By: John Nee'93
Sitting at 0-2 and trailing 30-23 heading into the fourth quarter Friday night at Doyle Stadium, things looked bleak for Todd Kuska's Mustangs, but touchdowns by senior quarterback Hayden Ekern (7-19, 108yds passing, 10 carries, 66yds 1TD rushing) and junior running Tahrhon Haynes (12 carries, 118yds, 1TD) turned the tide and allowed St. Rita to notch their first victory of the 2018 season defeating DeLaSalle 37-30.
The Mustang offense got off to its typical good start by taking their first drive deep into Meteor territory before two offensive penalties pushed them back forcing a field goal by all-state kicker Gavin Mottl and an early 3-0 St. Rita lead.
A quick Meteor turnover gave the ball right back to the Mustangs once again deep in DeLaSalle territory but once again the offense could not punch it into the end zone settling for another Mottl field goal and a 6-0 lead.
Behind the stellar play of senior quarterback Rob Simintel, DeLaSalle scored the next 17 points in the game forcing St. Rita to play from behind for the third consecutive week.
Sophomore Henry Wilson provided a huge lift returning a kickoff 99 yards to answer the Meteors and cut the deficit to 17-13 going into halftime.
At the half Kuska challenged his team with their season holding in the balance, and they responded on the opening drive of the half as senior running back Javon Venson (9 carries, 123yds, 1TD) took a handoff and sprinted 55 yards to give the Mustangs the lead once again 20-17.
DeLaSalle would answer right back on their next drive to regain the lead 23-20. Mottl's third field goal of the night would tie the score late in the third.
The sophomore team improved to (3-0) with a 49-0 victory over the Meteors. The freshmen team did not play because DeLaSalle has forfeited the rest of their freshmen schedule.
The Mustangs will battle Augustinian rival and undefeated Providence Catholic (3-0) on Friday night at 7:30pm as the St. Rita community celebrates its annual homecoming.