Breaking It Down: Lemont looked like the more dominant team on the Oak Forest Bengals' field during the first half of their matchup. The Bengals were statistically better in almost every category compared to Lemont during the second half of the Saturday evening contest.
However, the Indians' 14-6 lead that the team built-up in the first half was too much for Oak Forest to come back. Lemont came away with its second win of the season on its rival's home turf by a score of 21-14.
With the wind howling, both teams relied on their ground games heavily throughout the contest. There were a total of 70 running plays called compared to 25 passing attempts.
All touchdowns scored in the game were punched in via the ground. Three of them were by Indians running back Christos Giatras and two from Oak Forest halfback Ben Santiago.
Lemont's defense was penalized on four occasions, but they more than made up for it by causing the Bengals' offense to turn the ball over just as many times.
Patch’s MVP: Christos Giatras, Lemont. A night of 34 carries for 136 yards, including touchdown runs of 1, 2 and 23 yards is impressive on its own.
Yet, when the opposing defense knows the run is coming and they are still unable to stop it, the stats become even more eye-popping. Lemont only attempted five passes in the second half, while the 205-pound halfback was given 21 touches in the final two quarters.The senior running back also caught two passes for 45 yards.
Lemont Stat Pack: Zach Brosseau completed 5-of-14 passes for 108 yards. Joe Hehir caught two passes for 41 yards, and connected on all three of his extra point attempts. Jake Lemming blocked a punt in the second quarter that led to an Indians touchdown on the offense's next drive. Jon Clark and Connor O'Brien each recorded a sack. Jake Lawrence recovered a fumble, while Oak Forest was in Lemont's territory with less than five minutes remaining in regulation.
Oak Forest Stat Pack: Tom Zale rushed for 61 yards on 9 carries, and combined with Nick Ciufia to complete 6-of-11 passes for 139 yards total. Ciufia also rushed for 17 yards on 5 carries. Corey Brent intercepted a pass, while Lemont was inside Oak Forest's red zone with less than a minute to play in the first half. Santiago rushed for 68 yards on 13 carries. Tom Livingston recorded a sack for a loss of 13 yards. Five different Bengal wide receivers caught a pass.
Quotable I: “Our kids went ahead, and dug deep," Lemont head coach Eric Michaelsen said. "We got a couple of nice drives after they scored, and that was key."
Quotable II: “I can't wait to bring the game home to our crowd, Giatras said. "They really deserve it. [I] hope to get the win next week and go to state; live my dream."
Team Records: Lemont is 11-1. Oak Forest is 10-2.
What’s Next: While Oak Forest's season is over, Lemont will move on to face Crete-Monee next weekend, after their 42-6 win over Ottawa Township.
IHSA 6A Playoff Scores: Cary Grove 7, Crystal Lake Central 0; Lake Forest 31, Notre Dame 19. For more scores, check out IHSA ScoreZone.