Scouts’ Self-Inflicted Wounds Lead to 2nd Straight Loss

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Bobby Winebrenner

Similar to week one, Lake Forest jumped out to an early lead on Friday. Once again, the Scouts were unable to hold that lead and ultimately moved to 0-2 with the 21-12 loss.

Lake Forest got on the board early after Jacob Thomas took a screen pass from quarterback James Swartout 61 yards for a touchdown three minutes into the game. Their offensive attack looked diverse, and they were successfully moving the ball–different from the previous game.

The defense looked stout early on as well, forcing the Eagles to punt and keeping them scoreless in the first quarter. With ten minutes remaining in the second quarter, Wheaton North kicked a 34 yard field goal to make the score 7-3. The kick came after a fake punt in which the Wheaton tight end easily caught a pass and converted as they caught the Scouts defense napping.

Shortly after the score, Swartout attempted to deliver a short pass which was intercepted by linebacker Xander Mueller who surprised the quarterback and easily picked off the pass. Wheaton quarterback Nathan Love finished off the short drive with a one yard touchdown run, putting the Falcons up 10-7.

The score was 13-7 in favor of the visiting Falcons at the half when Christian Halstead returned the opening kickoff 87 yards for a Falcon touchdown. They followed that up with a two-point conversion to make the score 21-7 and silenced the home crowd.

Torrential downpour then hit and the game was delayed. After the teams were released back on the field the game was quiet. Wheaton North wound up holding on for a 21-12 victory improving their record to 1-1.

These two teams did not seem all that different. Take away a kickoff return touchdown and a fake punt which led to a field goal and the score is 12-10 Scouts. Obviously, it’s not right to look at it from that angle but the point remains that this game consisted of many self-inflicted errors by the Lake Forest football team. The two teams both had 253 yards of total offense, converted 3rd downs at a rate under 35%, and each team had 13 first downs. The separation factor: twelve penalties for the Scouts which killed drives and made it impossible to catch up to the Falcons. Five of those penalties were illegal procedure calls (lining up incorrectly/false start) forcing Coach Spagnoli’s team into too many unnecessary punt scenarios. Senior tight end Crawford Bolton agreed and was disappointed with the enlarged self-inflicted wounds in week two: “It became an issue because we weren’t mentally focused and didn’t play with discipline as a unit. It stopped many great drives where we had momentum and forced us to give the ball away.”

The good news for the Scouts is that they looked improved on both sides. Aside from the correctable penalties, Week Two saw improved performances from their playmakers. Thomas had 143 yards of total offense and Ryan Cekay led the receivers with 5 receptions for 74 yards. Will Wisniewski and Rylie Mills led the defense with six tackles each.

Lake Forest stays at home vs. Mundelein in week three at 7:30pm.