Lake Zurich, Round Lake, Lakes score big wins
The big play was with the Lake Zurich football team in its 56-7 North Suburban Conference win over Zion-Benton Friday.
Quarterback Jarred Meyers completed 6 passes for 166 yards and 2 touchdowns, including a 58-yard strike to Lucas Wysocki. Tyler Kamins also threw a 75-yard scoring strike to Nolan Schuetz.
Bobby Dlatt had 3 catches for 64 yards with a long grab of 31 yards and Tyler Erkman caught a 46-yard touchdown pass from Meyers.
Meyers also got it done on the ground, running 4 times for 60 yards and 2 scores. He had a long run of 53 yards. Ben Cooper ran 10 times for 49 yards with 2 touchdowns, while Erkman ran twice for 38 yards.
"Team wise, it has been great to see us stay the course and continue to improve," Lake Zurich coach Ron Planz said. "We don't have an MPV, it's all about the team getting better. While we are getting better every week, basic fundamentals have to improve if we are going to continue to win games. We need to block, tackle pursue and take care of the ball better. We still end up with penalties at bad times, but our effort and toughness are there."
Planz lauded the recent strong play of Wysocki. "I am really proud of how Lucas has come along," he said. "He is a guy who has worked hard for four years and never complained about his role. This year, he has done some great things in practice and it was great to see him make a huge play against Zion."
The win moved Lake Zurich to 2-3 overall and 1-2 in the North Suburban with a trip to improved Mundelein on tap Friday.
Round Lake 26, North Chicago 10:
The Panthers (2-3, 1-2 Northern Lake County) took care of business in a big way for its homecoming game against North Chicago.
Jamariel Brown returned a kick 92 yards for a touchdown, while Jalynn Burton scored rushing touchdowns on runs of 17 and 73 yards. Kalontae Hawkins had a rushing touchdown, 81 rushing yards and broke off a 50-yard run at one point.
On defense, Marco Jimenez had 14 total tackles (9 solos, 5 assists, 1 sack, 2 tackles for loss and a fumble recovery). Tyler McManus had 8 tackles and an interception, while Anthony Bishop had an interception.
Round Lake coach Scott Blecha was thrilled with how his team's defensive played. "We gave up 10 points, but six were on a kick return for a touchdown, two on a 2-point conversion and two on a safety given up by the offense. Our defense pitched a shutout and came up with 2 interceptions, 2 fumble recoveries and multiple stops and big plays," he said. "It was a sloppy game and our offense gave up the ball a few times, but our defense held strong and picked them up with big play after big play."
McManus was a force on defense for the Panthers. "Tyler played multiple positions on defense and had his biggest game of his career," Blecha said.
Jimenez also had a strong game on both sides of the ball, as did Roberto Herrera at right tackle.
"Marco stepped in and played both sides of the ball this week," Blecha explained. "He started at right guard for the first time this season. Roberto stepped in and played right tackle on offense after our starter suffered an injury. He has had minimal reps at that position and stepped in got the job done."
Blecha estimates it was Round Lake's first homecoming win in probably two decades. "It was a sloppy game all around, but our kids kept picking each other up," he said. "We gave up a touchdown on the opening kickoff and our kids could have hung their heads, but they answered right back by returning the ensuing kickoff and battled until the end. Our defense has never played better and kept us in the game long enough for our offense to make things happen. Jaylnn came up with two huge runs when we needed it most and ultimately led us to the win."
Lakes 34, Grayslake North 28:
Grayslake North coach Corey Atwell saw some positives in his team's Northern Lake County loss to Lakes.
"Lakes controlled the ball. We couldn't get them off the field," he said. "The offense struggled early, but got into a groove in the second half, but we were always in catchup mode."
Jack Kukis stepped in at quarterback, "and did an unbelievable job," Atwell said. Kukis threw 2 touchdowns, a 15-yarder to Nathan Atwell and a 30-yarder to DJ Neely. Kukis also had a 7-yard rushing touchdown for the Knights, who dropped to 0-5 overall and 0-3 in Northern Lake County play.
Lakes moved to 4-1 and remained in a first-place tie with Wauconda atop the conference standings at 3-0. Lakes hosts Wauconda in Lake Villa Friday.