Lakes takes wild win over Grayslake N.

By Rusty Silber
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 8/27/2011 12:24 AM

Trying to pull out a fourth-quarter victory, the Lakes football team scored 13 points and shook off 5 turnovers.

The Eagles flew past visiting Grayslake North 16-7 in a season opening nonconference game in Lake Villa on Friday night.

"We were able to overcome everything and now we need to fix the turnovers," Lakes coach Luke Mertens said. "We told the team this was going to be a dogfight to the very end. I knew it would come down to the final minute.

"I thought we were way too sloppy offensively and our defense kept us in this game. That's one thing we preach. If you play good defense you can stay in the game."

Lakes found itself down 7-3 late in the third quarter and into the final quarter. In fact, the Eagles missed three chances of scoring from the red zone. Tanner Blain had a 35-yard field goal blocked followed by a fumble and an interception on the next two possessions.

Finally, Lakes seized momentum on a 35-yard drive in 3 plays as Justin Bergeron caught a 21-yard touchdown pass from Levi Haymaker (6 of 17 for 101 yards and 2 INT's) with 4:54 left.

"I knew I was making some mistakes and the whole team was stepping things up," said Haymaker who started for Chris Hoffman out and recovering from an off-season injury. "O-line was making their blocks, I made my reads and made the play." THe Eagles' defense stepped up in the remaining minutes and stopped the Knights from getting inside the Lakes 30-yard line.

Lakes' Direll Clark (12 carries, 96 yards) added insurance and scampered for a 72-yard touchdown run which gave the Eagles a 16-7 lead with 1:43 remaining.

"We just didn't take advantage and our defense played great," Grayslake North coach Steve Wood said. "I thought we played great and created turnovers. We just need to be more consistent.

"Coming in we knew it would be a battle and not too many people gave us a chance coming in."

Lakes opened a 3-0 advantage on Blain's 36-yard field goal with one second left in the opening quarter.

Knights took over the lead 7-3 on its opening drive to start the second half. Charlie Pine caught a 1-yard pass from AJ Fish (12 of 23 for 107 yards and INT) with 6:32 left, which capped a scoring drive that went 12 plays and 80 yards.