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It only took a handful of seconds for the victory bell to ring after Saturday’s homecoming football game at Mooseheart.
The Ramblers survived a second half surge by visiting South Beloit, emerged with a 42-28 victory, earned their first on-field win of the season and were ready to celebrate. Hearing that bell ringing as they shook hands with the Sobos and celebrated amongst themselves was literal music to Ramblers’ ears.
“It’s a great feeling to hear that victory bell,” Mooseheart senior quarterback Michael Lowe said. “It’s great to see my teammates smiling as they walk to the locker room. It’ll help us enjoy our homecoming dance tonight too.”
Mooseheart discovered its passing offense on Saturday. Lowe found receivers free all over the field. He threw four touchdown passes, two to Alfonso Bailey, as the Ramblers moved freely at times against South Beloit.
“My receivers were making some great plays,” Lowe said. “I’d make a 3-yard pass and they’d go the rest of the way and score. I had to trust my receivers, that’s all I had to do.”
The Ramblers are 2-5, having previously won one game by forfeit. Saturday’s victory created a completely different feeling with the team.
“It’s my last homecoming and this is always the biggest crowd we have. I’m glad we took the ‘W’ and it’s hard to describe how I feel right now,” Lowe said.
The Ramblers took a 14-0 lead in the first quarter and never trailed. Latif Adeboyejo opened the scoring when he and Lowe hooked up for a 25-yard touchdown play. Oliver Wah and Lowe connected for a 24-yard TD play later in the quarter. South Beloit closed the gap in the second quarter, but the Ramblers still led 22-13 at halftime.
Lowe and Bailey hooked up for a 64-yard pass early in the third quarter to give the hosts a commanding 29-13 edge, but the Sobos chipped at that lead throughout the second half, eventually trimming the margin to 29-28.
“(Lowe) trusted us as his receivers and we trusted him as our quarterback and that helped us be successful,” Bailey said.
The Ramblers took the ball and pushed their lead to 34-28 when Bailey and Lowe connected for a 16-yard TD reception. South Beloit rallied and drove deep into Mooseheart territory. The Ramblers finally stopped the Sobos on fourth down, with the tackle coming inside the 1-yard line with only 2:06 left. The Ramblers sealed the victory on an 84-yard run by Javion Hall.
“When we played South Beloit two years ago, we were up in the first half and they came back to win. We were motivated to hold on and win,” Bailey said.
Mooseheart visits Walther Christian on Friday before closing the season with an Oct. 19 home game against River Valley. Both games start at 7 p.m.
“This was a good hard-fought game,” Mooseheart coach Jake Pekofske said. “We had a lot of adversity this week and we overcame it. For us to come out and have a good performance today was satisfying, to say the least.”