Student fans from Prairie Ridge knocked around a pair of beach balls in a set of bleachers throughout Friday night’s football game at Mundelein.
One got away at halftime.
It bounced a few times on a surface other than sand before resting near a Wolves bench.
“Thanks,” Prairie Ridge senior Bij Heydari, a super fan clad in perfect-for-Hawaii garb, said to a stranger after the ball was retrieved.
“Am I in trouble?”
He later explained Friday night was “Fun in the Sun” night for the Wolves’ faithful.
PR’s football team, meanwhile, had a blast under the moonlight, rolling to 65-7 win over Mundelein after building a 51-0 halftime lead. The reigning Class 6A state champs outgained the Mustangs 369-47 in total yards after two quarters.
Mundelein first-year coach George Kaider asked PR coach Chris Schremp to address the Mustangs after the game.
For five minutes in front of a rapt, kneeling audience, Schremp was sunny, super positive.
“Sometimes it helps for players to hear from the opposing coach,” said Schremp. “Mundelein right now is where our school was when we started. Mundelein, I know, isn’t a new school. But the school’s coaches are building a football program and they’re doing it the right way.
“Mundelein’s players never quit tonight,” he added. “They worked hard out there. And they’ve got some talent.”
PR (2-0) had too much talent for the hosts in Mundelein’s home opener. Wolves senior running back Kingsley Ebirim was royally good, amassing 120 yard rushing on 13 carries and rushing for 2 touchdowns in the first half. Junior back Steven Ladd carried eight times for 118 and sprinted for 3 first-half TDs.
The pair combined for 0 carries in the second half.
Mundelein (0-2) got on the board in the fourth quarter when running back Emanuel Jones ran for an 8-yard TD, one play after Mustangs freshman quarterback Gavin Graves hit junior wideout Chance Lindsey for a 33-yard connection on a fourth-and-10.
“We’re all educators, not just coaches,” Kaider said, responding to why he had asked Schremp to speak to Mundelein’s players afterward. “There’s a bigger purpose behind this than a football game. Football, in a way, is irrelevant; these kids are going through a process, gaining self-confidence, playing without fear.
“Life skills are being developed on the field,” he added.
Graves finished 8-of-22 for 87 yards and was intercepted once. Lindsey came down with four catches for 64 yards, and Mundelein’s Josh Aranda, who served as QB for a series in the first quarter, rushed 10 times for 38 yards.Copyright © 2013 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.