Highlights: St. Rita 31, Loyola 19

Highlights: St. Rita 31, Loyola 19
October 25, 2013, 11:30 pm
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CSN Staff

During the week, the top-ranked Ramblers team said that home field advantage would not be a factor as they prepared to travel into the city to play St. Rita. However, Tommy Mister proved them wrong, opening the game with touchdown rushes of 49 and 60 yards.

Down 14-0, Jack Penn overcame dropped passes and led the Ramblers offense down the field, capping the drive with an 8-yard touchdown pass to tight end, Joe Dixon.

After a pair of defensive stops and punts, Mister drove 85 yards down the field. Briefly stalled on a fourth-down play, he then evaded would-be tacklers, extended a play and completed a 27-yard pass to Jack Ladd to convert the fourth down. That set up the Mustangs offense for Mister to plunge his way into the end zone for the third time in just over one quarter of play. No other team had scored over 20 points on the Ramblers all season. Mister accomplished that before halftime.

Desperate to regain ground, Loyola attempted a fake punt on the ensuing possession. The trick play failed, and St. Rita took over at the Ramblers 29-yard line. The gutsy play call could've been a momentum-shifter. Instead, it set up St. Rita with a short field with less than two minutes in the half. The Mustangs capitalized on the failed play, adding a field goal to their lead. They went into halftime with a 24-7 lead.

After halftime, Penn connected with Fran O'Malley on a 73-yard touchdown pass, but a failed extra point attempt left the score at 24-13. Not much time would pass before Mister found the end zone once more. His fourth rushing touchdown of the evening was a four-yard scamper.

Ryan Price forced a Ramblers fumble on the following possession, giving the Mustangs yet another short field with under eight minutes remaining in the third quarter. The Mustangs wouldn't score on this turnover, but the fumble did chew up a significant amount of game clock.

Penn drove the Ramblers 92 yards in 12 plays and found Joe Joyce wide open in the end zone, but they couldn't connect on a two-point conversion. Instead of closing the gap to a 10-point deficit, they trailed, 31-19, with three minutes remaining in the third frame.

Mustang Martin Bechina intercepted Penn late in the game to seal the win for St. Rita.

Contributed by Mark Maxwell