Varsity Football Preview – Lake Forest Scouts (0-2) v. Mundelein Mustangs (1-1)

Scouts Football: Senior Night Feature, Letters to our Freshman Selves 4

Will Davis

After two frustrating losses, the Scouts will have another opportunity to get back on track and fix their mistakes as they take on one of the weaker opponents in the conference, the Mundelein Mustangs. The game will kickoff at 7:30 p.m. at Varsity Field and the theme for the evening will be a blackout. Students are encouraged to wear all black and fill the stands as the Scouts take on the Mustangs.

About the Mustangs: The Mustangs are riding high into this matchup after blanking Grayslake Central 17-0 in their home opener. The Mustangs forte this season will most likely be their offense, which is led by junior quarterback Isaac Wellman and senior wide receiver Eli Daugs. Wellman won out the starting job this summer and has received high praise for his mobility and awareness. Daugs, on the other hand, is a returning starter at wide receiver and one of Wellman’s favorite targets as he caught both touchdown passes in Mundelein’s win last week against Grayslake Central. On defense, the Mustangs are an undersized group but they play with a lot of grit. Senior linebacker Tabor Alemu is the leader of the defense and one of the team’s most talented players. In general, the Mustangs talent level is nowhere close to that of the Scouts but they play with heart and have shown glimpses of promise this far into the season.

About the Scouts: Coming off a disappointing 21-12 loss to Wheaton North in their home opener, the Scouts have lots to improve on this week if they want to get back on track against the Mustangs. Undisciplined play and unnecessary penalties plagued the Scouts throughout the entirety of last Friday’s game. The Scouts racked up 12 total penalties (five of those being illegal procedure/formation) which ended up taking away a safety, and forcing many punts. Due to that, punter Kai Kroeger was a bright spot from the night. Kroeger’s punts were exceptional all night as he continuously pinned the Falcons deep in their own territory. The defense also did a great job of shutting down Wheaton North’s star running back Antowon Tolbert when the game continued after the rain delay.  Two players who specifically stood out were Ben Marwede and Clayton Burton. With Rylie Mills put up against double and triple teams all night, Marwede and Burton had the opportunity to wreak havoc in the backfield and they did just that. Both will need to keep up this level of play against Mundelein if the Scouts hope to win. On the offensive side of the ball, the Scouts line will need to do a better job of protecting quarterback James Swartout so that he can get the ball to his offensive weapons. Swartout was sacked a total of six times last week. The Scouts, however, seem confident that this is the week they will turn things around. “The key to offensive success is playing with tempo and limiting the time between snaps. If we can do that, we can limit penalties and play more disciplined football,” captain Chase Bahr said. The goal for this week is proper execution and more intense focus; succeeding at both of these things will bring the Scouts their first victory.

Key Storylines:

  • The Push Upfront
    • The Scouts will need a big game from the line (especially Chase Bahr) in order to open up running lanes for speedster Jacob Thomas and to protect quarterback James Swartout. Thomas is quick and elusive but needs space in order to show off his capabilities. Similarly, Swartout needs time in order to survey the field and find his targets (Ryan Cekay, Breck Nowik).
  • Disciplined Play
    • As obvious as it may seem, the Scouts need to play as clean a game as possible this coming week if they want to beat Mundelein and be competitive for the rest of the season. Illegal procedure and holding calls are momentum killers and will continue to hurt the Scouts if they don’t play with more discipline.
  • Defensive Consistency
    • Lake Forest’s defense has looked strong the past two weeks. If the secondary can continue to limit big plays, and the defensive line can continue to get pressure on the quarterback, the Scouts will run away with this one.

Prediction: Lake Forest 40, Mundelein 7