Lake Zurich scores 21 unanswered points in second half to take down Stevenson
Taking advantage of some early miscues by visiting Lake Zurich helped Stevenson take a 10-0 halftime lead in this North Suburban Conference football opener Friday night.
But the second half was an entirely different story as the Bears scored 21 unanswered points before capturing a 21-16 NSC victory to improve to 3-0 overall.
The opening kickoff got the contest off to a bad start for the Bears as they failed to cover the bouncing football at all on the field turf, and the Patriots recovered the ball on the Lake Zurich 12-yard-line three seconds into the game.
Stevenson (2-1, 0-1) had to settle for a 31-yard field goal by Caden An for a 3-0 lead 2:21 into the first quarter.
Then on Lake Zurich's second possession, running back Chris Pirrone (135 yards on 27 rushes) lost a fumble on the Bears' 24-yard-line.
One play later, Stevenson's Christopher Thorndyke scored on a 24-yard TD run for a 10-0 lead with 5:18 left in the period.
A 4-yard TD run by Pirrone followed by Jesus Vilchis' extra point cut the lead to 10-7 late in the third quarter. Then a 1-yard TD run by Lincoln Adams gave Lake Zurich a 14-10 lead with 6:45 to play.
Stevenson quarterback Aidan Crawley (19-for-31, 145 yards) had his pass go off the hands of a receiver and into the hands of Lake Zurich's Dillon Schaap for an interception. Pirrone's 12-yard TD run made the score 21-10 with 4:59 to play. Pirrone only had 29 yards on 10 carries in the first half.
"Credit to coach (Ron) Planz, his staff, and their kids, they played really hard for 48 minutes," said Stevenson coach Brent Becker. "We tried to make some good adjustments at halftime and we just didn't execute to be honest with you so we have to find a way to get better."
The Pats got a 2-yard TD run from Frank Costabile (101 yards on 23 attempts) with 55 seconds to play before a 2-point conversion failed to account for the final score.
"It's all about what you've got in the heart that's all that matters, and if you keep grinding and you keep believing you will win," said Pirrone. "It's either we wanted it or not, and we wanted it really bad and we believed we were going to win."
Lake Zurich quarterback Lucas Lappin was 3-for-13 for 60 yards while Thorndyke had 31 yards on 3 rushes.
"We take a lot of pride in our community and we take a lot of pride in the tradition of our program," said Planz. "They came out and battled and that's Lake Zurich football, and I'm proud as heck of them."