LAKE FOREST — The Lake Forest defense can wreak serious havoc on an opponent.
In a 31-19 win over Warren Friday, the Scouts’ defense started hounding Warren’s offense immediately. On the first play from scrimmage, Warren’s quarterback made a swing pass to his running back in the flat to his right. As soon as the back caught the ball, he was tackled for an 8-yard loss.
The Scouts held Warren to 163 yards and just one touchdown through three quarters as they jumped out to a 31-7 lead. A big part of that success came from Lake Forest’s ability to stop Warren behind the line of scrimmage.
“I thought our perimeter pressure did a pretty good job of containing, and then our inside guys were able to get good pressure,” Lake Forest coach Chuck Spagnoli said. “When you get all the guys working together, they all play really hard.”
The Scouts’ defense stopped Warren behind the line of scrimmage nine times Friday, including five sacks. Lake Forest was able to get pressure in the backfield from all levels of its defense. Senior defensive back Geno Quaid had a sack in the second quarter. Junior linebacker Nicholas Monfardini and senior lineman Oliver Babnik each got to the Warren quarterback in the fourth quarter.
Senior linebackers Benjamin Audley and Joseph Beible tallied their sacks on back-to-back plays in the second quarter after Warren had gotten the ball near midfield.
“We were blitzing both the outside linebackers off the edge,” Audley said of the first sack. “We got some pressure and Trent (Williams) flushed him into me and I just hit him hard.”
Audley’s stop dropped Warren back from a second-and-8 at the 48-yard line to a third-and-19 from the 37. Bieble’s pressure knocked the Blue Devils back another 11 yards, forcing a punt.
“We were in a dime package, so we only had three guys rushing from the line,” said Bieble. “(Senior) Trent Williams and I brought pressure off the edge and the (offensive) tackles were slower than us, so we just had to give a little inside move.”
The Scouts were just as good in short-yardage situations. Warren failed to gain a first down on its first four drives, twice getting stopped on third-and-short.
“They were running a lot of power,” Audley said of those third-down plays. “So we stacked our right-side linebackers up and stuffed them.”
If anybody knows just how tough the Lake Forest defenders can be, it’s the offensive players who have had to face them in practice all season long.
“It’s no fun having to practice against our defense,” said senior running back Hub Cirame. “They always know what to do.”