Some of Elk Grove's players were stunned when they heard public address announcer Ken Grams give the Lake Zurich-Glenbard West score Saturday afternoon.
"That's a shocker," said Elk Grove senior wide receiver-defensive back Fernando Lozano of Lake Zurich's 10-3 upset of unbeaten and Class 7A title contender Glenbard West. "Anybody can beat anybody on any Friday or Saturday and we saw that today."
But the general consensus among the Grenadiers was they weren't looking ahead when their 32-point halftime lead was cut to 10 in their 39-22 second-round win over visiting Machesney Park Harlem.
"Inside we kept on saying, 'Don't be pleased with the score,'" Lozano said. "Coach Mags (assistant Rick Magsamen) always says nothing matters less than the score at halftime.
"We knew we still had the lead and we had to do our thing. We had to stay calm and not panic."
So, instead of a trip to Glen Ellyn, the Grenadiers will head up to Lake Zurich (9-2) for a 1 p.m. Saturday game. They know it will be a big challenge against a program that was second in the state last year and is making its fifth quarterfinal appearance in six years.
"It will be a fun -- it will be a defensive battle," said Elk Grove senior Dejan Basara.
"I was really surprised and when I heard it I said, 'Oh, wow,'" Elk Grove sophomore defensive lineman Johnny Assimakopoulos said of Lake Zurich's win without injured quarterback Zach Till. "But Lake Zurich is a really good team."
It will be the Grens' first quarterfinal trip since 2004. They reached the semifinals in 1981 when only two wins were needed to get there.
"It's unbelievable for our community and our school," said third-year Elk Grove coach Brian Doll. "We want to keep it going for the kids and the school and (retiring defensive assistant Mike) Mullaney. We don't want to see him finished yet."