About three weeks ago, Joey Stutzman figured that his best view of the field this season would be from the sideline.
Stutzman was penciled in as a back-up running back. And he wasn't expected to do much backing up since the starter was going to be Lake Zurich's workhorse.
"He would have gone in if we ever needed to give Kyle Roth a break," Lake Zurich coach Dave Proffitt said of Stutzman. "He wouldn't have been an every-down player."
But Roth is now out for the season after suffering a knee injury in a Week 1 win over Fremd. And that suddenly changed Stutzman's view of the field dramatically. Now he's on the field all the time for Lake Zurich, and he's spending a lot of time in the end zone.
Stutzman scored 4 touchdowns on Saturday in leading visiting Lake Zurich to a 42-0 North Suburban Conference win over Waukegan.
Lake Zurich, which also benefited from a suffocating defense that limited Waukegan to about 100 total yards, improves to 2-1. Waukegan drops to 1-2.
"Joey has played outstanding for us these first three weeks," Proffitt said. "And we need him. He's such a competitor. This (change in roles) hasn't fazed Joey a bit.
"He's cut from a different cloth than a lot of kids. He's a very good wrestler. He's used to pressure and he's risen to the occasion."
Stutzman, who is all of 5-foot-6, had 140 yards to go along with his 4 touchdowns, and served as the workhorse that Roth would have been.
"Our offensive line is doing a great job right now," Stutzman said. "You've got to give them a lot of credit.
"I think (his small stature) helps me because I'm built with a low center of gravity and you have to play football low. It's an advantage. And when the offensive line stands up, (the defense) can't really see me."
Stutzman scored a 5-yard touchdown on Lake Zurich's second possession of the game. A 1-yard run by quarterback Evan Lewandowski (8-of-15, 116 yards) gave the Bears a 14-0 lead by the end of the first quarter.
Two more touchdowns by Stutzman (1 yard run, 13-yard pass from Lewandowski) put Lake Zurich up 28-0 at halftime and then Stutzman scored his final touchdown of the game in the third quarter on a 49-yard run.
Sophomore George Gritsonis scored on a 1-yard run later in the third quarter to enact the running clock.
"They're a good team and they executed and they played like champions," Waukegan coach Juan Anillo said of Lake Zurich. "They didn't do anything that we weren't expecting them to do. But we gave them the ball three times around the 20-yard line early on and they scored 21 points and we just never got rolling."