The momentum of the North Suburban Lake Division contest at Lake Forest between the Scouts and visiting Libertyville had swung to the Wildcats in all of 12 seconds.
That's how long it took for Libertyville senior Justin Guarnaccio to take a Lake Forest kick and return it 100 yards for a touchdown, tying a school record for longest return.
But momentum can be a fickle thing, and the usually stoic and somewhat unflappable Scouts seemed to gain it back by never wavering after Guarnaccio's amazing effort.
Led by junior running back Hub Cirame and a defense that held the high-powered Wildcat offense to only a touchdown, Lake Forest showed why it is a threat for the conference title after an impressive 33-13 win over Libertyville.
"Tonight was a great game and now everyone in our conference knows we are here to play," said Cirame, who had 206 yards of total offense. "We have great senior leadership on this team and our coaches always tell us to just stay calm and roll with the punches, and we did that tonight."
Lake Forest (5-1, 2-1) threw an early knockout punch to Libertyville on the Wildcats' first drive. After senior Jack Diechl started by completing his first 4 passes, all for first downs, the Scouts defense took one away from Libertyville (4-2, 2-2).
A short run by Brian Swift ended when Lake Forest junior Trent Williams stripped the ball from Swift and ran away for a 55-yard fumble return for score and a 7-0 lead.
Guarnaccio's highlight reel, 100 yard return in 12 seconds brought the Wildcats even and impressed more than just his teammates.
"He ran right by me on the side line and I was impressed," Lake Forest coach Chuck Spagnoli said. "That was a great play and an impressive run."
But that would be about it for the fireworks from the Libertyville offense. The Wildcats managed only 1 first down from the 3:24 mark of the first quarter until late in the third quarter while the Scouts began to pull away.
"Execution was a big thing, and then we hurt ourselves with some penalties too," said first-year Libertyville coach Mike Jones. "When those things happened it kind of slowed our rhythm and we just never got it going again."
Cirame and the Scouts offense never missed a beat as the Scouts answered the Libertyville score with a 3-yard scoring pass from Andrew Clifford to Cirame and Lake Forest had the lead back for good at 14-7 midway through the first quarter.
The Scouts added to the lead later on a 2-yard Cirame run and a pair of Baylor Broughton field goals before Conor Simpson got the Wildcats back in the end zone late in the game on a 7-yard scoring run.