Schaumburg's rushing game was nothing short of spectacular Friday night at Wheeling.
Led by quarterback Stacey Smith Jr., who ran for 195 yards and 3 touchdowns on just 11 carries, the visiting Saxons defeated the Wildcats 42-13 in a Mid-Suburban League divisional crossover.
Schaumburg spread the wealth around in the backfield as eight different runners piled up a total of 427 yards on the ground in the win.
"Wheeling's a tough team," said Saxons tackle Aleksander Piotrowski, who along with his teammates on the line did a stellar job of opening up holes for the running backs.
"They really get after it, but we came out with the mindset to just keep fighting and put the pedal to the metal."
Schaumburg coach Mark Stilling said he was pleased with the way his team heeded his pregame advice.
"I asked the kids to come out tonight and focus on doing their jobs every single play," Stilling said. "And for the most part, their focus was right on target."
Saxons running back Sadarriss Patterson opened the scoring in the first half with a 1-yard plunge, then Smith scored on runs of 88 and 11 yards.
Wheeling junior Isaac Branch closed the gap to 21-7 just before halftime with a 19 yard TD run right up the gut, but the Smith show was just getting started.
The Saxons senior quarterback opened the second half with a highlight-reel run, breaking free from a scrum of about seven would-be Wheeling tacklers to score from 24 yards out.
It seemed that there was no way Smith could break free as the Wildcats seemed to have him dead to rights, but somehow he escaped the pileup and raced around left end for the score.
"Our coaches are always telling us to just keep pumping your legs until the whistle blows," said Smith, "and I didn't hear a whistle so I kept grinding."
Junior Michael Jones (46 yards out) and Ryan Tuma (11 yards) had the other Schaumburg scores, while Branch scored another TD for the Wildcats with just minutes remaining.
Branch finished with 90 yards on the ground, while Saxons junior Justice Macneal-Young finished with 77 tough yards on 11 carries.
"Justice played a great game for us tonight," said Stilling, "and our offensive line was grinding it out. I was impressed with our kids' discipline and effort."
"It doesn't matter who we play," said Smith. "We have the mindset in every game that we have to come up like we're 4 and 4 and we have to win the next game to make the playoffs."