Lake Forest’s Season Ends at the Hands of Phillips


Bobby Winebrenner

Saturday afternoon saw the Lake Forest football team square off with the Phillips Academy Wildcats in a tight match up in the first round of the IHSA playoffs. The Wildcats eventually pulled away and ended the Scouts’ season. The teams went back and forth with Phillips eventually earning the win, 30-24.

With 7:45 left in the second quarter, Phillips muffed a punt and Lake Forest recovered which led to a 22 yard field goal by Carter Hiam. The Wildcats responded with a long drive capped off by Alabama recruit Jahleel Billingsley and a 12 yard touchdown run. A two point conversion made the score 8-3.

Deep in their own territory, Will Wisniewski secured an interception which gave the Scouts the ball on the 21 yard line. Jacob Thomas punched in a nine yard touchdown run for the Scouts which gave them a 9-8 lead.

Phillips came out of the half hungry as they went on another long drive which Fabian McCray finished with a six yard touchdown reception. Another two point conversion returned the lead to the Wildcats 16-9.

Early in the fourth quarter, a five yard touchdown pass from Tommy Hanson to Ryan Cekay tied the game at 16 with eleven minutes to go.

Once more, Phillips answered with an 80 yard touchdown drive and another two point drive making the score 24-16. Billingsley added another touchdown off a six yard run. With 2:44 left, Lake Forest wasn’t going down easily as Thomas scampered in for a ten yard touchdown run. The teams each had their seasons on the line with a tie game and two minutes left.

Unfortunately for Scouts’ fans, the Wildcats once again did what they did all game and answered with another long touchdown drive. Billingsley powered past the Scouts defense for a 15 yard touchdown run which pushed the lead to 30-24 with 30 seconds remaining. The defending state champions held the lead and sent the Scouts home packing.

Coach Spagnoli’s team stepped up to the occasion but couldn’t quite get it done on Saturday. The senior class knocked off Lake Zurich, Libertyville, and Stevenson all on the road and ended their careers in satisfactory fashion. An exciting and memorable season ended in a similar way as the Scouts played another close game but ultimately fell to the highly-touted Wildcats.