ST. CHARLES – All St. Charles East football coach Mike Fields could do Friday night was tip his cap to Neuqua Valley.
One week after the Saints earned an emotional win againt rival St. Charles North, East returned home and dropped a 34-0 Upstate Eight Conference crossover decision to the unbeaten Wildcats.
“I give (Neuqua) all the credit in the world,” Fields said. “They came in here and handed it to us. We certainly didn’t help our cause with the mental mistakes.”
Neuqua Valley set the tone early as senior Colin Mondi returned the opening kickoff back 90 yards. Neuqua struck again two minutes later when quarterback Dylan Andrew found Mikey Dudek for a 6-yard score, ending a 93-yard drive that was highlighted by an 87-yard run from Joey Rhattigan.
“The opening kickoff hurt us,” Fields said, “because we came in fired up and everything was in our favor. But the mental mistakes hurt us too much. We’ll look at the film tomorrow and find some positives out of this.”
Neuqua’s third touchdown, a 2-yard run from Rhattigan, was set up by a Saints mistake. East (2-2) had seemingly stopped Neuqua’s drive on its own 43-yard line, but the Saints fumbled the ball away on their own 19-yard line, setting up the final six plays of the drive.
“We just came out flat,” Saints quarterback Jimmy Mitchell said. “We felt we had nothing to lose, but we needed to come out with more fire.”
Neuqua added its final touchdown in the third quarter when an Eric Bonner interception set up a five-play, 30-yard drive ending on a 1-yard run from TJ Scruggs with 7:17 left.
“We needed to come out and have a few big drives and we didn’t,” Mitchell said. “We need to work on executing and finishing our plays. We made too many mistakes in this game, and it cost us.”
The Saints go from playing an unbeaten team to a winless one next Saturday when East visits Elgin.
“The sun will come up tomorrow and will see another week of practice to get ready for Elgin next week,” Fields said.
“We’ll try and fix this as best we can and hopefully have better results.”
Neuqua Valley 34, St. Charles East 0 Neuqua Valley 20 7 7 0 – 34 St. Charles East 0 0 0 0 – 0
HOW THEY SCORED
First quarter NV-Mondi 90 yard kickoff return (Mulhern kick), 11:46 NV-Rhattigan 2 yard run (kick failed), 8:59Second quarter NV-Rhattigan 82 yard run (Mulhern kick), 9:12Third quarter NV-Scruggs 1 yard run (Mulhern kick), 7:17
INDIVIDUAL STATISTICSRUSHING – Neuqua Valley: Rhattigan 15-115, Scruggs 8-27, Amedu 5-7, Andrew 3-2 Totals: 31-151 St. Charles East: Mitchell 7-18, Cameron 7-25, Hoscheit 4-7, Sciarrino 2-12, Loscascio 8-41, Dupuis 1-2, Kearbey 1-2 Totals: 30-107.PASSING – Neuqua Valley: Andrew 6-10-0-69. St. Charles East: Mitchell 15-23-1-115, Hoscheit 1-1-0-24, Nolan 0-1-0-0RECEIVING – Neuqua Valley: Dudek 3-9, Ervin 3-55, Hill 1-5. Totals: 7-69 St. Charles East: Evak 11-72, Speich 1-24, Griffin 1-2, Prescher 2-17 Totals: 15-115 TOTAL YARDS – Neuqua Valley 310, St. Charles East 246