Zero + 26 + 2 = 1 big breakfast.
The Wauconda defense brought its A-game Friday night in leading the way to a 22-0 Northern Lake County Conference drubbing of visiting Grant.
The Bulldogs (4-4, 3-3 NLCC) didn't allow Grant to gain a single first down. That's 0 first downs for the entire game. They also gave up only 26 yards of offense and scored 2 points on a safety … just for good measure.
And, for good eats.
The safety automatically entitles the defense to a breakfast this morning, courtesy of the coaching staff. The other highlights and super-stats, by far the best ones of the season for the defense, will get the Bulldogs their fill of seconds and thirds, or however much they want, really.
"Any time the defense scores, on a safety, a pick-6, we get breakfast on Saturday morning. That's the deal," said senior lineman Michael Turzynski, who sacked Grant quarterback Matt McGraw for a safety in the end zone. "We were just working great as a team. Everyone was doing their jobs. We had a great team effort.
"This is by far one of our best games defensively. Under 12 first downs is our goal for each game. So it's pretty great when we can hold them to even less than that. It's what we like to call 'drinking the Kool-Aid…grape flavor.' "
Wauconda's offense sputtered early on, too, missing on a few chances in the red zone to score. So the Bulldogs' first-half scoring consisted of the safety plus 2 Oscar Acosta field goals, from 27 and 32 yards.
That gave Wauconda an 8-0 lead at the break.
The Bulldogs, who leaned on Tyler Stankiewicz (146 rushing yards on 20 carries) and Jacob Bicknase (96 rushing yards on 22 carries) to move the ball up and down the field, added to their lead early in the third quarter. Quarterback Antonio Acosta, finally healthy after battling an ankle injury all season, ran in a touchdown from 11 yards out.
Wauconda scored its final touchdown at the beginning of the fourth quarter when Acosta hit Kyle Drobnik for a 33-yard touchdown pass.
It was the icing on the cake in a game that Wauconda needed to win to stay alive in the race for a playoff spot. If the Bulldogs win next week for their fifth win, they could qualify for the playoffs on points.
"We have a chance. We've given ourselves an opportunity with a win next week, and that's all you can do," Wauconda coach Dave Mills said. "We went through this last year. We were 1-4 and then ran off 4 straight wins and got in (to the playoffs, on points). The seniors have been through this. They are calm about it.
"But they want to leave their mark. Playoffs don't happen very often at Wauconda and they want to make that a tradition."
Wauconda is looking to be the first team in school history since the 1992 and 1993 teams to earn back-to-back playoff berths.
"It's been our motivation," Stankiewicz said. "It hasn't been done in a long time. It would be great for us and the school to be able to do that. That's what is driving us every practice."