For all the differences each individual football game has, most every one, from pee-wees to the pros, has the same thing in common: The team that forces turnovers and has great field position wins the game more often than not.
Friday night's football season opener followed this rule as visiting Lake Zurich defeated Fremd 35-3.
The Bears average starting field position was at their own 45-yard line while the Vikings was at their own 19. Combine that with 4 Fremd turnovers to just 1 for Lake Zurich, and it is easy to see why the Bears were able to run away with the game.
"The way we've approached it in this off-season is to get every yard we can out of our special teams," Lake Zurich coach Bryan Stortz said. "There's certain things we've been doing to try to add that extra element to our team that really helped us out in the early part of the game tonight."
When Fremd was backed up in its own zone, the Lake Zurich defense seemed to cover every inch of the field.
The Bears' defense line, led by Evan Williams, Rocky Triggiano and Will Hussey pressured Fremd quarterback Sam Beutler (11-for-28, 159 yards) all night, and forced bad throws that led to interceptions by Jack Lynn, Chris Rantis and Zach Johnson.
"The bottom line is we played fast, we played low, and we played hard," Lynn, a senior linebacker said. "Coach preaches that all day, every day and that's what we did."
Stortz said he wants his team to be known for running the football, and it showed against Fremd. Running backs Connor Schrader (13 carries, 142 yards) and Mike Shield (10 carries, 105 yards, 2 TDs) led the way for the Bears ground attack, and quarterback Steven Kuhn chipped in 29 yards and 2 rushing touchdowns of his own.
Kuhn (9-for-13, 55 yards, 1 TD) stepped into the starting role when Zach Till injured his ankle in practice.
"I had to come in as a leader, and be loud," Kuhn said. "They believed in me, and that gave me all the confidence in the world. I just went out there and played the best that I could."
Wide receiver Matt Isola had 3 catches for 88 yards for Fremd.
"That's a good team," Fremd coach Mike Donatucci said. "In spurts we played very well. We played with them, and then our lack of experience and our lack of execution showed itself."