Daily Herald's 2017 Season Coverage
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updated: 10/7/2017 9:54 PM

Football notes: Wauconda welcomes healthy offensive showing

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It's probably not a coincidence that Wauconda's first win of the season on Friday night was coupled with its best offensive game of the season.

"By far our best offensive game," Wauconda coach Dave Mills said. "We scored more points (against Round Lake) than we did the previous four weeks combined."

Wauconda got that elusive first win by handing Round Lake a 40-18 defeat. The previous four weeks, the Bulldogs had scored a total of 37 points (in losses to Grayslake North, North Chicago, Lakes and Antioch).

Wauconda is now 1-6 overall, and 1-4 in the Northern Lake County Conference.

"It's been a tough year for us," Mills said. "Any time you get something positive like this to happen, you enjoy it for a moment."

Mills enjoyed seeing his offense really click in all areas. The Bulldogs rolled up 210 rushing yards and more than 150 passing yards.

"This was the first time in a long time that we got our running and passing games to work together," Mills said.

Quarterback Andrew Saccameno completed 11-of-14 passes and threw 3 touchdowns. Saccameno also rushed for a touchdown.

"Besides one bad throw (an interception), Andrew had a really nice night," Mills said.

Getting healthy: Adversity is certainly a part of any 1-6 season.

And Wauconda has had its fair share of adversity.

Assistant coach Joe Ryback died unexpectedly last month the day after a game. He was 33.

Meanwhile, the Bulldogs have had a tough time keeping their players healthy. Illness has run rampant throughout the team all season.

"We've had kids sick left and right," Wauconda coach Dave Mills said. "This past Tuesday alone, we had 14 kids out of practice because they were so sick. Mono, other viruses. It's been tough. In 28 years of coaching, I've never seen anything like this. It's hard having that many guys out and a lot of them have been starters. It makes not only games tough but practices, too."

Nice comeback: Down 10-0 at halftime on the road and in the rain, Grayslake Central had some work to do in the second half on Friday night at North Chicago.

The Rams answered the call and wound up stealing a 12-10 victory from North Chicago.

"In the first half, our defense was really keeping us in the game because our offense wasn't playing very enthused at all," Grayslake Central coach Jason Schaal said. "We were getting penalties, we were shooting ourselves in the foot and we just didn't have much energy.

"We knew we had to pick it up and try to get some momentum going in the second half and we did. I'm really proud of our effort. Everyone just go into it. It was so loud on the sideline in the second half that it was tough to hear in the headsets."

There was a lot to be excited about.

Grayslake Central's first touchdown came on a trick play, a touchdown pass from wide receiver Nick Paul to quarterback Sam Lennartz.

The Rams took the lead late in the fourth quarter with a punt return for a touchdown by Mike Przybylski.

"That punt return for a touchdown was pretty exciting," Schaal said. "The coaches, we've all been trying to think of the last time we've even had a special teams touchdown. It's been a long time. It was so much fun to watch that touchdown. He made the first tackler miss, and he broke right through the line and was gone."

Still alive: The last three football seasons at Grayslake Central have been frustrating, with records of 0-9, 0-9 and 1-8.

This season has been quite different for the 3-4 Rams.

"To know going into Week 8 that we are still alive for a potential playoff spot is pretty great for our kids," Schaal said. "This senior class has done such a great job for us. They haven't won a lot of games over their high school careers. But they have continued to work and have shown such great improvement and now it's paying off. We are really proud of them and all of our guys."

Big wins, good eats: For Grayslake Central, there's a perk to winning -- and winning some more.

Any time the Rams win two games in a row, they get fed by Sammies, a longtime local restaurant specializing in hot dogs and sandwiches.

The players get a sandwich, fries and a drink, which was the menu for Friday's team meal before Grayslake Central's win over North Chicago.

"We're in a small community and we just get great support and for a local restaurant to do something like this is pretty cool," Grayslake Central coach Jason Schaal said.

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