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It didn't come as any kind of a surprise to Lake Zurich coach Dave Proffitt or any of the Bears players when they found themselves in a tight game with fellow North Suburban Conference power Lake Forest.
"We needed a tough game, and we got one," Proffitt said of the Scouts. "That's a real good football team and they looked even better in person."
But when it came down to it, the Bears were just fine. After all, they were in the capable hands of senior quarterback Noah Allgood, and even after falling behind for the first time this season 10-0 to the visiting Scouts, everything was Allgood from there.
Led by Allgood and another dynamic 3-touchdown performance by standout sophomore Ben Klett, the Bears rallied for a 21-10 win over the Lake Forest. The win moves Lake Zurich to 5-0 overall and 3-0 in the NSC Lake. Lake Forest suffered its first defeat of the season and fell to 4-1, 1-1 in league play.
"Without (Noah), tonight doesn't happen," Proffitt said.
With Lake Zurich in an unfamiliar position, Allgood and the Lake Zurich offense finally got moving. Following a stop from the Bears defense, Allgood engineered a quick 5-play, 53-yard drive. It was a subtle but effective call by Allgood, who finished with 164 yards passing, that made the drive complete.
"I saw Ben (Klett) and pointed toward the end zone," Allgood said. "Once he got behind the safety, I put it up there and he did a great job getting it."
Once the offense got rolling and the defense dug in, all Lake Zurich needed was a break. And the Bears got it just before the close of the third quarter. A long punt by A.J. Trittschuh was dropped by a Lake Forest player and covered by Trevor Staley at the Lake Forest 16. Two plays later, a pitch from Allgood to Klett was good for a 13-yard scoring run and the Bears had the lead for good at 14-10.
"That play hadn't worked all that well — Lake Forest had stopped us a couple of times," said Klett who had a 190 yards in total offense. "But when I saw the hole, I cut back and it was there."
The Lake Zurich defense had to dig in one last time to keep the driving Scouts out of the end zone. A 16-play, drive by Lake Forest ended at the Lake Zurich 7 on a diving tackle by Lake Zurich senior and Syracuse-bound linebacker Colton Moskal to keep the Bears ahead.
"Our defense stepped up and made a play there at the end," Proffitt said. "I thought that was a real good football team we played, and I thought it was a very well-played game."
Klett finished off a fantastic comeback by Lake Zurich just four plays after the Scouts drive. He flashed around left tackle, found an opening, and was gone for a 77-yard scoring run to secure the win for the home team.
"We felt like tonight we could line up against (Lake Zurich) and do what we do, and I thought we were able to do that," said Lake Forest coach Chuck Spagnoli. "You give up a broken play on the first score and a long run on the last one and you can't do that in a game like this against a good team like that."
Laker Forest senior running back Hub Cirame rushed for 146 yards on 23 carries, and quarterback Regis Durbin had the lone scoring play on a 9-yard run in the first quarter.