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Rolling Meadows playoff eligible
By Bill Esbrook | Daily Herald Correspondent
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Published: 10/7/2011 1:28 AM

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There was no way Rolling Meadows junior quarterback Jack Milas wasn't going to have a great game Thursday night.

Not with the school principal in the stands wearing his number 11.

With the Mustangs administration sponsoring a "have your favorite teacher wear your jersey" night against visting Buffalo Grove at Robert A. Hoese Athletic Field, Milas surprised first-year principal Eileen Hart by choosing her to wear his.

Then the junior went out and threw for 158 yards and 3 touchdowns in a 41-21 Mid-Suburban East football victory.

The Mustangs' running game paid big dividends as well as senior Garrett Peterson rushed 13 times for 162 yards and 2 touchdowns and caught a 4-yard pass for another.

"Our line (Matt Long, Mark Schmid, Alexis Rojas, Nick Leidecker and Kevin Puleo) did a great job," said Milas, "and Garrett made some fantastic reads."

The Bison (1-6, 0-3) battled tooth and nail with Rolling Meadows for most of the contest despite being two starters down to injury and losing a third, running back Alex Fritz, on the second play of the game after a collision with an official.

Quarterback Richie Zirngibl led BG with 100 yards rushing on 20 carries while John Pallister ran 17 times for 92 yards.

"I can't say enough about how proud I am of these guys," said Bison coach Jim Farrell. "There's no quit in them and they fought their butts off tonight. They're warriors and as usual they gave a great effort."

The Mustangs (5-2, 2-1), who became playoff eligible, trailed 14-12 after a quarter but scored 16 unanswered points to take a commanding halftime lead. Peterson broke open the game with a third-quarter, 69-yard scamper up the middle when he outraced the Bison defense to the end zone.

Receiver Artie Checchin caught 26- and 14-yard scoring passes for Meadows. Peterson's other rushing score was from 14 yards and a 14-yard run by Ryan Gundersen accounted for the other Mustangs score.

Mike Catino (from 15 yards out), Pallister (9 yards) and quarterback Zirngibl (2 yards) scored rushing touchdowns for BG. The Mustangs defense, behind linebacker Myles Urban and defensive tackle Mario Lucchetto, survived three Bison trips to the red zone in the second half.

And, oh yes, about that jersey and the gutsy move by Milas to ask his principal to wear it.

"He assured me that it was washed and ready to go," joked Hart. "Seriously though, it (Jersey Night) was a great way to have our faculty connect to the team."

"It was also a great way to show the students and parents in the stands the connection that these athletes have with their teachers."