Game Preview: Lake Forest Scouts (3-3) vs Zion Benton Zee-Bees (2-4)


Bobby Winebrenner

Illinois high school football fans know that October is different. Teams are gearing up for the playoffs in the early half and the later half decides seasons. All the offseason sprints, lifts, and workouts come down to these couple of weeks. For the Lake Forest football team, these next few weeks include Zion Benton, Libertyville, and Stevenson. Tonight’s matchup sees the Zee-Bees travel to Varsity Field to take on the Scouts with Senior Night festivities going on. This could very well be the last time these seniors lace up the cleats and run out onto the turf so expect a fiery performance from the blue and gold.


About the Zee-Bees: Zion Benton comes into the matchup holding a 2-4 record (1-3 in conf.) with wins over Mundelein and North Chicago, and losses coming to Hersey, Stevenson, Lake Zurich, and Warren. They are coached by Robert Moynihan who’s in his fifth year as head coach. They are led on offense by dual-threat quarterback Jerome Crawford and running back Jordan Chisum. Last year, the Scouts needed a late touchdown to get past Zion and the Zee-Bees return a majority of their defense. Defensive back Andrew Norris leads an experienced secondary which plays lots of man-coverage and will look to make things difficult on the athletic Scouts receivers. The defense will need to keep points off the board as Zion’s offense has struggled to score at times and Lake Forest’s defense has looked stout all year.


About the Scouts: A domination of Waukegan brought the Scouts back to .500 on the season as they currently sit at 3-3 (3-1 in conf.). Saturday’s game featured a strong showing from both sides of the ball as Lake Forest’s defense was able to force five turnovers and the offense turned that into 42 points. Quarterback Tommy Hanson looked improved in his second start on the season as he threw for two touchdowns and rushed for another. It’s important for Hanson to see more and more action as the upcoming games are critical the team’s playoff hopes. The Scouts are still without starting tight end Crawford Bolton as he suffered a sprained MCL injury versus Warren. Look for Coach Spagnoli’s bunch to exercise a strong run game as they match up well in the trenches against the smaller Zion-Benton defensive line and front seven. Junior offensive linemen Charlie Aberle realizes the importance of tonight’s senior night contest, “It’s incredibly important to win tonight and head into Libertyville week on a high note. We need to come out playing smart, fast, but also disciplined to get the job done.” Look for the Scouts to jump out to a quick start as they congratulate the dedication of 28 seniors and feed off the positive energy.


Key Storylines:

  • Which Zion Benton team will we see?
    • The Zee-Bees lost to Stevenson 51-14 but also dominated Mundelein 36-9. Granted the two opponents are on polar ends of the North Suburban Conference spectrum but Zion has shown flashes all year which could pose threats to the Scouts.
  • How different will the Scouts look?
    • With huge games against rivals Libertyville and Stevenson looming, Coach Spagnoli & Co. will likely not want to reveal very much they’ve drew up over the past two weeks. Expect the Scouts to secure an early lead and preserve it in a fashion similar to last week.
  • How festive will Senior Night be?
    • Obviously Lake Forest would love to get all their seniors in and reward them for all the hard work they’ve put in. If Zion-Benton can keep it close, the Scouts will be unable to treat this game differently and will have to grind out another win.


Tonight’s contest kicks off at 7:30 PM on Varsity Field at Lake Forest High School’s West Campus. The theme for home students and fans is a Pink Out in support of breast cancer awareness month. North Shore University HealthSystem has been kind enough to pass out shirts to the first 800 arriving fans and there will also be a raffle to add to the festivities.