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Considering junior Spencer Lhotka is the fourth quarterback used this season by Grant, the offense ran pretty smoothly on Friday against Round Lake.
Lhotka ran for 54 yards, threw for 112 and the host Bulldogs recorded a couple of defensive touchdowns to post a 54-21 victory in North Suburban Prairie action.
Grant's first two quarterbacks, Jake Bychowski and Simeon Tate, were both sidelined with injuries. Senior Jason Bach has also seen action behind center. He finished the game and scored the final touchdown on a 10-yard run.
"Spencer did a great job. He's explosive, a smart kid," Grant coach Kurt Rous said. "We know what he can and can't do. We're not asking him to take the game over. He did a good job managing the game. He had some nice runs. He kept it when he should have. He gave it when he should have. So he did a good job."
Lhotka hooked up for 5 completions to 6-foot-3 senior Joe Sadausakas, including an 11-yard touchdown pass on a slant just before halftime.
"He definitely stepped up today," Sadausakas said. "He completed a lot of passes that needed to be completed."
Round Lake also showed some strong offensive skills. Senior quarterback John Ridley stayed busy, completing 23-of-46 passes for 270 yards.
Five different receivers caught at least 2 passes for the Panthers. Ridley hit Jalen Young on a fly pattern for a 44-yard touchdown and Chris Washington went 51 yards with a screen pass to set up their first score.
"I felt like in the early game, I struggled a little bit throwing the ball," Ridley said. "But my teammates kept me up and I just came back and found it, a little bit. We've got some pretty good wide receivers who can catch the ball and run with it."
Grant (2-5, 2-2) scored the game's first three touchdowns on a 32-yard run by Billy Sullivan, a 26-yard fumble return by Michael Hyrnkow and a 21-yard run by Lhotka.
After Round Lake got on the board with a 7-yard pass to Cole Steger, the Panthers picked up a first down on the Grant 29-yard line, with a chance to pull within 19-14. But Ridley's next pass was picked off by Sullivan, who sprinted down the visiting sideline for a 71-yard touchdown.
"I saw the quarterback scrambling. I was just creeping behind the guy the whole time," Sullivan said. "He threw the ball, I stepped up."
Round Lake pulled within 34-21 in the third quarter when a 12-play drive ended with a 13-yard pass from Ridley to Tayler Stempinski. Grant answer with touchdown runs by Jeremy Bredwood, Andrew Avelar and Bach.
The Bulldogs are lamenting a 2-point loss to Vernon Hills in Week 4. Had they won that game, they'd be 3-4 with a chance to still make the playoffs if they could finish with wins against Antioch and Wauconda.
"When everybody's healthy, I think we'd be pretty good," Rous said. "But we haven't had that all season."
Round Lake coach Jordan Eder coached at Grant the previous two years, so this was a homecoming of sorts.
"I'm close to those guys, still. So it's fun to come back and play against them," Eder said. "We're getting better. We scored a few touchdowns. It's starting to click. We've just got to clean things up a little bit."