Rambler Offense Shines in Dominant Win Over Downers Grove South


M. Krein

Mike Regan carries the ball through the Mustang defense. He would find the endzone for the first Rambler score of the game.

Edward Nieman, Writer

The cool crisp air of autumn found its way to Hoerster Field with playoff football for the first time in 721 days. The Ramblers picked up right where they left off with a dominant win 44-0 over the Mustangs of Downers Grove South.

Both teams came into the day riding waves of success in their own right. The Ramblers entered the day as the top seed in the 8A Illinois class with an undefeated 9-0 record. On the other side the Mustangs pulled together to win their last five games of the season to give themselves a playoff berth.

The Ramblers took advantage of the early playoff jitters that the Mustangs may have been feeling as they scored on their first two drives of the game.

On the opening drive the Ramblers converted via a carry from Mike Regan that gave them the early 7-0 lead. On the following Mustang possession the Rambler defense came up big with a Quinn Nimesheim interception deep in Mustangs territory. The interception set up the Ramblers for another Regan rushing touchdown from just outside the endzone.

Despite the early 14-0 hole that the Mustangs faced, they put together a drive that spanned nearly 75 yards down the field. The Mustangs decided to go for it on 4th down and goal and came up empty handed as once again the Rambler defense pulled through with a big play; this time with a sack from the senior Graham McCabe to keep the Mustangs out of the endzone. That was the closest that the Mustangs would get as the Rambler defense pitched a shutout en route to the 44-0 win.

The Rambler run game proved to be the most impressive component to their dominance as they picked up 28 points via the ground. Regan ended the game with two touchdowns and Gibbs with two of his own. The Ramblers also found success in the air as junior quarterback Jake Stearney found the endzone twice.

Regan said after the game “It helps having other dudes who can step up and be there when I’m not ready. I think they all took advantage of their opportunity. They all have been given a chance and they stepped up and helped the team when me and Marco weren’t ready to go.”

As the Ramblers look ahead to next week to their next opponent Coach Holecek said “Offense and defense, we did what we had to do. Tighten down in the red zone for defense. On offense, we converted most of the time. We have a heck of a challenge next week [at Naperville Central]. It’s going to take a lot to beat Central at home.”

With the win over Downers Grove South, the Rambler will move on to the second round of the IHSA State playoffs. The Ramblers will travel to Naperville to take on the RedHawks of Naperville Central on the road. The Ramblers still remain atop the Sun Times Rankings with a perfect 10-0 record.