LAKE ZURICH — Moments after Lake Zurich football coach David Proffitt watched his team drop a 24-7 decision to Cary-Grove in Week 2 Friday, he gave credit where it was due.
“Plain and simple, Cary-Grove is a darn good football team, but we knew that coming in,” Proffitt said. “In all my years coaching here, that was probably one of the best offensive lines I’ve ever seen. I’d rank them right up there with the O-line we faced in the [Class 7A] state title game last year against Mount Carmel.”
The Trojans (2-0) — No. 1 in Illinois Class 7A according to the AP — racked up 305 yards on 57 carries against the Bears’ typically stingy defense, led by sophomore fullback Tyler Pennington (33 carries, 195 yards, TD).
Several Lake Zurich players said the setback would only motivate them for their first NSC game Sept. 12 against Libertyville.
“It’s a loss on the scoreboard, but we can take a victory from losing to a good team by learning from it,” Lake Zurich senior running back Nick McCoy said. “Staying low on our blocks. Making sure we know what we’re supposed to be doing at all times. Those little things will matter going forward.”
Indeed, it wasn’t all gloom and doom for the Bears. McCoy carried the ball just five times for 24 yards against the Trojans, but each time, he hit holes in the line with strong bursts of acceleration. Junior quarterback Joey Lindstrom (8-for-13, 110 yards, TD) was solid for a second straight week, as neither team committed a turnover.
Two of Lindstrom’s completions went to McCoy for 26 yards. His TD pass was a gorgeous 67-yard play-action strike to junior Ben Klett, which put Lake Zurich within a touchdown late in the third quarter.
“The beautiful thing about football is we are going to get better each game, and have a chance to come out next week and redeem ourselves,” Lindstrom said. “There’s good chemistry on this roster, and we’re gonna watch film, practice, and be ready for conference. None of us are going to hang our heads in the locker room.”
Cary-Grove coach Brad Seaburg said he thinks the Bears (1-1) will rebound quickly.
“Lake Zurich has one of the best defenses in the state year-in and year-out,” Seaburg said. “To beat them on their home field is a huge accomplishment. It wasn’t easy. I wouldn’t like to play them again. Their kids play extremely hard every down, and when you do that, good things are bound to happen.”
Proffitt noted he and his coaching staff tried to make in-game adjustments against the Trojans when things weren’t working defensively.
“We tried all kinds of things,” Proffitt said. “But frankly, many of them didn’t work. Our kids played hard. Cary-Grove’s kids played hard. The better team won. Sometimes it’s that simple.”