Back on December 1st, the Conant Cougars dropped a 45-31 decision to the Palatine Pirates in their first MSL West conference game of the season to sit at 2-3.
Since then, the squad has reeled off four consecutive wins with the latest one coming Friday night as the Cougars earned a tough road win over the Fremd Vikings, 48-41.
"I wasn't here last year, but I know these guys took some tough losses (to Fremd) and I know the guys who were back, were on a mission to win this game tonight," said Conant first-year head coach James Maley. "This is the best game we've played all season."
Seniors Ryan Davis (22 points) and Ben Schols (16 points) led the way for the visitors as the Cougars shot 56 percent as a team to improve to 6-3 and make the Palatine loss a distant memory.
"Against Palatine in the first conference game, I felt we had a lot of young guys coming in," said Davis. "But I felt especially at practice following...
It's been the Schaumburg Saxons' calling card all season long, and they exemplified that to a T Friday night on the road at Fremd.
Needing a victory to become playoff eligible, the Saxons slipped past the Vikings, 24-20, moving to 5-4 overall and 4-0 on the road.
"We see what we are capable of in a do-or-die moment with our backs against the wall," said Jordan Salgado. "Our practices were perfect this week and we talked on Thursday about having each other's backs, being gritty and being a family."
Salgado (23 carries, 137 yards, TD) set the tone early on the Saxons first possession of the contest. He carried the ball 7 times for 34 yards that set up quarterback Marcus Ross' 6-yard TD toss to quarterback-turned-receiver Deontae Arnold for a 7-0 lead at 6:56 of the first.
Schaumburg added to its lead with 46 seconds remaining in the period when Ross hooked up with Hezekiah Trotter from 17 yards out. The play put the visitors up 14-0, and it looked as if they...
Points were at a premium on Friday night when Fremd hosted Rolling Meadows in a Mid-Suburban League crossover game at Lorraine and Gill Memorial Stadium in Palatine.
Both defenses took center stage for the bulk of the evening, as Rolling Meadows gutted out a hard-earned 10-0 victory to move to 1-1 for the season. Fremd dropped to 0-2.
"Our defense played great," said Fremd head coach, Lou Sponsel. "They gave up three points the whole night…everyone came to play tonight."
Those three points came off a chip-shot, 20-yard field goal from Rolling Meadows kicker Yamil Roman with 4:29 left to play in the first quarter.
On Fremd's ensuing drive, the Vikings drove from their own 26 to the Mustang 9-yard line and were knocking on the door when a penalty and a pair of incompletions forced them to settle for a field goal attempt for the tie.
But even that proved to be tough sledding for Fremd, as kicker Matt Mottonen's attempt was blocked by a fierce Rolling Meadows rush...
Fremd has THE toughest non-conference schedule of any team in Illinois. With its first two matchups against the likes of Lake Zurich and Rolling Meadows, and a road test at Maine South - the defending 8A state champions - Coach Lou Sponsel’s physical bunch faces a daunting task to begin the year.
But that suits the Vikings just fine, as Sponsel welcomes the early challenge to “See what we’re made of right off the bat.”
The Vikes open up the season at home under the lights at Edwin and Lorraine Gill Memorial Stadium on Friday, Aug.25th, at 7:30p.m. against the Bears of Lake Zurich. Coach Sponsel's team will be hungry to avenge last season's heartbreaking, season-opening loss - a Hail Mary pass on the final play of regulation.
Points should be at a premium in this matchup of defensive heavyweights from a year ago. The Vikings allowed a mere 16.3 points per contest in 2016 while the Bears were even stingier, giving up only11.4 points per gam...