Football: St. Rita sacks Willowbrook 34-6
By Tony Baranek email@example.com November 1, 2013 10:36PM
St. Rita's Tommy Mister with the quarterback keeper against Willowbrook at St. Rita, Friday, November 1st, 2013, in Chicago. | Gary Middendorf/For Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 4, 2013 6:35AM
How to stop a quarterback who earlier in the year threw for 675 yards?
Sack the heck out of him.
Host St. Rita did that with aplomb Friday night, and left the rest to Tommy Mister in a 34-6 victory in a first-round Class 7A match-up Friday night.
Mister was the offensive star for the Mustangs (9-1), rushing 23 times for 110 yards and TDs of 3, 35 and 1 yards. He also completed three passes for 42 yards.
Willowbrook ended its season at 7-3.
St. Rita’s defense set the tone for the night when John Connolly and Joe Doyle combined for a sack on the first play from scrimmage.
Willowbrook quarterback Brian Johnson, who against Lyons put up 675 yards and 62 points, didn’t have a chance against the swarming Mustangs, who recorded six sacks in all — four by Connolly.
“We were just rushing from the outside-in,” Connolly said. “We missed him a couple of times, but we kept it going.
“We’ve got quick guys off the edge and nice interior guys. We’ve just got quicker guys on defense.”
Johnson was just 6-of-21 for 51 yards and one 6-yard TD to Hayden Adams.
The TD toss came after a St. Rita turnover, and put Willowbrook in front 6-0 with 7:54 left in the second period. St. Rita responded a 54-yard drive, the highlights a 24-yard run by Jovaughn Sparks and a 3-yard TD run by Mister after he fumbled the snap from center.
St. Rita led just 7-6 at the half, but things would drastically change in the third quarter.
Mustangs punter Nick Goldsmith was key early in the third period, pinning Willowbrook back on its own 7. Three plays later, Martin Bechina intercepted a Johnson pass at the 40, setting the table for a 23-yard field goal by John Kelly. Lamar Dawson later added a second interception to the defense’s highlight sheet.
St. Rita’s offense, meanwhile, kicked in for good on the next possession, Mister capping a 72-yard drive with an eye-opening 35-yard run in which he spun away from tacklers three times.
Kelly added a 27-yard field goal, Mister a 1-yard run and Matt Mitchell a 4-yard return on a punt block by David Landstrom as the Mustangs turned it into a rout.
“They came at us with some stuff (in the first half) we didn’t see on film and we just really weren’t ready for it,” Mister said. “The coaches did a great job at halftime getting us prepared for everything.
“We were just lost in the first quarter, but our defense kept us in the game all night. I mean, John Connolly, he’s a man out there. I don’t know why he’s not a Division I athlete, but kudos to our defense and our coaches.”