LAKE ZURICH — When Lake Zurich’s football squad travels to Mundelein on Friday night, the unbeaten Bears will be heavy favorites on paper.
Not so fast, says Lake Zurich coach David Proffitt.
“That’s a team right there (Mundelein) we have the utmost respect for, just like we do for all of our opponents,” Proffitt said. “You don’t ever want to take a team for granted. Ever. I don’t care if they’ve only won one game in the past several seasons or not.
“We’re gonna go out against them guns blazing, and give them our best shot. They’ve got a lot of talented kids on their team and they all work extremely hard.”
Mundelein is 1-2 overall, and picked up its first win in almost three seasons with a Week 1 victory over Wheeling. Slowing talented Mustangs senior running back Emanuel Jones will be a top priority for the Bears (3-0), who have allowed just seven points in their first three games.
Lake Zurich is coming off a 27-7 victory over Warren on Sept. 12.
“We’ve had some guys banged up a little bit, so I was impressed with the way several players stepped up and filled some roles they might not normally be accustomed to against Warren,” Proffitt said. “Namely, senior defensive backs Dominic Scaduto and Anthony Baca.
“Those guys, specifically, stood out to me as guys who stepped up last game when we needed someone to. And I know some other guys did too. But we had both of them playing a version of the linebacker position throughout the game, and they really did an admirable job, in particular, in a situation they really weren’t used to.”
On the offensive side of the ball, the Bears continue to show their versatility as well.
Quarterback Noah Allgood (6 of 9, 95 yards and a touchdown against Warren) may not get many chances to throw the football in the team’s run-based offense, but when the senior has, he’s been efficient.
“We had four different guys score touchdowns last game, so it’s really opened things up,” Allgood said. “Our offensive coordinator, Gary Towne, has really done a good job of mixing things up and keeping the other teams off balance.”
The success of Allgood, senior Dylan Schassler, senior Sean Lynch and sophomore Ben Klett carrying the football has made it difficult for opponents to key on one rusher in multi-back formations.
Schassler has been adept at finding holes in the middle of the line, while Klett is a speedster who had a 62-yard run and a 63-yard touchdown reception in Week 3 — and also made it downstate in the 100-meter dash for the Bears’ track and field team last season.
Lynch had a 47-yard touchdown run against Warren. As a team, the Bears racked up 249 yards on the ground on 38 carries.
“Ben has amazing potential, as do so many guys on our roster,” Lynch said. “I think the biggest key to our success so far has been everyone buying into the system, listening to the coaching staff and doing what they’re taught to do. We just need to keep improving from week-to-week.”