Lakes started hot and stayed hot -- even after a 1-hour, 15-minute lightning delay in its football season opener Friday night.
Lakes junior quarterback Jordan Mercure had a lot to do with the outcome, as he finished 16-for-20 passing for 195 yards. He threw for 3 touchdowns and ran for another as the Eagles prevailed 37-14 at Grayslake North.
"To be honest, I don't think this game could have gone much better," Mercure said.
Mercure's top target was Jake Balliu, who finished with 11 catches for 146 yards, inlcuding a 12-yard strike just after the lightning delay was lifted to help seal the game. At that point, it was 20-7 in favor of Lakes.
Devyn Cedzidlo led the way in rushing for Lakes with 25 carries for 95 yards.
Grayslake North quarterback Merrick Gentile finished 8-for-21 passing for 152 yards, with 1 passing and 1 rushing touchdown.
"I don't know if we were totally focused coming out of the lightning delay, but I was proud of the way we responded," Lakes coach Luke Mertens said. "Our defense definitely responded to the challenge. There are a lot of big playmakers on that team (Grayslake North)."
The Eagles are starting the season with five available quarterbacks, but Mercure certainly stood out against Grayslake North.
"He is able to stay calm and cool," Mertens said, "and he did not get rattled."
The big play after the delay left Mercure pleased with his debut at QB as well.
"I like the challenge. We all make each other better," Mercure said of his competition with the four other quarterbacks on the Lakes roster.
Mertens said that after such a good showing by Mercure, there won't be any more competition at quarterback -- at least not for the moment.
"He's our guy," Mertens said of Mercure, who was hoping to catch Grayslake North off-guard after the delay was lifted.
"Our guy was wide open," Mercure said of Balliu. "It was important for us to get a score right away."