Schaumburg's Juwaan Richard only touched the ball twice in the Saxons' Mid-Suburban League West home game against Fremd on Friday night.
Both had a dramatic impact on the game.
Richard leaped high to snag a 19-yard touchdown pass from Nick Anzelmo with 9:37 remaining in the fourth quarter, and followed that up with a 52-yard touchdown run with 6:32 to play to seal a 26-6 victory for the Saxons.
"I just wanted to secure the win," Richard said. "I just wanted to make a big play and step up."
Richard's touchdown catch came on a jump ball where he and the Fremd defender had an equal shot at coming down with it. Ultimately it was Richard jumping a little higher to make the play.
"I had to high-point the ball. I'm the receiver. So everything in the air is mine. That's how I think of it," Richard said.
Schaumburg (6-1, 2-1) coach Mark Stilling said the coaching staff has been preaching a team-first attitude all season, and the way Richard sealed the game exemplified that attitude.
"Our focus has been about focusing on each other and not on ourselves," Stilling said. "And I think we are doing that. Not caring about who gets the attention. I think our kids are playing extremely unselfish right now, which is a big time of year to do this."
Stilling also singled out the efforts of linebackers Conner Lapinsky, who had an interception, and Blake Wittkamp for spearheading a Saxon defense that held Fremd (3-4, 1-2) to 135 yards of offense.
In addition to the defensive effort, Schaumburg's kick and punt returner Stacey Smith turned in a fantastic game. He had a long kickoff return to set the Saxons up in Fremd territory after Vikings running back Jeff McGlade scored on a nifty 10-yard run in the first quarter. Then, in the second quarter, Smith turned in a 62-yard punt return to help swing the field position in Schaumburg's favor again.
"I knew every time I touched the ball I was going to try to put my team in the best field position so we could get in the end zone," Smith said.
Schaumburg running back Sadarriss Patterson muscled his way for 81 yards on 22 carries and scored 2 touchdowns against a tough Viking defense.
"We need to get more out of our offense," Fremd coach Lou Sponsel said. "Our defense has been steady all year, but it's games when they are out there too long and that field position becomes unfavorable that we put ourselves in bad spots."
Late in the game, Fremd quarterback Sam Beutler left with an apparent shoulder injury and did not return.
It was an emotional game on a couple of fronts. Michael Dukewich, the father of Fremd lineman Clayton Dukewich died last weekend, and the Vikings honored him by wearing his initials -- MJD -- on one side of their helmets.
It was also the first game Schaumburg defensive coordinator Mike Donatucci coached against the school where he served as head coach for 19 seasons. At the end of the game, Donatucci hugged each Viking player and coach as they went through the handshake line.