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What a rush for Warren in win over Lake Forest
By Mike McGraw | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 9/19/2008 11:30 PM

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Warren's game plan on Friday was to control the ball and keep Lake Forest's spread offense off the field as much as possible.

So the host Blue Devils turned to their underclass backfield of sophomore fullback Tom Lindal and junior tailback Mike Liao, who piled up over 200 rushing yards between them.

By the time Lake Forest's offense started clicking, the game was practically out of reach. Warren jumped to a 28-0 lead less than a minute into the second quarter and coasted to a 42-21 win in North Suburban Lake action.

Lindal finished with 130 yards on 13 carries, including a 73-yard touchdown run, while Liao gained 89 yards on 15 attempts and had a 57-yard gallop called back by a holding penalty.

"They've been a pleasant surprise," Warren coach Dave Mohapp said of his running back tandem. "That defensive front and linebackers from Lake Forest, those are good players. We talked about it all week, we have to get upfield and avoid getting hit."

The opening kickoff provided an indication of what was to come for the Blue Devils (3-1, 2-0). Liao actually muffed the reception, but the ball bounced right into the arms of teammate Leonard Brady and only a shoestring tackle prevented Brady from taking it the distance.

Warren's first three drives covered 37, 60 and 30 yards, all resulting in rushing touchdowns by either Liao or Lindal. Then on the Blue Devils' first drive of the second quarter, Lindal took a quick handoff up the middle, broke through the line and outraced the defense for a 73-yard score.

This combination is nothing new. Lindal and Liao started together on the sophomore team last year.

"We've been together since like seventh grade (with the Warren Blue Demons youth team)," Lindal said. "We know each other pretty well. We wanted to run it down their throats. Our linemen did a great job."

Just before halftime, senior quarterback Zach Shaw found Chet Michna for a 24-yard touchdown pass to make it 35-7. A 10-yard run by senior Ryan DeRose put Warren up 42-7 with 10:44 remaining.

The score was 21-0 before Lake Forest (2-2, 0-2) recorded its initial first down of the night. Quarterback Thomas Rees eventually finished the night with 226 passing yards, completing 23 of 40 attempts with 2 interceptions. In addition to the 3 touchdowns, the Scouts came up empty on three trips inside Warren's 20-yard line.

Sophomore running back T.J. Jackson gained 104 yards on 13 carries for Lake Forest, but injured his left knee late in the game and was carried to the sideline by a pair of teammates.

"They played extremely well and I didn't think we played particularly well," Scouts coach Chuck Spagnoli said. "They came out on fire."