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CHICAGO, IL Oct. 12 – Backed by one of its strongest defensive performances of the season, Mooseheart improved to 7-1 for the season with a 28-0 win at Chicago Hope Academy on Friday night.
“We played really well defensively tonight,” Mooseheart coach Gary Urwiler said. “Our hitting was intense. We had a ton of tackles for loss.”
This season, the Ramblers have struggled at times to stop the opposition. That was not the case against Hope (3-5.)
“We went back to some of the basics this week and I am really happy with how some of the guys collectively worked to achieve their goals,” Urwiler said. “They worked at it individually and it helped us as a team reach our goals.”
Urwiler chose outside linebackers John Ranum and Brandon Delk as players who performed well against the Eagles, who fell from playoff contention with the defeat.
“Our pursuit to the ball was fast and it was right-on.” Urwiler said. “Our defensive line did a nice job of penetrating. All in all, collectively, I think our defense played really well.”
The Ramblers got all the offense they needed when Peter Mator ran back the opening kickoff 75 yards for a touchdown. Sahr Mahoney scored a pair of touchdowns, one on a 56-yard run and the other on a 35-yard punt return.
Those touchdowns gave the Ramblers a 21-0 halftime lead. The only points of the second half came on a 10-yard pass from quarterback Jon Hart to Chris Villaruel in the third quarter.
“Offensively, we sputtered,” Urwiler said. “We fumbled the ball four or five times. We didn't lose them all, but those are drive killers. We had the ball in the red zone four or five times and didn't score. The game was pretty lopsided, but we didn't score.”
Mooseheart concludes its regular season with a home game next Friday with North Shore Country Day, which was 6-1 entering Friday's contest with winless CICS Longwood.
“We're extremely happy to be where we are,” Urwiler said. “What a nice ride the last two years have been. We're 16-1 in the regular season. You've got to embrace those opportunities because they don't come around that often.”
A year ago, Mooseheart and North Shore Country Day entered the final game of the regular season 8-0. This year, each team is likely to be 7-1, playing for second place in the Northeastern Athletic Conference and a probable home game in the playoffs.
“It's setting up to be rather interesting,” Urwiler said. “There's a good healthy rivalry between us and North Shore. We've been playing them for years, probably 30 years. This is what it's all about. It's great to play a team of that magnitude before the playoffs. If you can't get up for a game like that, I don't know when you will get up for a game.”
Mooseheart 7 14 7 0 0 28
Hope Academy 0 0 0 0 0 0
MH—Mator 75 kickoff return (Mahoney kick)
MH—Mahoney 56 run (Mahoney kick)
MH—Mahoney 35 punt return (Mahoney kick)
MH—Villaruel 10 pass from Hart (Mahoney kick)