Game Preview: Lake Forest (2-2) vs Warren (3-1)


Bobby Winebrenner

Each Friday night football game is a spectacle in its own right. The stands at Varsity Field are always filled and the atmosphere is always special. However, Homecoming weekend is a whole new beast. Warren is the opponent which draws the Scouts tonight and will look to spoil the festivities. Both teams come into the contest with a 2-0 record in conference play and the Blue Devils are 3-1 on the season whereas the Scouts sit at 2-2.

About the Blue Devils: Tied for the conference lead, Warren has played stellar football since their week one loss. In the season opener, they lost to Barrington 31-14; since then, they haven’t allowed a point. That defensive prowess led to 49-0 and 35-0 wins over Waukegan and Libertyville. They are led by junior Willis Singleton who heads a talented defensive line and linebacker Seamus Mellican. Starting Lake Forest quarterback Tommy Hanson had this to say about putting points up on the stout defense: “It’s very important for us to focus on our jobs tonight and execute the game plan in order to succeed.” Coming off a 337 yard performance against Libertyville, their offense is nothing to look past. Martin Walker starts at running back and is on pace to break 1,000 yards for the second straight season. Sophomore Phil Hird is a sophomore and has carved an impressive season of his own behind an offensive line which returns four of five starters from 2017. They are coached by Bryan McNulty and were bounced from the second round of the 8A playoffs to Maine South last year. This might even be a bigger test for the Scouts than their upset of then #10 Lake Zurich last Friday.


About the Scouts: Lake Forest’s season could have easily taken a turn for the worse last week. After going down 7-3 before the half, starting quarterback and captain James Swartout got injured and would not return. But the Scouts showed resiliency and backup Tommy Hanson took over and commanded an offense which scored 21 unanswered points to win. They successfully got the ball to their playmakers and Ryan Cekay and Breck Nowik both had huge days because of it. That’s something that will need to happen again if they want to knock off the Blue Devils. On defense, fans saw talented junior Rylie Mills record double digits in tackles and a unit which forced five turnovers. The special teams also had a big day with Kai Kroeger showcasing his booming punts and Carter Hiam kicking a field goal and three extra points. Their offensive line looked much more disciplined and will need to have another strong day to upset Warren.


Key Storylines:

  • Martin Walker vs Lake Forest Front 7
    • The 5’8’ 180 pound senior packs a punch and has a unique combination of power and speed. The Scouts defensive line will need to prevent him from breaking out big runs to stop the Warren offense from scoring in bunches.
  • Lake Forest QB Situation
    • Last week Tommy Hanson came in and kept his composure to lead the Scouts down the field. In his first start at quarterback, the senior will need to have another big game in order for Coach Spagnoli’s team to spread the ball out.
  • Homecoming Fever
    • Scout Nation will be in full effect over the celebratory weekend and will look to make things hard on the young Warren quarterback. If they can influence the game, the visiting Blue Devils will have trouble starting hot.


The primetime matchup kicks off at 7:30 PM on Varsity Field. The North Suburban Conference rivals look to break the tie at #1 and vault themselves to the top of the standings entering the second half of the season. Prior to the game, there’s a barbecue at 5:30 pm on the grass in front of the stadium. Fees are $2.00 for students with an ID and no activity pass and $5.00 for everyone else.