Schaumburg showed Friday that it's more than just the Stacey Smith show.
With Smith, who is the leading rusher in the area, on the bench in the first quarter for violating team rules, the Saxons erupted for 2 touchdowns and then cruised to a 33-21 victory in a battle of Mid-Suburban West unbeatens in Schaumburg.
"I am incredibly proud of how our kids reacted to the situation," Schaumburg coach Mark Stilling said. "Our kids talk about being deeply committed to details and we had a minor detail not attended to. And our kids handled it great."
Stilling barely had a chance to put his headphones on to see how well. On the first play from scrimmage, backup quarterback Luke Gruszka ran the option to perfection, keeping the ball and racing 62 yards untouched to put the Saxons up 7-0.
Later in the first quarter, it was the defense of Schaumburg (5-0, 1-0) that showed its mettle.
With Barrington facing a fourth and less than a yard at its own 12, the Broncos opted to gamble and go for it. The front six of Blake Wittkamp, Conner Lapinski, Michael Fan, Brett Hildebrandt, Chris Abruzzo and Noah Miller smothered Barrington quarterback Dan Kubiuk for no gain.
"We had two downs to get less than a yard," Barrington coach Joe Sanchez said. "You would like to think that you can get a yard. Certainly it is easy to question. If we get it, everyone is happy."
On the next play, Justice Macneal-Young blasted his way over the right side from the 12 to put the Saxons up 13-0.
"He told us we could do whatever we wanted to do, even without him on the field," said Macneal-Young, referring to Smith. "So we went out and showed what we could do without him. And we are even better on the field with him."
Macneal-Young was pretty terrific himself, finishing with 119 yards on 17 carries and 3 touchdowns.
As promised, Smith came back to direct the offense in the second quarter. Running behind Justin Sanchez, Michael Bruno, Matt Zolper, Matt Stopka and Aleksander Piotrowksi, Smith picked up 111 yards on 12 carries.
"If I am not playing, everyone is playing just as hard as if I was in there," Smith said. "I told them in school that they could do it. And they did it."
Late in the first half, Macneal-Young put the Saxons up 20-0 on a 31-yard burst.
Barrington (4-1, 0-1), then put together its best drive of the half. With time running out, the Broncos moved to the Schaumburg 4. But Kubiuk's pass to Matt Moran in the right corner of the end zone was incomplete.
"That was a critical stop for us," Stilling said. "Had they scored, they would have had some momentum heading into the second half."
Schaumburg continued its dominance into the third quarter. Macneal-Young capped 6-play, 66 yard drive with a 3-yard touchdown run. The drive was highlighted by Smith, who broke off an 41-yard run, leaving a few dazed Bronco players in his wake.
Barrington, which had rallied in three of its previous wins, showed its determination on the next series. Scotty Miller scored on a 51-yard jet sweep as Barrington closed to 27-7 with 4:35 left in the third quarter.
Schaumburg's defense stepped up again in the fourth quarter to put the game out of reach. Edwin Kelly picked off a deflected pass and went 62 yards to put the Saxons up 33-7 with 4:10 to play.
"I was just surprised that I caught the ball," Kelly said. "I was just working with what I had."
Barrington made it interesting in the final 77 seconds.
Mike Carbonara scored on a 9-yard run and then caught a conversion pass from Kubiuk. After the Broncos recovered the onside kick, Kubiuk (17-of-37, 197 yards) connected with Jace Goetsch on a 15-yard pass to make it 33-21.
But Schaumburg recovered the next onside kick and then ran out the clock.
"You can't dig yourself a hole against a team like Schaumburg," Sanchez said. "There are some plays we would like to have back. But I am proud the way the kids battled back."