Final score: Offense, 28, Defense 16.
Lake Zurich's defensive performance included a long fumble recovery for a touchdown, an interception TD and a safety from another defensive player. Yes, unbeaten Lake Zurich was a heavy favorite on Friday night against visiting Waukegan.
The running clock ignited early in the third quarter. Lake Zurich pitched a shutout in a 44-0 romp on senior night to improve to 3-0 and 1-0 in the North Suburban Conference.
Maybe the most excited defender was sophomore Anthony Mangano. He picked off a pass and ran untouched to the end zone, making it 21-0.
"I wanted to make sure I caught the ball," Mangano said. "It was a tight spiral. And I went up for it. I couldn't feel my legs when I was running."
The first defensive touchdown went to the offensive star, Joey Stutzman. The only question raised was it an interception or a fumble recovery?
"All I know is I ripped it out of his hands," Stutzman said. "It could have been a fumble or an interception. All I know is it came on senior night so it was fine."
Stutzman's run traveled 61 yards.
Senior night at Lake Zurich meant every senior earned a start. So the Bears battled offensive penalties early. The second offensive possession paid dividends. Quarterback Evan Lewandowski bolted 48 yards to set up the game's first score. Another senior, Nick Rantis, scored from a yard out.
"The game plan called for get our running game going," Lewandowski said. "We really wanted to play well in front of these fans."
Also making a strong defensive play was junior Lucas Dwyer. With Waukegan (0-3) backed up, his sack yielded a safety and a 30-0 advantage early in the second quarter.
Lewandowski was still in the game in the first half. This senior broke off a 15-yard scamper. He then connected with wide receiver Peyton Powell twice on this final drive of the first half. The second toss went for 13 yards and a touchdown.
Lake Zurich coach Luke Mertens was able to clear his bench in the second half. The final score was on a short pass from Jack Moses to Justin Wollard.