Against Schaumburg, Lake Zurich leaves its mark

 
 
Updated 10/28/2017 11:08 PM
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  • Lake Zurich's Matthijs Enters lands in the end zone after catching a TD pass during first-round Class 7A playoff action against Schaumburg in Lake Zurich Saturday. The Saxons defender is Victor Olaitan.

      Lake Zurich's Matthijs Enters lands in the end zone after catching a TD pass during first-round Class 7A playoff action against Schaumburg in Lake Zurich Saturday. The Saxons defender is Victor Olaitan. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Lake Zurich's Ryan Vrenios celebrates the recovery of a Schaumburg turnover during the first quarter of Class 7A first-round state playoff action in Lake Zurich on Saturday.

      Lake Zurich's Ryan Vrenios celebrates the recovery of a Schaumburg turnover during the first quarter of Class 7A first-round state playoff action in Lake Zurich on Saturday. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Lake Zurich's Matthijs Enters celebrates his first-quarter touchdown against visiting Schaumburg on Saturday.

      Lake Zurich's Matthijs Enters celebrates his first-quarter touchdown against visiting Schaumburg on Saturday. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Lake Zurich's Evan Lewandowski carries the ball on a quarterback keeper as Schaumburg's Hezekiah Trotter (3) closes in during Class 7A playoff action Saturday.

      Lake Zurich's Evan Lewandowski carries the ball on a quarterback keeper as Schaumburg's Hezekiah Trotter (3) closes in during Class 7A playoff action Saturday. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Lake Zurich's Joey Stutzman, right, looks to get past Schaumburg's Jamari McIntyre during the Class 7A playoffs Saturday in Lake Zurich.

      Lake Zurich's Joey Stutzman, right, looks to get past Schaumburg's Jamari McIntyre during the Class 7A playoffs Saturday in Lake Zurich. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Lake Zurich's Payton Powell is congratulated by teammates following his second-quarter touchdown against Schaumburg.

      Lake Zurich's Payton Powell is congratulated by teammates following his second-quarter touchdown against Schaumburg. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Lake Zurich quarterback Evan Lewnadowski throws a second-quarter pass as Schaumburg's Victor Olaitan closes in.

      Lake Zurich quarterback Evan Lewnadowski throws a second-quarter pass as Schaumburg's Victor Olaitan closes in. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Schaumburg's Shamaree Brown catches a pass during Saturday's Class 7A playoff matchup at Lake Zurich.

      Schaumburg's Shamaree Brown catches a pass during Saturday's Class 7A playoff matchup at Lake Zurich. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Schaumburg quarterback Marcus Ross carries the ball against Class 7A playoff host Lake Zurich on Saturday.

      Schaumburg quarterback Marcus Ross carries the ball against Class 7A playoff host Lake Zurich on Saturday. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Schaumburg quarterback Marcus Ross recovers his own fumble as Lake Zurich's Lucas Dwyer closes in during the Class 7A playoff action in Lake Zurich on Saturday.

      Schaumburg quarterback Marcus Ross recovers his own fumble as Lake Zurich's Lucas Dwyer closes in during the Class 7A playoff action in Lake Zurich on Saturday. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

A long-standing football tradition at Lake Zurich is for players to cover themselves in temporary tatoos.

"It started in the playoffs in 2009, I think, and they did really good that year, so we've kept it going," Lake Zurich quarterback Evan Lewandowski said. "It's a good tradition that we started."

Lewandowski did his part to keep the tradition going by wearing a tattoo star on one cheek and wings on the other.

Appropriate choices. Because Lewandowski was the star of the show of Lake Zurich's 42-6 Class 7A first-round playoff victory over Schaumburg on Saturday night by letting the ball fly (as if it had wings).

Lewandowski, despite frigid temperatures, completed 13-of-27 passes for 253 yards and 3 toudchdowns. He also ran in a touchdown.

All three of Lewandowski's touchdown passes came in the first half as Lake Zurich built a 35-0 halftime lead.

The No. 3-seeded Bears, ranked No. 1 in Class 7A throughout the season, are now a perfect 10-0 on the season and will face No. 14 Plainfield North (8-2) in the second round next week.

"It helped that we had a great offensive line today. They've been really strong and that helps with the passing game," Lewandowski said. "And our wideouts are doing a great job. They're all really good."

Lewandowski completed passes to five different receivers. But his main target was actually his running back, Joey Stutzman. Stutzman caught 5 passes for 117 yards, including a beautiful 64-yard touchdown bomb at the beginning of the second quarter.

Lake Zurich's first score was a 24-yard pass from Lewandowski to Matthijs Enters (4 catches, 87 yards) with 4:35 left in the first quarter. Two minutes after Stutzman's touchdown reception, Lewandowski struck again, hitting Payton Powell for a 12-yard touchdown pass. That score was set up by a quick Schaumburg 3-and-out.

Stutzman (11 yards) and Lewandowski (5 yards) also ran in touchdowns in the second quarter to give Lake Zurich that 35-0 halftime lead.

Meanwhile, Schaumburg had just 2 first downs and 31 total yards at halftime.

"They are extremely tough," Schaumburg coach Mark Stilling said of Lake Zurich. "And they do a ton of little things extremely well. Just attention to details. They don't miss tackles, they do a great job defensively of seeing the ball and flying to the ball. Defensively, they are pretty darn solid.

"We would have needed to come in an execute at an extremely high level and we just didn't do that. A lot of that was us, but a lot of that was them. They're a darn good football team."

Schaumburg finally got on the board in the third quarter when quarterback Marcus Ross (20 rushes, 65 yards) ran in a 1-yard touchdown but Lewandowski answered at the end of the quarter with another touchdown run, from 29 yards out.

Lewandowski ran for 48 yards on 5 carries. Stutzman led the Bears on the ground with 68 yards on 13 carries.

"You can tell that Evan is a seasoned quarterback. He started last year, he has a lot of experience," Lake Zurich coach Luke Mertens said of Lewandowski. "He played well for us."

Lewandowski has put up big numbers all season for the Bears, who have had a target on their backs for weeks as their wins continued to pile up.

"I think our kids have done a great job of not being overconfident in spite of all the publicity they've gotten pretty much the whole season," Mertens said. "And they get it now. They know that this time of year, everyone is good so it's going to come down to the little things."

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