Wauconda downs Lakes to make it 6-0
On second-and-12 at the Lakes' 32-yard line, Wauconda was driving down the field to start the third quarter. Bulldogs quarterback Vince Bennett took the snap and tried to avoid the rush but was sacked for a 16-yard loss.
For a moment, the drive looked stalled.
But the Bulldogs didn't flinch. On third-and-28, Bennett found a wide open Collin Husko down the left sideline for a 48-yard touchdown.
"Anytime you're going to get yourself ready and face a winning team, you expect to be tested," Wauconda coach Dave Mills said. "The whole game of football is overcoming adversity and kudos to our kids they're doing it."
Wauconda went on to defeat Lakes on the road, 29-13, to improve to 6-0 on the season. and clinch a playoff berth.
A big reason the Bulldogs remained undefeated was because of Husko's play throughout the entirety of the game. The junior running back finished the night with 27 carries for 132 yards, 1 rushing touchdown and the 48-yard receiving score.
It was Husko's 5-yard run in the first quarter that put the first points of the night on the scoreboard. The Bulldogs ended up missing the extra point, though.
The Eagles would respond later in the first half with a touchdown of their own. With Lakes moving the ball down the field, the drive nearly stopped on the Wauconda 20, where the Eagles faced a fourth-and-14.
But quarterback Max Bausch found wide receiver Ethan Walker over the middle of the field for a 15-yard gain. Lakes running back Amir Al Hindi scored on the next play to make it a 7-6 game.
Wauconda running back Collin Cheshier gave the Bulldogs a 13-7 lead at halftime with his 2-yard touchdown run.
Lakes did respond in the second half and it began with Anthony Grande's interception late in the third quarter. On the next play, Bausch hit wide receiver Tyson Dewey in stride for an 80-yard touchdown to make it a 20-13 game with 2:06 left in the third.
"We stayed calm and we knew what we were doing most of the time," Bennett said. "Our defense played really well ... Penalties were the biggest struggle in this game, but other than that I thought we played really well."
Bennett sealed the game for the Bulldogs with his 6-yard touchdown with 3:37 remaining in the fourth quarter. He ended the night with 58 yards on the ground on his 11 carries.
Wauconda's win over Lakes puts the Bulldogs in sole possession of first place in the Northern Lake County Conference. But Mills knows his team isn't finished yet.
"I think their sights are set down the road and they will come in and do the work today to make sure they get tomorrow taken care of," Mills said. "They have big aspirations and they know how to work."