In the first week of nonconference Friday night lights, the Schaumburg Saxons and host New Trier Trevians didn't hold back anything.
Schaumburg registered the first 2011 victory in a nail-biting shootout with a 22-17 victory.
Saxon junior quarterback Nick Anzelmo led the Saxons with 2 rushing touchdowns (7 attempts, 76 yards) and 1 passing (11-of-24, 199 yards). Senior wide out Mike Mallet pitched in 136 receiving yards and a touchdown.
"We got the offense into pace," Anzelmo said. "We were capable of doing it the whole game. The 'O' Line gives us a lot of looks and holes to get the job done."
Anzelmo and Mallet opened up the game on the third play by connecting on a 76-yard toss for a touchdown.
Schaumburg seemed to be working on all cylinders with all phases after senior kicker/linebacker Marchok shot a 20-yard field goal through the uprights and junior defensive back Cole Reyes grabbed an interception.
Even with Schaumburg's stellar first-half defense, New Trier managed to sneak a field goal as time ran out to cut the deficit to 10-3. The Trevian score came after a 20-yard field goal block on the Saxons by New Trier defensive back Matt Quinlan.
"We're still growing offensively," said New Trier coach Dan Starkey. "Our defense played well, but not well enough. Schaumburg has some great looking kids out there.
"The coaching staff and players were a lot more comfortable coming into the second half."
Still shaking off earlier game jitters, the Trevians threw a second pick into the hands of Reyes after a deflection by sophomore linebacker Ryan Woloszyk. The Saxons found themselves in good field position and got a 7-yard touchdown run from Anzelmo. After a failed PAT, the Saxons stretched their lead to 16-3.
When New Trier regained possession, their running gained life as they drove down the field on two consecutive possessions to earn their first lead at 17-16. Both rushing touchdowns for the Trevians were by senior quarterback Jack Nykaza ( on 3- and 8-yard runs, respectively).
Schaumburg, which had major success through the air in the first half, found itself falling into three straight three-and-out possessions.
"The 'O' and 'D' line held us together," said Schaumburg head coach Mark Stilling. "We've identified some of our problems, and we have some other things to improve. Nick (Anzelmo) held great composure through adversity and Mike (Mallet) used his experience to set the tone."
With three minutes remaining, Anzelmo and Mallet displayed their magic from the first half and connected on back-to-back 25-yard and 31-yard pass plays to pull within 8 yards of the end zone.
Following the two large-yardage plays, the Saxons ran into penalties that pushed them back 25 yards back from the goal line. On a QB draw, Anzelmo busted through the line for the game winning 20-yard rushing touch down with 1:43 left.
New Trier had a chance to retaliate on its final possession, but faltered with a turnover on downs. New Trier's standout players were Nykaza (passing: 8 of 17 for 144 yards, 2 INT; 9 rushes for 44 yards and 2 TDs) and junior receiver Devin Boehm (7 rushes on 102 yards).
"We take this momentum into practice," Mallet said when asked about the emotional win. "We've been practicing at this pace all summer. We need to look at the film and see where we need to get better. We are never satisfied by just one win."