Linebackers and linemen were dropping left and right.
Lake Zurich's defense was a little out of sorts by the end of Thursday's North Suburban Conference Lake Division tilt against visiting Warren.
"Did you see who we had in there for most of the second half?" Lake Zurich coach Dave Proffitt asked rhetorically. "We had three linemen, one linebacker and the rest were DBs (defensive backs), because of injuries. We were that banged up. It was scary."
The only thing scarier was how effective the Lake Zurich defense was in spite of all the shifting, substituting and patch-working.
Sure, the Bears can no longer boast a shutout streak, but the defense was just about as stout as always in a 27-7 victory over Warren.
Lake Zurich, which hadn't allowed a point through the first two weeks of the season, improves to 3-0 (1-0 Lake) while Warren, previously the highest scoring team in the Lake Division, drops to 2-1, 0-1 Lake.
"We had six or seven DBs in there in the end, but we were just trying to play our normal defense and put the game away," said Lake Zurich senior Sean Lynch, who actually is a DB. "We're a little bit (disappointed about giving up the shutout), but it's not like we go into a game thinking about that. We just think we're going to play total team defense.
"All 11 guys hustle to the ball every single time. Our coaches really stress that in practice."
Lake Zurich, which was up 14-0 at halftime, needed all 11 guys hustling to stop Warren quarterback Andrew Nickell. And, ultimately, it probably wasn't such a bad thing that the Bears had some extra defensive backs on the field for much of the game.
Nickell was a passing machine. He completed 21-of-35 passes for 278 yards. He also set up Warren's only touchdown, a 1-yard run by Cedric Sanders in the third quarter, with several long passing plays.
"They are definitely a very good defense. They gave us fits all night," said Nickell, whose favorite target was Zack Rappel (4 catches, 88 yards). "It felt like we came in with a pretty good game plan. We were able to move the ball pretty well. We just were never able to punch it in when we were inside the 10-yard line. That's where games are won and (Lake Zurich) was pretty tough down there."
Lake Zurich had much better luck finding its way into the end zone.
The Bears opened with back-to-back touchdowns on their first two possessions.
Quarterback Noah Allgood found Ben Klett for a pretty 64-yard touchdown bomb along the far sideline just two minutes into the game. Then Lynch, who also plays some running back, sprinted for a 48-yard touchdown four minutes later. He finished with 79 yards on 9 rushes, just behind Klett (93 yards on 8 rushes).
The Bears also scored twice in the second half, first on a 26-yard touchdown run by Dylan Schassler that answered Warren's touchdown on the opening drive of the third quarter. Schassler gave Lake Zurich a 21-7 lead.
Sam Walstrum capped the scoring for the Bears with a 3-yard touchdown run with 3:24 remaining in the game. That score came seven plays after a Warren turnover, an interception by Lynch.
"We capitalized on their mistakes and we made the big plays and that was the difference in the ball game," Proffitt said. "All the kids played really hard, both sides of the ball. We had guys going down all over the place. We had DBs playing at linebacker who had never played linebacker before. That's not ideal for us. We don't want that. But our boys stepped in did a nice job."