Stevenson tops Lake Forest, gets back on track
After losing two in a row and with three games left on the schedule, regaining momentum was the name of the game for the Stevenson football team Friday night at Lake Forest.
And despite falling behind the Scouts 3-0 early in this North Suburban Conference contest, the Patriots bounced back very strongly in capturing a convincing 35-10 NSC Lake Division victory.
Lake Forest (4-3, 1-3) jumped out to that quick 3-0 lead on a 32-yard field goal by junior Ryan Gattari just 4:38 into the opening quarter.
But Stevenson (4-3, 2-2) showed that it was ready to move the ball well on both the ground and through the air on the Scouts' senior night at the west campus.
Starting at their own 40, a 15-yard keeper by senior quarterback Jack Sorenson and a 21-yard reception by teammate Matt Norton were two big plays that put the ball on the Lake Forest 6-yard-line.
Two plays later, Sorenson (11-for-15, 159 yards passing) hit teammate Anthony Sibo with a 2-yard touchdown pass over the middle before the extra point by Peter Drozdzewicz gave the Patriots the lead for keeps at 7-3.
Stevenson struck again on its next possession as an 18-yard catch by senior Tyler Vincent, and a 17-yard grab by Sibo put the ball inside the red zone late in the first quarter.
Two plays later, Sorenson (61 yards rushing on 11 carries) scored on a 1-yard keeper as the Patriots extended their lead to 14-3.
After the Scouts were forced to punt, the Pats made it three drives in a row that wound up with touchdowns as they marched 94 yards on only nine plays.
A 41-yard pass from Sorenson to Norton really kicked the drive into high gear before a 15-yard run by Vincent (174 yards rushing on 20 attempts) made it first-and-goal from the 5.
Sorenson got the job done again on a 1-yard keeper as the Patriots boosted their lead to 21-3.
"Lake Forest is a solid football team, they're well coached, and we knew we would have to play well in all three phases of the game," said Stevenson coach Bill McNamara, whose team had 398 yards of total offense. "We've played really well in spurts this season, but not a whole game, and tonight we played well the whole game."
Lake Forest did not go away quietly in the second quarter as quarterback Danny Carollo (11-for-26, 120 yards passing) led his team on an 80-yard scoring drive.
A 26-yard reception by Quinn Julian was the key play of the drive before Carollo found Julian in the right corner of the end zone for an 8-yard TD pass to cut the lead to 21-10 with 4:20 remaining in the first half.
But a big kickoff return by Sibo on the ensuing kickoff gave Stevenson great field position on their own 49.
Five plays later, Vincent got the job done with his 1-yard TD run boosting the lead to 28-10 with 1:55 left in the second quarter.
"We had a lot of opportunities in the second half that we did not capitalize on," said Sorenson, who had 139 yards passing in the first half. "But in the first half we did a really good job and it really helps having Vincent back there breaking big runs. Our first half passing was obviously a success. We condensed the defense and our slants worked pretty well."
After a scoreless third quarter, the Patriots broke the game open early in the fourth quarter.
Vincent's second 1-yard TD run of the game capped a seven-play, 53-yard scoring drive as the Pats led 35-10 with 11:49 to play.
Julian (132 yards on 19 carries) lost a fumble inside his own 5 midway through the fourth quarter as Stevenson's Charlie Bourbon made the big fumble recovery on the play.
Then on the ensuing drive, Vincent broke a 70-yard run down to the Lake Forest 6-yard-line.
At that point, McNamara chose to put in many of his reserves as the Scouts were able to prevent the Pats from running the ball in for another touchdown resulting in the final score of 35-10.
Connor Crawley, Ethan Masters, and Ben Tauber all had interceptions for Stevenson.
"We mentioned going into this week that there are three weeks left in the regular season and a few things can happen," said McNamara, whose team hosts Zion-Benton next week. "I thought tonight was a night that we took some momentum in the right direction and hopefully we can carry that into the playoffs."