The annual Homecoming game took place on Oct. 17 with the Stevenson Patriots taking on the Mundelein Mustangs. With a 7-0 season for the Patriots and a 0-7 for the Mustangs, the game was predicted to be an easy win on the home turf, possibly another shutout like the previous victories over the Zion-Benton Zee-Bees on Oct. 10 and the Lake Zurich Bears on Oct. 2.
Since the start of the season, The Patriot offense has produced 32 touchdowns, of which 23 were on the ground. Paired with a defense that has produced 12 interceptions, it’s no wonder that the Patriots have maintained the 7-0 winning streak. Quarterback Willie Bourbon ’15 assisted in Stevenson’s recent records with seven rushing touchdowns. Both cornerback Kevin Pearson ’15 and wide receiver/safety Jeremy Webb ’15 have accumulated two interceptions each this season so far—a team record for Stevenson.
Despite the Patriot’s strength on both ends of the field, the Mustangs had some equally strong players on their side. The Mustang’s quarterback Colten Fisher was rumored to be good on his feet, but inconsistent in his passes. The Patriots were also advised to look out for Robert Hamilton, a powerful running back on the Mustangs.
During the first quarter, the Mustangs played the running game— rushing the ball up the field and making a substantial advance on the first drive. After two false starts by the Mustangs, the Patriots adjusted to strike back. Despite the Mustang’s attempt to confuse the Patriot defense, it was Fisher’s throwing accuracy that hurt the Mustangs in the first quarter. The Patriots defense forced the Mustangs to turn the ball over on downs. After a quick five yard advance, running back Jack Joseph ’15 was subbed out, appearing to have been limping off the field. Joseph returned shortly afterwards, when a completed pass allowed wide receiver Cameron Green to advance 20 yards. A brief loss of eight yards didn’t stop the Northwestern-bound Green. Instead, he advanced another 10 yards and got the Patriots to the 50 yard line. With 2:20 left on the clock, Bourbon passed the ball to Tyler Vincent ’16, allowing Vincent for the first touchdown of the game. Kicker Michael Gambino ’15 followed up with an extra point. Vincent proved to be a versatile player in the first quarter as his 35 yard pass to Green scored the second touchdown with two seconds left in the first quarter. A second extra point scored by Gambino allowed the Patriots to end the first quarter with a 14-0 lead on the Mustangs.
Within the first three minutes of the second quarter, the Patriots continued to lead the Mustangs as Green ran in his second touchdown of the game. Running 44 yards and dodging four tackles, Green brought the score up to 20-0. Gambino followed up with an extra point, bumping up the score to 21-0. The Mustang’s inability to stop the Patriot’s’ receivers was ultimately why the Mustangs couldn’t stop the Patriots from pointing points on the board. Halfway through the second quarter, the Patriots scored another touchdown. Gambino, once again, scored the extra point, getting the Patriots up to 28-0. The Patriots’ defense forced Fisher to pass the ball. Their tactics proved to be successful as Fisher made no completed passes out of seven attempts during the second quarter. Later on, with less than four minutes left, Joseph ran a two yard touchdown. Gambino did not disappoint during this game, getting another point for the Patriots and ending the second quarter with a 35-0 lead on the Mustangs. One more touchdown was attempted to Green—with less than 10 seconds left on the clock—but the pass to the end zone was overthrown.
The third quarter was met with attrition and a sudden comeback for the Mustangs. In his first completed pass of the game, Fisher threw to Jacob Buscher and got the Mustangs their only touchdown of the game. Fisher attempted to gain a two point conversion, but the pass was incomplete. Despite the Mustang’s defense’s unwillingness to give up, the third quarter ended with a Stevenson lead of 35-6.
In the first 20 seconds of the fourth quarter, running back Ben Hirschman displayed good cutting skills as a 65 yard push gained the last touchdown of the game. Weaving through the Mustang’s defense, Hirschman got the Patriots up to 41-6. Gambino’s final extra point pushed the final score to 42-6. Accepting defeat, the Mustangs walked off the field before the clock could hit zero. It was a victory on the home front.