 4-35
Kirkland Hiawatha: Mercado 12-(-50), Steinhorst 12-27, Quimby 12-7, Letterer 2-22, Doolittle 2-1, Phelps 1-(-5.)
Mooseheart: Hart 1-2, Abdulahi 10-37. Feemorlu 1-19, Mahoney 7-92, Delk 1-(-4), Mator 1-21, Vogler 1-4.
Kirkland Hiawatha: Mercado 12-18-1 156.
Mooseheart: Hart 8-12-1 105.
Kirkland Hiawatha: Quimby 1-8, Letterer 4-101, Novotny 1-6, Ross 3-34, Phelps 2-7.
Mooseheart: Mahoney 2-65.