Foresters on top of Midwest League grid standings
Sun-Times media October 19, 2012 5:16PM
Former Grayslake Central football star Joey Valdivia is now a key player at LFC. | FILE PHOTO
AREA GRADS ON LFC ROSTER
Greg Brown, freshman QB from Deerfield
** - Mike Rantis, freshman WR from Lake Zurich
Darrius McKay, junior DB from Zion-Benton
* - Joey Valdivia, freshman RB from Grayslake Central
Patrick Wilhelm, freshman TE from Waukegan
* Valdivia’s rushed 47 times for 319 yards (6.8 average) and has 3 TDs
** Rantis has caught 5 passes for 61 yards and 1 TD
lost 35-27 to Concordia
def. Lawrence 20-16
def. Grinnell 33-7
def. Knox 34-13
def. Carroll 13-10
def. Ill. College 35-28
def. Monmouth 28-24
Saturday — host Cornell (4-2 overall), 1 p.m.
Oct. 27 — Host Ripon (2-5), p.m.
Nov. 10 — at St. Norbert (5-2)
Updated: December 19, 2012 11:55AM
With an adjustment on offense and a big step forward on defense, Lake Forest has been the surprise of the Midwest Conference this season.
The Foresters (6-1 overall, 6-0 in the league) haven’t had a winning season in conference play since 2007 and were 3-7 in 2011, but they are alone atop the standings after a 28-24 victory Saturday at Monmouth.
Next up is a home game against Cornell (3-3, 3-2).
Fourth-year coach Jim Catanzaro said part of the difference is leadership from his senior captains — quarterback Pete Scaffidi, running back Al Mitchell and defensive lineman Jake Rotkvich.
Another part is offensive consistency, with coordinator Craig Kerr in his third year.
The offense has evolved.
‘‘Last year, we were slinging it all over the place, and this year we’re more of a pro-style, two-back type of offense,’’ Catanzaro said.
He said Scaffidi ‘‘is still flourishing within that, being a great game manager.’’
Scaffidi has completed 123-of-204 passes for 1,283 yards and 13 touchdowns, with senior Austin Sobey (40 catches, 558 yards) as the receiver he turns to in the clutch.
A three-man running back corps — Mitchell (602 yards), Grayslake Central grad Joey Valdivia (319) and junior Alec Howe (230) — has contributed to a potent offense that is averaging 27 points.
Valdivia came up big late against Monmouth, scoring the winning touchdown on a 43-yard run with 2:25 left. He finished with 126 yards.
‘‘We told him after the game
he inspired an entire team with how hard he was running,’’ Catanzaro said.
Rotkvich and senior defensive back Aidan Price have led a defensive turnaround.
The Foresters allowed 40 points a game last season but are yielding only 19 a game this season.
‘‘This year, we’re the second-leading defense in the conference,’’ Catanzaro said. ‘‘So, those two guys have really helped step the program defensively in the right direction.’’