Whether you are an actor in the bright lights of Broadway or under the bright lights of a football field, the performance of your entire cast and crew is very important.
The stage was Mel Eide Field in Lake Zurich Friday night, and the curtain pulled back after senior night festivities finished. Just like in New York, the Lake Zurich Bears put on a show that gained thunderous applause from their fans in a 48-14 North Suburban Conference Lake Division victory over Zion-Benton.
Two seniors for Lake Zurich (7-0 overall, 4-0 in North Suburban Lake) had award-winning performances on the field. Sean Lynch (95 total yards), who saw more time at running back than his normal defensive back, set the tone of the evening with runs of 5 and 2 yards for touchdowns on the Bears' first two offensive possessions.
"It was a total team effort," said Lynch. "Great protection up front, huge holes -- makes it a lot easier when the guys up front are working hard. I played a little bit of running back last year, but a lot of the guys are banged up and people are stepping in,"
Fellow senior Sam Walstrum (also with 95 total yards), listed as linebacker on the roster, followed Lynch's lead with two rushing scores of his own in the first half, from 6 and 20 yards.
"I was reading the blocks that the offensive line was giving me," said Walstrum. "It definitely meant a lot. I couldn't think of a better senior night."
Lynch hauled in a 33-yard pass from quarterback Noah Allgood late in the second quarter to extend the Bears' advantage at the half to 35-0.
"Everyone got in the game and worked their butts off," said Allgood. "They (Lynch and Walstrum) had really good games. They stepped in when Ben Klett got hurt."
Juniors Zane Lodico and Peter Maretis tallied touchdowns of their own in the second half.
Zion-Benton (1-6 overall, 1-4 in North Suburban Lake) was held to just 17 yards of total offense in the first half. However, the Zee-Bees were still battling in the fourth quarter as running back Maurice Young kept the ball after a fake reverse and dashed 65 yards to spoil the shutout hopes of the Lake Zurich defense.
Later, Jonathan Roberts took a short pass from Zee-Bees quarterback Douglas Gates and dove across the left pylon for a 12-yard score.
"You talk about a good football team," said Zion-Benton head coach Robert Strickland. "We look at the tape and go, 'Where is their weakness?' There really is no weakness. They're a team that executes very well and is so very disciplined.
"It's there for us, but we have a few hiccups that we need to fix and we're looking to finish strong over the last two games."
Allgood wasn't about to look past next week's clash against Libertyville when asked about potential home playoff games.
"We have to focus on this next game," said Allgood. "They have a good running back in Conor Simpson. I became friends with him through youth football."