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There were no ballot boxes. There was no campaigning. But from the start of Thursday night's game at Polley Field, the Lakes Eagles showed a certain Chicago political viewpoint.
Score early. Score often.
The host Eagles put up a staggering 41 first-quarter points on senior Night and earned a perfect start to their North Suburban Prairie campaign with a 51-7 victory over Round Lake.
Senior running back Cameron Johnson (128 rushing yards) scored the first of his three first-quarter touchdowns on the first offensive play of the game, rushing off tackle for a 78-yard tally.
Senior quarterback T.J. Edwards threw for 3 touchdowns of his own. Edwards found Devyn Cedzidlo on a 34-yard pitch and catch for a score on the Eagles' second drive. Edwards then connected with senior Alex Murray on a 42-yard touchdown pass over the middle and Jeremy Sasser for a 39-yard strike.
"I'm definitely proud of our kids for keeping their focus and playing well from the get-go," said Lakes coach Luke Mertens.
The early offensive exploits for Lakes (2-1, 1-0 in North Suburban Prairie) allowed for more of the Eagles players to see the field starting in the second quarter. One of those players was senior backup running back Danny O'Connor. He's spent most of the year watching his teammates, but O'Connor earned his moment in the spotlight as he rushed six times on an Eagles drive and scored on a 1-yard run on fourth-and-goal.
"It was a great feeling," said O'Connor. "My teammates were really getting around me in the huddle and saying to do this for Danny. It was because I don't get a lot of playing time and it was really a great feeling."
"Danny O' Connor is the best kid that we have ever had in the Lakes football program," said Mertens. "For him to get into the end zone was a great moment for the program. He has done everything asked of him and it was really a cool moment."
Round Lake (1-2, 0-1 in North Suburban Prairie) could not get anything going early with quarterback John Ridley, so coach Jordan Eder went with backup quarterback Cole Steger. Steger connected with wide receiver Chris Washington (6 catches for 212 yards) on a 34-yard pass play in the second quarter, setting up a 10-yard touchdown from running back Chris Perry.
"We're gonna watch the film and get over this," said Round Lake coach Jordan Eder. "This is not going to change our plan. We are going to get better each week. It just didn't happen tonight."