Vying for the title: Breaking down Lake Zurich, Stevenson

SHARE Vying for the title: Breaking down Lake Zurich, Stevenson

Stevenson (6-2, 5-0 NSC Lake) will host Lake Zurich (8-0, 5-0) at 7:30 p.m. Friday for the North Suburban Conference Lake Division championship. Which team will walk away with the title? Pioneer Press can make a case for both the Bears and the Patriots.

The case for Lake Zurich…


The Bears have been exceptionally protective of the football this year, turning it over just three times. They have forced 13 takeaways for a margin of plus-10. What’s flat-out phenomenal is how they’ve scored 43 points off of turnovers while allowing zero points after coughing the ball up. If Lake Zurich wins the turnover battle, it will go a long way toward the Bears winning the game.

Ground game

With the return of Dylan Schassler (concussion) and Joey Holtz (knee surgery) against Libertyville Oct. 18, the Bears have a full slate of running backs to balance the passing of Noah Allgood. Stevenson’s defense has shown that it is vulnerable against a multi-dimensional offense (Homewood-Flossmoor rushed for 133 yards in a 28-26 victory over the Patriots on Sept. 6). If Lake Zurich can control the game on the ground and spread the carries to multiple backs, it will keep Stevenson’s big-play offense off the field.

Ben Klett

Lake Zurich’s leading scorer with 13 touchdowns, Klett played briefly against Libertyville. He’s still bothered by an ankle injury he suffered against Zion-Benton Oct. 11. Lake Zurich coach Dave Proffitt said Klett is “questionable” for Friday. His presence on the field would give the Bears an edge.

The case for Stevenson….


Some teams have a player who can stretch the defense. The Patriots have two in receivers Cameron Green and Matt Morrissey. Green and Morrissey have combined for 11 touchdowns and more than 1,100 yards receiving. In last week’s game against Lake Forest, the Scouts put an extra safety on both Green and Morrissey. This opened up the middle of the field, where quarterback Willie Bourbon consistently found third receiver Jimmy Marchese, who caught 10 passes for 150 yards. For Lake Zurich’s defense, it’s pick your poison.


Stevenson is as healthy as it has been all season. The Patriots have weathered losing two starting offensive linemen (center Henry Sise and left tackle Zach Novoselsky) and defensive star Pat O’Connell for most of the season. On the other hand, Lake Zurich may be without touchdown leader Ben Klett (ankle) and linebacker Colton Moskal, who is playing, is not 100 percent, according to Bears coach Dave Proffitt.

Home field

The Patriots have protected their home field as well as anyone in recent years. Stevenson’s last NSC home loss was to Libertyville in 2008.

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