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Lake Zurich adds to winning identity
By Joe Aguilar | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 9/22/2012 1:10 AM

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The large, cardboard head on a stick of senior safety Grant Soucy is granted.

“It’s Grant Soucy,” Connor Schrader said with a smile of his popular Lake Zurich football teammate. “What’s not to like about him?”

On Friday night at soggy Round Lake, Lake Zurich’s spirited student fans dressed in the Hawaiian shirts and shorts unveiled a new larger-than-life cutout mug: a bespectacled head coach David Proffitt.

“Now all the bill collectors will know where I’m at,” Proffitt joked.

For the first time in two weeks, Lake Zurich’s fans found their football team playing a game. A week after winning by forfeit over Lake Forest due to the Lake Forest teachers strike, Lake Zurich rolled to a 56-0 win over Round Lake in a North Suburban Conference crossover.

“It was great to get back out here,” Schrader said after scoring 3 touchdowns in helping the Bears build a 49-0 lead by halftime. “Last week, it was rough not playing. Practicing on a Friday night just didn’t seem right. Going scouting just didn’t seem right.”

Proffitt even unveiled something of his own: freshman running back Ben Klett.

In his varsity debut, Klett scored on a 46-yard pass from Jake Stauner that had Lake Zurich (4-1) ahead 21-0 after one quarter. Klett also rushed for 9 yards on his first varsity carry and finished with 35 yards on 5 attempts.

“He’s going to be a star,” said Schrader, who’s emerging as one, having scored 6 TDs in four games.

Ever since Kody Schaar broke his leg against Cary-Grove in Week 2, Lake Zurich has been thin at running back. That led to the promotion of the 6-foot, 185-pound Klett, who is the son of Wauconda principal Dan Klett.

“He has a lot of natural ability,” Proffitt said. “There’s kids that have that and they don’t do anything with it. Hopefully he will and will get better at all aspects of the game.”

Schrader scored on runs up the middle from 22 and 36 yards out the first two times he touched the ball against Round Lake (0-5). Things were going so well for Lake Zurich that despite having a field-goal try blocked early in the second quarter, the Bears still scored. Colton Moskal scooped up the spinning football at the Round Lake 1 and jumped into the end zone.

After Sean Lynch scored on a 34-yard run, Schrader caught a 35-yard touchdown pass from Stauner. A 32-yard run by Stauner finished the first-half scoring.

Backup running back Tyler Lindvall bulled into the end zone from 9 yards out for the only score of the second half.

“It was very important for our kids to have a game,” Proffitt said. “I’m not sure we were that fundamentally good, but we played hard, and that was the important thing.”

Round Lake played its second game in a row without quarterback John Ridley (thumb injury), who might miss next Friday’s game against Antioch, as well, Panthers coach John Coursey said. The Panthers were also minus running back Chris Perry, defensive back Taylor Stempinski and middle linebacker Augustine Bahena, among others.

“I think we’re going to get a couple of kids back (next) week,” Coursey said.

Tyler Hernandez started again at QB. Working out of the shotgun, Hernandez carried the ball almost every time it was snapped to him. He busted off a 35-yard run and finished with 100 rushing yards on 22 carries.

“He’s been taking all the reps the last couple of weeks,” Coursey said. “He’s been getting better.”