Warren shuts out Lake Forest
About two minutes before kickoff, Lake Forest put on its giant blue sideline rain capes with gold lettering and didn't take them off until the second half. The steady rain came and went in 26 minutes.
But while it lasted, you could see it fall in the illuminated spheres around each of the four light posts, and you could see it glisten on patches around the field, eerily wreaking havoc.
If Warren's Friday night football game was played on grass instead of Lake Forest's pristine turf field, the first half would have been a mud flood. If it simply just didn't rain, maybe both teams would have found the end zone a bit more. And if Lake Forest could have capitalized on Warren's first-half blunders, it would have been a different outcome. But if 'ifs' and 'buts' were candy and nuts, oh, what a party we'd have. Warren won 28-0.
"We were careless with the ball in the rain a little bit," said Warren coach Bryan McNulty. "But, I thought these kids showed great resilience.
In the first half alone, Warren had two dropped touchdown passes, three fumbles, one muffed punt (recovered by the returner), and one shanked 20-yard punt. Lake Forest had one fumble called back because of a penalty and one turnover on downs.
The door was open for the Scouts, but with 25 seconds left in the first half, the Blue Devils' senior quarterback Adam Behrens found a dry pocket, as he punched in a one-yard sneak for a touchdown. Warren led 7-0 at half.
"It was a really important [touchdown]," McNulty said, "because they got the ball in the second half, so we really wanted to score there, and then we felt like our defense could take over and they played really, really well."
Then the rain stopped. Reggae singer Jimmy Cliff once sang, "I can see clearly now, the rain is gone. I can see all obstacles in my way. Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind."
But maybe only Warren listens to Jimmy Cliff.
One would think that when the rain ceased, the mishaps, miscues and missteps would have gone with the weather for both teams. But in the first two minutes of the third quarter, Lake Forest fumbled twice, the first of which led to a scoop-and-score touchdown by junior Donovan McNeal.
As for Warren, however, everything started to stick again. Behrens was throwing tight spirals and ditching defenders -- he lost two on his way to his second goal-line rushing touchdown of the night. And senior running back Charley Thompson was gliding through holes once again -- he hit one for a 78-yard run to get the team to 28.