Two plays that took fewer than 15 seconds proved to be more than Schaumburg could overcome in its bid for a fifth victory that would assure the Saxons of a berth in the IHSA football playoffs.
Barrington scored on consecutive plays to end the first half and open the second, turning a 12-7 contest in to a 26-7 margin, and the Broncos went on to win 32-16 in the Mid-Suburban West regular season finale at Gary Scholz Stadium on Friday.
The win leaves Barrington (7-2, 4-1) in sole possession of second place behind West champion Palatine, with an anticipated home game to open the playoffs next week. Schaumburg's season ends with a 4-5 record, 2-3 in the West.
There were many standout offensive performances for the Broncos, but a pair of kickoff returns by Dylan Zyzda were instrumental in Barrington's win.
After Sadaris Patterson's 1-yard run cut Barrington's lead to 12-7 with just 20.2 seconds left in the first half, Zyzda almost broke the ensuing kickoff for a score, leaving the Broncos at midfield with 7.4 seconds left.
Quarterback Mark Bennett fired a pass deep toward wide receiver Sam Handler, who raced down the middle of the field past a defender, caught the ball and trotted into the end zone with no time remaining.
"It was play-action that set it up," said Handler, who scored Barrington's first touchdown on a 28-yard pass from Bennett. He caught 7 passes for 110 yards.
Zyzda picked up where he left off when he fielded the second-half kickoff at his 5 yard line and headed up field. When he passed the 50, it was a footrace, with three Saxons trying in vain to catch him. The touchdown made it 26-7 with just seven seconds gone in the second half.
"It should have been 12-7 at halftime, and it was 26-7," Schaumburg coach Mark Stilling said. "Our failure to execute was devastating."
"The whole wedge opened up a hole," Zyzda said of his scoring play. "We knew we could break one."
Bennett (9-of-12) passed for 104 of his 141 yards in the first half, as the Broncos were faced with a defense stacked against the run.
Junior Justin Dragosz finished with 111 yards in 24 carries, including long runs of 30 and 34 yards.
"We have a lot of faith in Justin," Barrington coach Joe Sanchez said. "He stepped in against Elk Grove when we needed him, and the O-linemen plus (tight end) Lee Conforti and (fullback) Daniel Davidson did a great job."
Schaumburg quarterback Stacey Smith completed 16 of 25 passes for 241 yards and a touchdown.