Crystal Lake Central quarterback Kyle Lavand (2) is tackled for a loss by Grant's Andy Cacchioine (24) on a keeper during the first quarter of their second round IHSA Class 6A playoff game at Crystal Lake Central Friday. November 2, 2012. | John Konstantaras~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 4, 2012 6:08AM
Lake Forest beat Lakes 23-21 and Crystal Lake Central beat Grant 30-13 on Friday in the Round of 16 in the IHSA Class 6A football playoffs.
Lake Forest (8-2 on the field/8-3 with a forfeit loss) will play at Notre Dame of Niles (8-3) in the Round of 8 next week.
Today, Libertyville will host Glenbard West at 3 o’clock, while Stevenson and Lake Zurich also are in action.
Lake Forest 23, Lakes 21
Baylor Broughton hit a 26-yard field goal with 1:05 remaining for Lake Forest and Brandon Brumm’s 44-yard boot for a Lakes win sailed wide left with two seconds left as the host Scouts pulled out a dramatic victory.
It was the second time this season Lake Forest beat Lakes (20-13 during the regular season) and this one ended the Eagles’ wonderful 9-2 campaign.
Broughton’s boot capped a 55-yard drive that the Scouts’ defense set up by forcing/recovering a fumble by Lakes running back Direll Clark.
After the field goal, Lakes started at its own 20 and moved to midfield on a first-play pass of 30 yards to Nick Battaglia. A nine-yard run by QB T.J. Edwards, a four-yard pass to Evan Spencer and a 12-yard screen pass to Clark set up the final try for victory.
Lakes led 14-13 at halftime as Broughton’s PAT kick an opening score was blocked.
Lake Forest’s Nick Giodano caught a 35-yard TD pass from Matthew Clifford to make it 20-14 Scouts in the third quarter, and Lakes came right back and took a 21-20 lead on Justin Bergeron’s second TD pass reception from Edwards.
Defensively, the two stories of the game were Lake Forest’s ability to shut down Clark running the ball, and Lakes’ defense producing turnovers.
Clark carried 18 times for 45 yards and the costly fumble.
The Eagles picked off Clifford twice and he also lost a fumble. He completed 15-of-24 passes for 170 yards.
The teams alternated TDs, with Lake Forest up 6-0, Lakes up 7-6, Lake Forest up 13-7, Lakes up 14-13, Lake Forest up 20-14 and Lakes up 21-20 before the final field-goal tries.
The first half featured a host of unusual plays.
The Scouts’ opening score was a blocked punt that Thomas Doherty picked up at the 2 and ran in. Lakes was pinned deep because Clark lost 15 yards on his first carry of the night.
On the other side, the Scouts picked Clifford twice in the half and Justin Bergeron had a huge two periods, catching one of his two TD passes, and also grabbing a 74-yard pass that set up a short Edwards TD plunge.
Lake Forest should be set up very well for its game at Notre Dame, as the Dons are a running team, and the Scouts’ defensive strength is stopping the run.
“It’s obviously bittersweet,” said Lakes coach Luke Mertens. “This is a tough loss, but when the dust settles, there’s a lot to be proud of. This was a very successful senior class ... really all four years. They set the bar high for future teams at Lakes.”
The next Lakes team will again be QB’d by Edwards, who completed 19-oof-25 passes for 293 yards and 2 TDs on Friday. He also rushed 17 times for 75 yards and a score. His favorite targets were senior Bergeron (4 catches, 150 yards, 2 TDs) and junior Battaglia (6 catches, 66 yards).
Regarding the final drive, Mertens noted that his team hadn’t “been in that situation all year, but there was no panic. They responded. I’m proud of the way they battled.”
As for the Lakes players, “I just can’t believe it’s over,” said Bergeron. “Everyone always says to cherish it and you never really know what that means. It was a great game. I hope Lake Forest continues on and represents our conference well.”
Bergeron also praised his team’s kicker, who just hooked the final kick.
“I believe in Brandon 100 percent. For a high school kid, that’s tough. It’s hard all the way up the NFL to kick a game-winning field goal.”
On the winning side, Lake Forest’s Broughton was focused on his game-winning kick.
“I was just thinking about doing it just like we do in practice,” he said. “That’s what I told my holder when I went out there.”
“We find ways to make it hard on ourselves sometimes,” said winning coach Chuck Spagnoli. “At the same time, you have to give Lakes a lot of credit. They didn’t win nine games by mistake. Fortunately, our kids did what they needed to do.”
CL Central 30, Grant 13
Grant hung with host Crystal Lake Central for a long time, but the Tigers’ defense was just too good in this matchup.
Grant trailed 14-7 at the half, scoring on a 20-yard fumble return by Joe Sodauskas. Grant’s other score came on a two-yard run by Jereme Bredwood on the game’s final play from scrimmage.
CL Central got a pair of TD runs from Connor Hines (92 rushing yards in the game) and a third-quarter safety made it 16-7.