Visiting Grant got off to a pretty good start in its North Suburban Conference crossover football game Friday night at Lake Forest.
The Bulldogs methodically marched 80 yards on 14 plays before senior quarterback Jake Bychowski scored on an 8-yard keeper for a 6-0 lead just 5:46 into the contest.
But the host Scouts were just as effective with their opening drive and they would ultimately roll to a 39-19 victory behind the strength of standout running back Hub Cirame, who really dominated the game.
Cirame (181 yards on 15 carries) scored on a 46-yard TD run to answer the Bulldogs' first score less than two minutes after Grant had gotten on the scoreboard.
Besides Cirame, Lake Forest (2-0) did display many offensive weapons it could turn to in keeping the Bulldogs' defense off balance.
Four seconds into the second quarter, Cirame scored on a 1-yard run before the second of 4 extra points by Kyle Gattari made the score 14-6.
Gattari added a 38-yard field goal to boost the lead to 17-6 with 8:10 remaining in the first half.
Grant (0-2) did not fold, however, as junior running back Marshall Clark (106 yards on 20 rushes) really ignited the Bulldogs' offense starting with a 25-yard run on first down.
Clark recovered his own fumble at the end of a 9-yard run to give Grant the ball at the Lake Forest 15-yard-line with under three minutes left in the second quarter.
Four plays later, Bychowski showed his strength and durability as he scored on a 1-yard keeper to cut the lead to 17-12 2:26 before halftime.
The 2-point conversion failed, but the Bulldogs were still in the game trailing 17-12 at the intermission. Bychowski had a huge game, with 156 yards rushing on 27 attempts.
"They (Grant) controlled the football rushing the ball and that is what they wanted to do so it's no surprise," said Lake Forest coach Chuck Spagnoli, whose team reached the Class 6A state semifinals last year. "He (Cirame) ran really well and there were quite a few opportunities where he made people miss and he's made himself into a great player."
The Scouts offense got rolling again in the third quarter when quarterback Regis Durbin (9-for-17, 115 yards passing) hit Dave Glynn with an 18-yard pass to take the ball to the Grant 47.
Five plays later, Lake Forest senior Trent Williams went right up the middle through a lot of traffic en route to a 19-yard TD run. A 2-point conversion pass from Durbin to Cirame made the score 25-12 just 2:42 into the second half.
The Bulldogs were able to put together a time-consuming drive on their next possession. But they were forced to punt from the Lake Forest 35 on fourth down.
Cirame did the majority of the work on the Scouts' next drive as a 28-yard run was followed by a 35-yard TD run up the middle four plays later to really put Grant behind the eight ball, trailing 32-12 with 4:07 left in the third quarter.
"They've got more athletes than we do, and we got tired," said Grant coach Kurt Rous, whose ground attack was impressive with 351 yards overall. "We did have some nice drives and I'm sure our time of possession was better.
"But the only thing that matters is the score," added Rous. "It's about blocking and tackling and they did a better job of both."
Starting its next drive on the Grant 35 with the benefit of a botched kickoff return by the Bulldogs earlier, Lake Forest pretty much put the game out of reach when Jack Yale's 1-yard TD run made the score 39-12 with 51 seconds to go in the third quarter.
The Bulldogs were able to put together a nice scoring drive with reserve quarterback Jason Bach scoring on a 5-yard keeper to close out the scoring with 31 seconds to play.
Junior Jeremy Bredwood had 39 yards on 7 carries for Grant while Williams had 39 yards on just 3 rushes for the Scouts.