Lake Zurich slows down Simeon; prevails


Lake Zurich slows down Simeon; prevails

Saturday, Nov. 13, 2010
11:08 PM

By Mike Clark
Twelve weeks into the season, someone finally figured out a way to slow down Simeon's high-powered offense.

No. 9 Lake Zurich turned the trick, limiting the Wolverines to one first down before halftime and no points till the fourth quarter Saturday.
Photos: Lake Zurich vs. Simeon

The Bears held off a spirited Simeon comeback to win 17-14 in a Class 7A quarterfinal at Gately Stadium, sending the Bears to the state semifinals for the fifth time in nine seasons. Lake Zurich (11-1) will play the St. RitaCarmel winner next weekend. No. 2 Simeon, seeking its first trip to the semis, finished 11-1.

"They came out trying to run the ball like a lot of teams do," Lake Zurich linebacker JJ Raffelson said. "We have a great run defense and we planned all week for that."

Simeon had four three-and-outs on its six possessions in the first three quarters, which ended with the Bears up 17-0.

"We could have done some things right in the first half that could have changed the game offensively," said Simeon coach Dante Culbreath, whose team came in averaging 51 points a game. "We couldn't execute, we didn't execute the first half. We just got started too late."

Lake Zurich, on the other hand, was clicking on offense all night even though Simeon was keying on senior running back Jacob Brinlee (21 carries, 72 yards). Fullback John Mularz, who suffered a torn MCL in practice earlier this season, gained a game-high 119 yards on 20 carries and Tim Sayre added 73 yards on eight carries.

"People are going to try to take Brinlee away and we've got to be able to have other guys step up," Lake Zurich coach Bryan Stortz said.

Brinlee's two-yard touchdown run with 12 seconds left in the first quarter was the only score of the first half. He scored from a yard out with 6:07 left in the third quarter to make it 14-0.

Lake Zurich's Chris Rantis intercepted Simeon's Robert Gregory (9-of-12, 131 yards) on the Wolverines' next possession and the Bears' Scott Walding kicked a 24-yard field goal on the last play of the third quarter, pushing the lead to 17-0.

The Bears' defense came up with another takeaway when Mike Rantis recovered a Simeon fumble. But an 11-yard punt into a stiff south wind set up the Wolverines at the Bears' 30 and Gregory hit Darius Scott with a touchdown pass on the next play, making it 17-7 with 8:13 to play.

A muffed snap on a punt gave Simeon good field position again, and once more the Wolverines converted. Gregory's 31-yard touchdown pass to Scott pulled Simeon within 17-14 with 2:59 to play. But Lake Zurich ran out the clock, getting first-down runs by Brinlee and Mularz.

"The game plan was to run down the clock as much as possible and we wanted to keep Simeon's offense off the field," Mularz said.

Morning Update: White Sox beat Tigers; Cubs shutout in LA

Morning Update: White Sox beat Tigers; Cubs shutout in LA

Here are some of Friday's top stories in Chicago sports:

Preview: White Sox-Tigers doubleheader today on CSN

Preview: Charlotte Knights battle Buffalo Bisons tonight on CSN+

Avisail Garcia busts out of mini-slump in White Sox win

Jake Arrieta not at his sharpest in Cubs shutout loss to Dodgers

Could Derrick Rose reunite with Tom Thibodeau in Minnesota?

Why Jim Callis thinks Luis Robert is going to have a gigantic impact on White Sox

The ‘friendly rivalry’ between Theo Epstein and Andrew Friedman with Cubs, Dodgers becoming NL superpowers

Red Sox ace Chris Sale doesn't have time to get emotional in return to Chicago

Cubs: Is Joe Maddon turning Kyle Schwarber into a platoon player?

White Sox prospect Lucas Giolito: No-hitter 'special' after early struggles

Preview: White Sox-Tigers doubleheader today on CSN

Preview: White Sox-Tigers doubleheader today on CSN

The White Sox take on the Detroit Tigers on Saturday in a doubleheader, and you can catch all the action on CSN and live streaming on and the NBC Sports App.

Coverage begins with White Sox Pregame Live at 12:30 p.m. The second game is scheduled after the conclusion of the first. Be sure to stick around after the final out of the second game to get analysis and player reaction on White Sox Postgame Live.

Today’s starting pitching matchups: Derek Holland vs. Buck Farmer for Game 1, and Tyler Danish vs. Michael Fulmer for Game 2.

Click here for more stats to make sure you’re ready for the action.  

— Channel finder: Make sure you know where to watch.

— Latest on the White Sox: All of the most recent news and notes.