Elk Grove's 20-7 Mid-Suburban League crossover football victory over visiting Schaumburg Friday night was tempered by a shoulder injury to quarterback Dejan Basara.
Basara, who had already scored 3 touchdowns, went down midway through the third quarter and Grenadiers coach Brian Doll said the prognosis was "not good."
"It's either dislocated or broken, we're not sure which," Doll said after the game, indicating that Basara was headed to the hospital to get an x-ray.
With Basara and several other Grens as well out with injuries, Elk Grove's defense and special teams stepped up to the challenge.
Senior kickoff specialist Jeff Miceli and junior punter Alex Tinkoff consistently kept the Saxons pinned deep in their own territory, and the Grens' defense, led by defensive lineman Dan Egan, twice turned away Schaumburg (2-2) inside the 20-yard line in the fourth quarter.
"We had a few guys go down, so it was up to the rest of us to pick it up," said Egan, who had a huge sack of Schaumburg quarterback Nick Anzelmo to stop a fourth-quarter Saxons drive.
"We gave it everything we had tonight. This was a huge win for us, especially the seniors. We lost to them last year (in the state playoffs) and it wasn't a good feeling we didn't want to lose and have that same feeling again."
Schaumburg's Anzelmo was outstanding in a losing effort, throwing for 247 yards, while wide receiver Stacey Smith caught 8 passes for 162 yards and also rushed 7 yards for the Saxons' only score.
"Elk Grove is a very good team," said Schaumburg coach Mark Stilling. "They're tough and physical, and their quarterback (Basara) does a nice job.
"On all three of their drives, they made big plays that kept the drives going. The bottom line is, they executed when they needed to and we did not."
After Basara's 1-yard run put Elk Grove (3-1) up 7-0 in the second quarter, Schaumburg went on a 99-yard drive that culminated in Smith's game-tying run.
Basara had a scoring run in the second quarter (5 yards) and another in the third (1 yard). He left the game with five minutes left in the third quarter.
Then Elk Grove's defense came to the forefront as Miceli had an end-zone interception of Anzelmo to thwart a Saxons scoring drive, and defensive back Kishan Patel broke up another sure TD pass with an athletic breakup late in the fourth quarter.
On the offensive end, Jon Ebert stepped in at quarterback and led the Grens to the win.
"Jon did a tremendous job," said Doll.
Basara finished with 121 yards rushing and was 8-for-10 for 121 yards through the air, while senior wide receiver Fernando Lozano finished with 83 receiving yards.
"This win was a season-changer for us," said Miceli. "It was nice to come out here tonight and get a little bit of revenge."
"With all the skill players they have," said Doll of the Saxons, "to hold them to seven points is an impressive acheivement."