Another shutout for Warren; Lake Zurich's Dwyer injures leg
Warren has hung its hat on stingy defense the last few years.
In 2019, the Blue Devils pitched 6 shutouts. This year, that number is already up to two over the first four weeks.
Warren has now recorded back-to-back shutouts. On Friday, the Blue Devils blanked Lake Zurich 43-0 just one week after getting a 55-0 win over Waukegan.
"A few weeks ago we played Stevenson and we won 21-7, but our defense really didn't think it played well at all," Warren coach Bryan McNulty said. "We worked on some things and took that into Waukegan and then they really wanted the challenge of bringing it to Lake Zurich, too.
"We wanted to get back to playing really tough defense and I think we did that."
Warren suffocated Lake Zurich, allowing a total of just 16 yards for the game, 15 rushing yards and 1 passing yard.
The Blue Devils registered multiple sacks and tackles for loss and also had 3 interceptions and a safety. They forced Lake Zurich into 5 punts as well.
"Lake Zurich played hard," McNulty said. "But our guys were physical and they really got the job done. The nice thing is, we're doing it with seven sophomores on defense who are either starting or playing a lot. We're young, but these kids are learning and playing hard."
Big loss for LZ:
It did not help Lake Zurich's cause in Friday's 43-0 loss to Warren that leading rusher Jack Dwyer went down early with an injury.
In fact, it was the very first play of the game.
Dwyer, who will be playing at Illinois State next year, busted out a 40-yard run on Lake Zurich's first play, and then while being tackled ended up hurting his lower leg. He sat out the rest of the game.
"We aren't sure yet what the diagnosis is," Lake Zurich coach Ron Planz said on Saturday. "I texted him (Saturday) morning and he said he felt OK, but he's not sure what's going on yet. They were looking at his lower leg and knee last night and he had a big brace on it while he was on the sideline, but we probably won't know for sure until Monday."
Planz said that Dwyer didn't want to leave the sideline and stuck around to cheer on his teammates.
"It's tough to lose a senior leader like that and he's one of our better players, too, but Jack was really positive on the sidelines," Planz said. "And his teammates were rallying around him, too. That was really good to see, especially when things weren't really going our way."
The streak continues for Warren running back Maurice Edwards.
He is 4-for-4 in 100-plus-yard rushing games this season, after rolling up 107 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns in Warren's 43-0 shutout of Lake Zurich on Friday.
Edwards opened the scoring with a 4-yard touchdown run and then the Blue Devils got a safety to lead 9-0 after the first quarter.
"Maurice has some high-end (college) potential," Warren coach Bryan McNulty said of Edwards. "He is consistently below a 4.5 in the 40 and he's doing great within our offense."
Warren scored twice in the second quarter on a 25-yard pass from quarterback Adam Behrens to Zion Griffin and a 25-yard interception return for a touchdown by Jailen Duffie.
The Blue Devils then scored three times in the third quarter to enact a running clock.
Edwards scored again on a 4-yard run, quarterback Aidan Lucero hit Justin Kretz with a 56-yard touchdown and Lucero ran in an 18-yard touchdown.
Warren continues to use three quarterbacks in each game: sophomore Adam Behrens, junior Aidan Lucero and senior Philip Hird. All three played in a 43-0 win over Lake Zurich on Friday.
"They are all different, but they all can legit play," Warren coach Bryan McNulty said. "They are all good in their own way. Adam (Behrens) is so heady, even for a sophomore, and has a really good arm. Aidan (Lucero) is a pure athlete and Philip (Hird) has so much good experience.
"All three can run the ball really well and all three can throw. It's really nice to have that."
Against Lake Zurich, Behrens started and completed 8-of-16 passes for 97 yards and a touchdown. Lucero had a touchdown pass and a touchdown run, both in the second half.