A 21-0 second half was the difference maker for Quincy Notre Dame football yesterday in their 21-7 win over Beardstown to punch their ticket to the state quarterfinals for the first time since 2013.
Quite possibly the player most emblematic of the Raiders turn around yesterday was the one under center, Ike Wiley.
Two first half interceptions saw junior quarterback Ike Wiley and the Raiders with their backs against the wall, but headed into the halftime locker room, nobody blinked.
Wiley said that, “I came out flat and I just had a really bad first half and I came in the locker room and the coaches came up to me and said you know forget that.
You’re capable of a lot more than that and they said just come out it’s a new game, new half.
And I came out and changed it.”
Head Coach Jack Cornell said that, “He bounced back and I think that’s the mark of a champion.
A good quarterback like that has gotta take those hits kind of roll with the punches a little bit.
Come back out and make it happen in the second half.
You got to have a short term memory to play that position and I’d say that he’s got one.”
Wiley flipped the script in the second half to the tune of 6-7 and 164 yards through the air, to go with 87 yards on the ground.
So while Wiley showed off a short memory, it’s the Raiders long term memory that gotten them here following last year’s 3-6 campaign.
Senior defensive and tight end Zachary Becker added that, “I could see it coming from a mile away.
Right when my junior ended I was just like I’m coming out so much harder next year.
I’m going to workout every single day.”
Wiley said that, “Coach Cornell has worked his butt off.
Our guys have worked their butt off all off season to do this and it’s all paying off for us now it’s great.”
In between QND and the state semifinals is 10-1 Breese Mater Dei who the Raiders fell to 43-20 back on Ocober 4th, but Quincy Notre Dame is more than happy to pay the Knights one more visit.
Sophomore wide receiver and running back Ben Kasparie said that, “I’m so excited to fight them again and have another game with them.
We’re going to have a lot of different coaching strategies and a lot of different plays.”
Becker added, “I’m very excited to get a second shot at them.
Like you said it doesn’t happen a lot so we gotta go out there and kill em.”
QND will take on Breese Mater Dei next Saturday at 2 pm on the road.