Schaumburg football coach Mark Stilling says special things happen when Stacey Smith doesn't try to do special things.
Smith kept it simple Friday night at the George Gattas Memorial Stadium in Mt. Prospect, out-running defenders to the end zone.
It made for a special night.
The senior quarterback scored Schaumburg's first 4 touchdowns -- from 45, 35, 70 and 22 yards -- to help lead the Saxons to a 34-13 victory at Prospect's Homecoming.
Smith, a state-qualifier in four different track and field events last spring, finished with 217 yards rushing from 15 carries as the Saxons improved to 4-0.
Schaumburg's final TD came on a 2-yard dive into the end zone by Sadarriss Patterson, who also had a special night -- especially on defense.
"The problem is Schaumburg is not a one-man team," said Prospect coach Mike Sebestyen "He (Patterson) is tough and I told him I'll be glad when he graduates. He plays hard and fast both offensively and defensively."
Schaumburg's senior linebacker-safety collected 13 tackles, including a sack to help spark the visitors' defense, which also received 8 tackles and 3 sacks from defensive end Michael Fan.
"The big key for us was to stayed focused," Patterson said. "Their pace on offense was quick and we had to adjust to that tempo. We weren't where we should have been mentally last week. I thought we learned our lesson from that and did better this week."
Smith scored his first TD on the game's second play from scrimmage when he ran 45 yards off right tackle for a 7-0 lead.
Prospect (0-4) blocked a Schaumburg punt and took over the ball at the Saxons' 4 yard line midway through the first quarter.
Sophomore quarterback Matt Drew rushed twice for 2 yards, the second one putting him in the end zone for a 7-7 tie.
The Knights had a chance to grab the lead when Drew found Mike O'Malley for a 36-yard completion that gave Prospect the ball on the Saxons' 19.
However on the next play, Patterson picked up a fumble after a completed pass and raced 44 yards to the Prospect 40-yard line.
Two plays later, Smith scrambled out of the pocket and sped 35 yards for a TD, giving the visitors a 14-7 lead at intermission.
"I just try keep my eyes on the field," said Smith, who also landed punts of 48 and 51 yards inside the Prospect 5-yard line. "Then I use my legs as much as can."
"There's good and bad," Sebestyen said. "The kids played hard and well. We had some undisciplined mistakes which we will work to correct.
"But here's the beauty of it. We are undefeated now (in conference) and have five games left. And all we have to do is focus on Game 1 coming up."
O'Malley's 28-yard TD catch cut Schaumburg's lead to 21-13 with 3:13 left in the third quarter but that's as close as Prospect would get.
"I liked our fourth quarter," Stilling said. "Hats off to Prospect. I thought they had a tremendous game plan.
"We presented a challenge to Sadarriss Patterson and Michael Fan and they both responded. Both are leaders defensively and they responded like champs. When Ryan (Woloszyk) got hurt, Shandall Thomas came in (at safety) and showed he belonged on the field."
Sebestyen gave a lot of credit to Drew, O'Malley, running back Eric Garmoe and his team's better defensive play. "Brian Maigler made a huge play (blocking the punt in the first quarter) and that was a huge tone-setter."
Smith's big rushing night came behind linemen Matthew Stopka, Michael Bruno, Matt Zolper, Aleksander Piotrowski and Justin Sanchez,
"Obviously, he's (Smith) is very talented and athletic. I thought we contained him pretty well except those four plays. The problem is those four plays were in the end zone. But he had nice runs on them and he made us miss."