Grayslake North notches its 4th straight win
"No shenanigans" at practice this coming week, was the resounding message from Grayslake North coach Sam Baker to his troops shortly after handling host Grant Community 40-7 and spoiling Senior Night for the Bulldogs Friday night in Fox Lake.
The victory kept the Knights' playoffs hopes alive as they improved to 4-4 overall and 4-3 in the Northern Lake County Conference with a home date against Grayslake Central next week.
"The last two games have been our best and tonight was one of the cleanest we've ever had," said Baker, whose team started 0-4 but has rolled off four straight after Friday and only had 3 penalties for 30 yards.
"Our preparation has been much better in practice and we executed well on both sides of the ball tonight."
There were certainly no "shenanigans" with senior quarterback Austin Martineua being on fire of late. After tossing for 290 yards in a thriller over Wauconda, Martineau lit up the Grant secondary to the tune of 225 yards on 16-of-24 passes and five scores.
"We've been here before," said Martineau, "so we knew what to do with our backs against the wall." Last year, the Knights started 1-4 but the resiliency and great finish got them into the playoffs for a sixth straight year.
"We've been practicing hard and up-tempo and playing fast."
Martineau got it going early when he hit senior wideout Nick Lovitsch from 18 yards and a 7-0 lead three minutes into the game.
Not to be outdone, Grant came firing right back later in the quarter when senior running back Noah Lautner rumbled in from 10 yards out to knot it at 7-7 with 2:26 left in the first.
Martineau then responded 1:21 into the second when he hit Lovitsch again from 17 yards to give the Knights what turned out to be the lead for good at 14-7.
Sandwiched in between a TD pass to Lovitsch again and then Tony Hines, Martineau also dashed in from 3 yards out as Grayslake North carried a 28-7 advantage into the fourth.
Senior running back Jordan Curtis carried the load on the ground with 107 yards on 15 carries and 4-yard TD run.
Meanwhile, the loss eliminated the Bulldogs from playoff contention as they slipped to 3-5 overall and 3-3 in the league.
Junior quarterback Tyler Elfering was Grant's leading rusher with 86 yards on 11 carries.
Senior Adam George recovered a first quarter fumble, while Lovitsch and junior defensive lineman Brian Kenebrew each picked off passes.