The script for the final regular-season home game for Libertyville had the Wildcats sending longtime coach Randy Kuceyeski out as a winner in his final home game and the Wildcats clinching their first playoff berth in three years with a sixth win.
In a matter of 94 seconds, Owen Williams and visiting Lake Forest had rewritten that script with a much different ending.
Williams exploded for 160 yards rushing and 3 touchdowns in a third quarter that saw the Scouts hold the ball for only 94 seconds. He finished with 232 for the night on 22 carries as Lake Forest earned a share of the North Suburban Lake title with a 25-9 win over the Wildcats.
Lake Forest (7-2, 5-1) will move on to the Class 6A playoffs. The script does not require a complete rewrite, however. The Wildcats will still earn entry into the Class 7A playoffs based on their playoff point total of 51.
"The best part is that the season is not over for us and we have a chance to redeem ourselves next week," Kuceyeski said. "I certainly didn't want to go out like this so I am glad we get a chance next week."
Libertyville (5-4, 3-3) was in complete control of the game through the first 24 minutes. The Wildcats defense limited the Scouts to 34 total yards and 2 first downs. Williams was held in check as well with just 26 yards from scrimmage.
"We did an excellent job of wrapping up and bringing him down," Kuceyeski said. "(Williams) is a heck of a good back and he can make you pay if you don't wrap up."
The Scouts got back to what they do best, especially without injured quarterback Jordan Beck: They got Williams the ball.
"We just talked to the guys at halftime," said Lake Forest coach Chuck Spagnoli. "We said we needed to have Owen carry us, and to do that we needed to block longer and block harder and let him do what he does."
The complexion of the game changed on the Scouts' first possession of the second half. A pass interference penalty set Lake Forest up in Libertyville territory for the first time all night. On the next play, Williams appeared to be stopped, but kept his legs moving, eventually breaking free for a 30-yard score.
After a three-and-out by the Wildcats offense, Williams broke loose again. This time a sweep around the left side resulted in a 40 yard scoring run and the Scouts had the lead for good at 14-9 with 6:26 left in the third.
"We had to put a drive together," Williams said. "We hadn't put a couple good drives together and we finally did that in the third quarter."
Williams capped off an amazing effort with a 90-yard scoring run to end the period and seal the win. Lake Forest outgained Libertyville 237-34 in the second half.
The Wildcats' only touchdown came on a 29-yard run from Connor Simpson and a 24-yard field goal from Austin Williams to end the first half.