LINCOLNSHIRE, Ill. -- The 2010 football season can no longer be described as "young." While some area teams continue searching for identities, Stevenson is rolling through the competition en route to the playoffs.
The Patriots are 5-0 (and playoff eligible) after defeating Lake Forest 41-20 in front of a capacity homecoming crowd tonight
The Stevenson defense continues to impress, forcing five Lake Forest turnovers on the evening.
"Our defense is the backbone of this team," coach Bill McNamara said. "There's no doubt about it. It's a bunch of quality kids and great players that play with a lot of intensity."
With the passing game struggling and Lake Forest's defense keying on Stephen Salata (one catch, 32 yards), Joe Cassata carried the bulk of the load, rushing for 113 yards on 21 carries and two touchdowns. Junior Kevin Foley added a pair of first-half touchdowns and another junior, Nathan Kahn, capped the victory on a 5-yard draw with 45 seconds left in the contest.
"Taking away Salata is a tough thing to do. He's a good player but they did a nice job," McNamara added. "And that's what our running game is for."
Despite trailing 34-7 at halftime, Lake Forest reeled off 13 straight points to open the second half. Junior quarterback Jordan Beck completed his first five passes and ran for an 8-yard score and Owen Williams added a touchdown run late in the third quarter. After running for 274 yards last week against Libertyville, Williams was held to just 48 against the Patriots, but did total 95 receiving yards, including a 57-yard scoring strike from Paul Carollo.
The Patriots swept their regular-season home schedule for the second straight year, and will now finish with four conference road games (at Lake Zurich, Zion Benton, Libertyville and Antioch). Lake Forest (4-1), which came into the North Suburban Lake matchup averaging over 41 points-per-game, will look to get back on track next Friday at Warren.
Player of the game: Stevenson RB Joe Cassata; 21 carries, 113 yards, 2 TDs.
Stat of the game: The Stevenson defense forced five Lake Forest turnovers (3 INTs, fumble, blocked punt).
It was over when… Patriots' junior defensive back Troy Radtke picked off a Lake Forest pass in the endzone with 9:55 left in the game.
Quote of the night: Joe Cassata on winning homecoming: "It's the best feeling. I remember last year's seniors talking about how important this game is, and being a senior this year, I understand completely what they meant and how it feels to win."