The St. Rita Flag Football team, which had its most successful season since 2006, fell in the State Semifinals to Lake Forest High School 34-0. The team, which had previously been undefeated, played their semifinal game at the Walter Payton Center in Lake Forest, home of the Chicago Bears.
Led by captains Dom Fosco and Jon Holubik, the Mustangs fell behind early after Lake Forest took their opening drive in for a touchdown, which featured an acrobatic touchdown catch on 4th and goal. After turning the ball over on downs on their next drive, the Mustangs quickly gave up another score on a long touchdown pass. Down 14-0 and playing from behind the whole way, the Mustangs were unable to break through the Lake Forest defense and eventually fell 34-0.
In the consolation game, the Mustangs took on Northtown, who fell to eventual champion Nequa Valley in their semifinal matchup. After their exhausting game against Lake Forest, the Mustangs fell behind early when the Northtown running back took a screen pass 80 yards for a touchdown. The following drive, a hook and ladder play on fourth down gave Northtown a 13-0 lead. After giving up another score, the Mustang offense finally woke up to score twice, but a final comeback fell short and the team would go on to lose 19-16.
The semifinal loss ended a remarkably successful season for the Mustangs. After advancing past Leo HS due to a forfeit, the Mustangs defeated Crane HS 26-18 and Ignatius HS 14-12 to earn a berth to the Championship Round. The team’s trip to the Walter Payton Center started with lunch at Halas Hall and a tour of the Bears’ facility, which included the fitness center, trainer’s office, and special teams meeting room.
The team, made up entirely of seniors, also defeated the faculty team 12-8 during Homecoming Week, becoming the first team in years to top the faculty.
Nequa Valley defeated Lake Forest 14-12 in the Championship Game.