After more than 3½ quarters of offensive fireworks, a big defensive play turned the tide for Schaumburg in Frdiay's Mid-Suburban League crossover football game at Buffalo Grove.
With the score tied at 41-41 late and BG driving for a game-winning score, a clutch interception by Saxons linebacker Dru Richardson stopped BG.
Schaumburg capitalized on the turnover when quarterback Nick Anzelmo dived over the goal line with six seconds remaining to give the Saxons a nail-biting 48-41 victory.
"I was waiting for our defense to make a play," said Schaumburg coach Mark Stilling. "Our offense saved our butts time after time tonight."
Schaumburg sophomore running back Sadaris Patterson scored on runs of 69, 25 and 5 yards for the visitors, while the loss overshadowed a great performance by BG senior quarterback Richie Zirngibl.
Zirngibl rushed for 165 yards and 4 touchdowns, and was 11-of-18 through the air for 160 yards and another score.
"I have no problem with the effort our kids gave tonight," said BG coach Jim Farrell. "They played their hearts out. They'll learn from this and get stronger.
"We win as a team and we lose as a team, and we're out there supporting each other."
Twice in a topsy-turvy fourth quarter, BG took one-touchdown leads but each time Schaumburg fought back on long kickoff returns for touchdowns.
First it was soophomore Stacey Smith returning a kick 92 yards for a score. Then teammate Juwaan Richard galloped 90 yards for another kickoff return touchdown to tie the game at 41-41 with five minutes remaining.
It then looked as if BG would score again but Richaradson negated the drive.
"It was our corners who made a great play," said Richardson. "The ball bounced off their receiver's chest and I happened to be there to make the pick."
The Saxons took over on their own 32 and drove 67 yards to the BG 1. On third down Anzelmo just got over the goal line for the winning score.
BG (1-1) had one last gasp but a desparation Hail Mary by Zirngibl was broken up by Schaumburg (2-0) at its 15 by defensive back Cole Reyes.
Patterson finished with 173 yards on just 14 carries for the winners. BG receiver Ryan Schumi caught 8 passes for 150 yards and 2 touchdowns for the Bison.
Smith also caught a 64-yard touchdown from Anzelmo to go along with his long kickoff return.
"A lot of us were drained it was really hot out there," said Richardson. "But we were able to play through it."