MUNDELEIN – The postgame talk was pretty quick for Libertyville on Friday after a 43-19 victory at Mundelein.
The Wildcats got right into dedicating the victory to assistant coach Reed Christensen, who rose to the occasion by performing the Ickey Shuffle while the players cheered. Christensen, the youngest son of longtime Libertyville coach Dale Christensen, teaches at Mundelein and makes the short drive after school to help coach the Wildcats.
Last year, the Mustangs pulled off a 14-6 victory, their first in the series since 2009 and just the second win since 1986. So since Christensen probably heard more about that result than anyone, he got a postgame shoutout.
“They put me on the spot a little bit,” Christensen said. “There was a little good humor, some of the people were razzing me a little bit. But that wasn’t a big deal. It felt good for the kids, because they were pretty heartbroken after the game last year.”
Mundelein coach Vince DeFrancesco works with Christensen, so the football rivalry doesn’t actually run very deep.
“I love Reed, he’s a great guy, we get along really well,” DeFrancesco said with a laugh. “I’m sure he took (the loss) hard, but I would tell Reed in the last 20 years we’ve won once, so you can handle that. You can do your Ickey Shuffle after you win, but we deserve to have some happiness after we win on our homecoming.”
Both teams scored two first-half touchdowns but Libertyville led 16-12 after converting a pair of 2-point conversions.
Libertyville sophomore quarterback Quinn Schambow was red hot. He hit 10 of his first 11 passes and finished the night 15 of 18 through the air for 223 yards. The main recipient was 6-foot-3 senior receiver Kristian Gavric, who had 7 catches for 140 yards.
“Quinn’s really good, always focused at practice,” Gavric said. “You can always rely on him to make a good throw. My brother and him grew up playing sports since they were younger. So I always knew him. Over the summer we would meet up, throw, go over film and built a connection.”
Schambow had six completions on the opening possession, finishing with a 10-yard touchdown to Nate Kallas. The Wildcats turned to the run game next, with Caleb Grinter (10 carries, 89 yards) carrying it in from the 3 for the second TD.
Mundelein used more of a power game in the first half, with 6-2 running back Marcel Siepko (23 carries, 91 yards) running behind junior tackle Brandon Hansen. The Mustangs (3-4, 2-3) went to the air for their first touchdown, a leaping catch of a 10-yard pass by Emmanuel Willoughby.
Mundelein had a chance to change momentum at the start of the third quarter, but went three-and-out after the kickoff, then Libertyville scored in just three plays, with Schambow hitting Gavric for a 19-yard TD.
The Wildcats (4-3, 3-2) kept on scoring, with RB Charlie True adding a couple of TD runs, to put the game away.
“Second half was what we’re capable of doing,” Libertyville coach Mike Jones said. “I think it was important for us to have that. Couple weeks left, we want to make sure we get some momentum going.”