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Quarterback Tommy McAuliffe gives his Pioneers teammates the next play during their 19-6 win over Frankfort Square.


Pee Wee B squad turns things
around against Frankfort Square

Pioneers tasted the bitter, so 19-6 win is all the more sweet


Story and photos by Ed Muniz


CHICAGO -- Losing streaks make a sports season difficult, not only for the fans but even more so for the athletes. From a fan's viewpoint, you have no control over the outcome; from a player's standpoint, you have a huge impact on the results.
The PeeWee B Pioneers were determined not to venture into the realm of what losing streaks are all about when they faced off against the Wildcats of Frankfort Square Square on Saturday at Marist High School.
In their previous game, the Pioneers were left with a sour taste in their mouths when they fell to Dolton 14-6, so losing again would be especially bitter. After falling behind 6-0 early, the Pioneers rallied and ran off 19-straight points to triumph 19-6.
Initially, Frankfort Square took it to the Pioneers, using their running attack to control the entire first quarter. Little by little, the Wildcats marched downfield during their opening 15-play scoring drive.
The Pioneers weren’t giving up big yardage but still weren’t able to get a stop. The Wildcats finally jumped ahead on the first play of the second quarter from a yard out to lead 6-0 after a failed extra point.
Jimmy Rolder led the Pioneers with three solo tackles during that Wildcats drive. Nicholas Edelen and Ben Schieber each chipped in a pair of tackles, while Ryan McPolin, Bart Dziadkowiec and Julian Loeza each tallied a solo stop.
It didn’t take Orland Park very long to add their first score. In just five plays, highlighted by a 33-yard touchdown burst from Michael Ulleweit, the offense hit paydirt. After adding the extra point, the Pioneers led 7-6.
Michael Ulleweit can't believe he didn't get into the end zone after his in the Pioneers 19-6 win over Frankfort Sqaure.
The Pioneers now let their defense do their talking to close out the first half. Gang tackling became the norm, as the Pioneers repeatedly had numerous players bringing down every Wildcats ball carrier.
Again McPolin, Dziadkowiec, Schieber, Jake Liskiewicz and Ulleweit kept the Wildcats from the end zone and forced a turnover on downs to end the first half.
Beginning the second half, the Pioneers took their second offensive opportunity and used a rushing attack of Ulleweit, Edelen, Rolder and Tommy McAullife to get inside the Wildcats 10-yard line. On the sixth play of their drive, Rolder took a McAuliffe handoff and plowed through to the end zone from 7 yards out and extended the lead to 13-6.
When the Wildcats next tried to move the ball, the Pioneers defense was at it again and stymied every rushing attempt.
The hit of the game came on that drive. McPolin was picture perfect as a Wildcats runner made the mistake of trying to run past him. His tackle was so sure that it looked like the runner was stopped by running into a wall.
The Pioneers did have a mishap on their next possession. Holder ran superbly all day and added a 27-yard dash to set up another scoring opportunity. But a fumble three plays later by another Pioneers runner stopped the drive.
Holder ran and tackled all over the field, and he came through again when his solid tackle jarred the ball loose from the Franklin Square runner. McPolin was there to recover the fumble.
“I really like playing defense more than offense,” Holder said. “I like it more because I get to tackle and hit people. I watch their eyes, and they give away where they are going. I try to go right through the ball carrier when I make a tackle.”
Taking over at the Wildcats 20, the Pioneers went to their stellar running game. McAuliffe, Ulleweit, Edelen and Holder took cracks at the goal line. With less than three minutes left, quarterback McAuliffe went under center and powered his way in from three yards out for the final touchdown on the day and upped the lead to 19-6.
Frankfort Square seemed content to let the clock run out, perhaps because their previous efforts proved futile against a defense that wasn’t going to allow an inch.
“It’s pretty chilly, and this was our first game in the cold," ,” said coach Tom McAuliffe. "I think it might have affected our team a little, but now they have been through it. They put it behind them and after that first drive, they played pretty good.
McAuliffe added that his defense really picked it up after that first quarter and gave his team's total effort an A-plus.
Also putting in top efforts were the cheerleaders. Pioneers Emily Manning, Samantha Jefferies, Aleksandra Simkus, Genevieve Schramm, Anna and Sarah Senese, Alyssa Bahar, Gianna Patterson, Olivia Gomez and Ella Gillund all were stout in their performance during the cold and rain. They are coached by Paige Riebel.
“These are fourth-graders, and it's fun teaching these girls," Riebel said. "But it can be hard when there are so many, and some listen, some don’t. But I like cheerleading, and it's still a lot of fun. Getting to know them all is the best thing. I enjoy that very much.”
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