When the pre-season prognosticators looked at the 2017 St. Rita Mustangs, the belief was that if Head Coach Todd Kuska was able to eke out even one win in the rugged Chicago Catholic League Blue Conference, he should be considered for coach of the year.
The Mustangs proved many naysayers wrong on the way to a (9-3) record, a 2nd place finish in the Blue, and a berth in the Class 7A quarterfinal round.
On Saturday at Doyle Stadium the Mustangs ran into a buzz saw losing to perennial 7A power and undefeated Lake Zurich 49-17 bringing to a close a very unexpected great season.
The game started great for the home team on Saturday as the defense produced a 3-and-out to start the game, and the Mustangs offense took advantage driving deep into Bears territory before settling for a 25-yard Gavin Mottl field goal and an early 3-0 lead.
After that it was all Lake Zurich as the Bears scored the next 35 points en route to a commanding 35-10 halftime lead that proved to be too much to overcome for the Mustangs.
Losing senior quarterback Jake Zylman in a week 8 game at Brother Rice to a foot injury finally caught up with St. Rita. Zylman, who was awarded the CCL Blue offensive MVP for his stellar season, was lost to a foot injury late in the game at Brother Rice. The Mustangs were able to rally around junior quarterback Hayden Ekern (8-20, 131yds) posting three consecutive wins before finally losing Saturday night.