Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Foresters travel far, but fall short against Grinnell

"Disappointing. We played down today, and I am not sure why," commented Head Football Coach Jim Catanzaro after Saturday's loss to Grinnell.

"They are a talented team offensively. Their quarterback didn't run a lot, but he ran in critical times. Their passing game gave us fits defensively. Robert Seer is, in my opinion, one of the top two wide receivers in the league, and we didn't have an answer for him. We tried man, we tried zone, and we couldn't seem to stop him. It was like when Dan Carter played for us. He was going to get his, and we knew the ball was going there, and couldn't seem to stop him," said Catanzaro of the Grinnell wide receiver who had 11 catches for 156 yards and 3 touchdowns.

The Foresters were stout against the Grinnell running game, giving up only 2.7 yards per carry, but through the air was another story, as Grinnell amassed 338 yards through the air. The only more staggering statistic, was that the Forester offense racked up more yards than the Pioneers 443-408.

"A few things really tripped us up today. The long kick return, and the fumble, were extremely costly, not only on the field, but from an emotional start. You put together a great drive offensively to start the game, and go get the 7-0 lead. Then on the kickoff, you give up a 60 yard return to the 17 yard line. Most good offenses are going to score from that point. Our defense pushed them to fourth down, but weren't able to get the stop on 4th and goal. Then later in the quarter the defense comes up with a big goal line stand, on a big 4th down sack by John Dillon, and then two plays later, we turn the ball over on the 10 yard line. So their first two scores covered a total of 27 yards. You can't let a team build a lead that way," said Catanzaro.

"I think that the referee's got into our players heads as well. Especially in the secondary. A few questionable calls, and then the number of pass interference calls that were made. I have never in my life seen the number of defensive holding/pass interference calls in one game. There were 5 or 6 calls, and one negated an interception by us," said Catanzaro. "We need to clean up our pass coverage this week in practice. A couple of players have gained extensive playing time due to injuries, and they need to start playing at a higher level if they want to continue being on the field."

Offensively, the Foresters exhibited their best balance of the 2011 season. Junior Al Mitchell recorded 22 carries for 121 yards to pace the Forester rushing attack. The passing game saw another solid day by Pete Scaffidi as he completed 31 of 46 passes for 317 yards and 2 touchdowns. Scaffidi completed passes to seven different receivers, who were lead by senior Kevin Davis with 14 catches for 157 yards and a touchdown.

"KD put together a nice game, but I can guarantee you that he felt like he left a few catches/yards on the field. I know that he gave all that he had, and his performance showed that," said Catanzaro. The 14 catches in one game is the second highest total for a single game in school history. Only Dan Cole vs. Monmouth in 1990 recorded more catches in a single game (17).

"We have a big challenge this week against Carroll. They are coming to Lake Forest on a mission. They had an unusual early season loss against Illinois College, and they sent notice to the conference after they beat Ripon College that they are still a team to be reckoned with. They have a tremendous duo at running back, and they have some very talented tight ends, that we haven't seen a lot of the last two weeks. Our guys are going to have to have a great week of practice this week as we get ready for homecoming," concluded Coach Catanzaro.

Players of the Week:
Offensively: Junior RB Al Mitchell (22 carries for 121 yards and 2 TDs, 6 catches for 22 yds)
Defensively: Senior Safety Luke Butts 9 tackles, including 2 TFL's
Special Teams: Junior LB Aidan Price
Scout Team Player of the Week: Freshman DE Ramel Samuel
Lineman of the Week: Gil Munoz

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Foresters fall to IC despite record breaking day.

Junior quarterback Pete Scaffidi (pictured left) continued his hot streak passing the football, against Illinois College on Saturday. Scaffidi broke the school's single game record for touchdown passes with five. The previous record of four, was one that Scaffidi shared with five other former Forester signal callers.

Scaffidi also recorded the most completions in a single game by a Forester with 34, breaking the previous record of 33 set by Don Lackey in 2001. Scaffidi's 333 yards were good for the fifth highest single game output in school history. His 74% completion percentage was good for second on the single game list.

"I am thrilled with Pete's performance. He put a tremendous amount of effort in this off-season to make sure that our offense took the necessary steps under his leadership for us to be successful. I think one of the things that really stands out about Pete's performance thus far is how well he is spreading the ball around to different receivers. Seven different guys caught footballs for us, and six of them had double digits in yards receiving."

Scaffidi wasn't the only Forester etching his name on the top ten lists for the Foresters. Junior Austin Sobey tied the school record for touchdown receptions in a single game with 3. Sobey joins seven other former Foresters with this total, including teammate Kevin Davis (who had three TD's against Knox in 2010) and his position Coach Dan Carter, who accomplished the feat on three occasions.

Senior Kevin Davis recorded 11 receptions, which is good for 8th on the single game total list.

"Our receivers have really stepped up. Kevin and Austin have been more productive than last year, and more consistent. I think that is the most important thing. They are consistent and dependable, and they have developed a great chemistry with Pete. Coach Kerr has found a way to use their individual talents, and they are really excelling."

"There are two things that can not be overstated, and that is the credit that the offensive line deserves for these performances. In the last two games, we have passed the ball 75 times, and have our opponents have not recorded a single contact sack. (the lone sack was a QB scramble that was a one yard loss.) The second component that really stands out is how well we are taking care of the football. So far this year, we have thrown for 11 touchdowns, and only 1 interception. I am thrilled with the progress our offense has made," said Catanzaro.

Catanzaro was not as pleased with the defensive performance. "I am frustrated. We have talented players, above average athletes, and guys who work hard. Something isn't clicking, and it is my job to find a way to get us over this hump."

The Blueboys did not punt until midway through the third quarter, and converted 8 of 10 3rd downs in the first two quarters. "Since I arrived at Lake Forest, we prided our defense on making people work for everything, and being good at getting off of the field on third downs. We didn't do that on Saturday. They worked for everything, and didn't hit many big (yardage) plays on us, but we really struggled with getting of the field on third downs. We will look at our play calls, our execution, and our aggressiveness on film this week and get better."

Catanzaro continued talking about the defense,"when a defense is failing, it is usually one of four things. 1. Poor tackling, 2. Failure to create turnovers, 3. Failure to pressure the quarterback, and 4. Failing to get off the field on third downs. During different points of the game we struggled with each one of those things. We recovered one of two fumbles that were on the ground, and recorded a single interception. I felt that we had two more opportunities to create takeaways and we failed to do so. Our defense is young, with only two seniors and two juniors in the starting lineup, but I have higher expectations of performance from our sophomores that are on the field for us. They have a full season of experience from last year, and many of them had significant playing time. I am looking forward to this week's practice."

Donnie Caldwell, a freshman kicker for the Foresters, was pressed into his first collegiate action on Saturday. "We told Donnie about 25 minutes before kickoff that he was going to have to handle all of our place kicking injuries due to an injury to our starter. Donnie did a great job, and handled the pressure of kicking for the first time in a game very admirably," said Coach Catanzaro. Caldwell went 5-5 on PAT's, and averaged 48 yards per kickoff.

The Foresters prepare for their longest trip of the season to Grinnell, IA to face the Grinnell College Pioneers. The Pioneers lost to Ripon College on Saturday, dropping their record to 1-2, 0-2 in the MWC.

Coaches Awards:

Offensive Player of the Game: Pete Scaffidi, JR (South Elgin High School, South Elgin, IL) 34 of 48 for 333 yards, 5 TD's (School Record)

Defensive Player of the Game: John Dillon, SO (Basha High School, Phoenix, AZ) came of the bench to record 8 tackles.

Scout Team Player of the Week: Edwin Esperanza JR (Colonial High School, Orlando, FL)

Special Teams Player of the Week: Donnie Caldwell FR (Center Moriches, East Moriches, NY) 5-5 on Extra Points, and averaged 48 yards on kickoffs.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Video of the Foresters entrance on Patriots day!

Turn up your speakers, so that you can hear the engines of the Illinois Patriot guard in the background! Thank-you to David Perales for sharing his video with us!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Forester rally falls short in MWC opener.

"I'm not happy. I don't care about 'morale victories.' We need to win games like that in order to take the next step as a program," stated Coach Catanzaro after the game on Saturday.

The Foresters had put themselves in position to do something that they had not done since Nov. 15th, 2004, beat Ripon College. After a tough, physical, and full game that pitted two opposite teams against each other, the Foresters came up just short against the Redhawks.

The Foresters scored with 2:51 to play in the game as Austin Sobey caught his second touchdown of the day from Pete Scaffidi. This cut the Redhawk lead to 29-24. The Foresters attempted an onside kick, but failed to recover the bouncing ball. The Forester defense did something that they had struggled with all day long, they stopped the Redhawks on third down. The Foresters called a timeout, to stop the clock, and give them a chance for a fourth down stop. Instead of punting, which would have likely pinned the Foresters inside their own twenty yard line, Ripon attempted a screen pass. The Foresters were all over the play.

"They have beat us for a touchdown on that screen pass four times in the last three years. We knew it was coming, we just didn't know when. When we got to the end of the game, and they hadn't run it, it felt like it was there. Our defense did a great job seeing it, playing it, and making it impossible for the quarterback to throw it."

The emotional 4th down stop by the Foresters seemed to be fueled by the energetic Forester fans.
"In my six years at Lake Forest, I have NEVER heard a crowd like that throughout the whole game. The student section was on their feet, yelling and screaming. It was an awesome energy. I hope that they continue to come out and support us like that. They even had me as a coach feeding off of their energy," said Catanzaro.

The Forester offense took the field with 1:47 left in the game, on the 34 yard line. On the first play from scrimmage, Scaffidi dropped back to pass, and looked towards his favorite target of the day Sobey. As Scaffidi's arm moved forward, he was hit on the elbow by a Ripon defender. The ball sailed, and was intercepted by a Ripon defensive back.

"Pete made a great read, Austin was open, and if his elbow doesn't get hit, the pass is completed," said Catanzaro. "I had zero doubt that we were marching down to score. You could just see it in the eyes of our players."

"I was proud of the way our team fought. There were times that they could have given up, but that's not who comes out of an LFC locker room. The guys who watch film, eat, and change in Halas Hall, come to play for the whole game. That is a mentality that we have been ingraining in our players since I became head coach. I think you really saw it today. The second thing that I was really proud of was that nobody wanted a pat on the back. We were all angry that we let that one get away. We know the mistakes that we have to clean up, and we will work hard on those all week in practice," continued Catanzaro.

The Foresters were paced offensively on the ground by Jr. Al Mitchell, who ran for 76 yards on 15 carries. Scaffidi finished the day completing 74% of his passes on 20 of 27 passing for 260 yards and 3 touchdowns. He also ran for 35 yards. Sobey recorded 6 catches for 79 yards and 2 touchdowns. Senior Kevin Davis had 4 catches for 95 yards.

Defensively, Lake Forest was paced by Michael Garetto-Balmer and Jordan Cruz who each recorded 10 tackles on the day. Sophomore CB Darius McKay recorded an interception to thwart a Ripon drive.

The Foresters fall to 0-1 in MWC play for the 2011 season, and return to Farwell Field for another home game against Illinois College. The Blueboys defeated Carroll University 34-27 behind a stellar day from Freshman QB Michael Bates who threw for 374 yards against the Pioneers.

Offensive Player of the Week: Austin Sobey, Jr.
Defensive Player of the Week: Jake Rotkvich, Jr.
Special Teams Player of the Week: Dominick Campagna (3-3 on XPT, 1-1 on FG's) Jr.
Scout Team Player of the Week: Ed Daniels, So.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


The Lake Forest College Football team is proud to announce that on Saturday, September 10th, the Foresters will be hosting Heroes Day 2011.

"For the past two years, we have hosted a "Trick or Treat for the Troops" event in October. Our schedule this year, takes us on the road for the last two weeks of October. We didn't want to stop supporting our troops, so our team decided to tie our efforts into the 10th anniversary of September 11th. We wanted to honor all those who serve our country and community. September 11th was an day that impacted our nation in a way that had never happened before. In the aftermath of the attacks, countless public servants, both domestically, and internationally have sacrificed so much protecting our freedoms. As a team, we want to pay respect and tribute to all of those have done this," said Coach Catanzaro.

The Foresters along with the Alpha Phi sorority will be collecting items for the care packages that they send to troops overseas each year.
"In the past two years, we have sent over 85 care packages to our troops," said Catanzaro. "We have sent them to alums, family members, and friends of the program in the Army, each of the last two years. This year, we will be sending them to one of our Naval Ships that are currently at sea."

Suggested Items for Care Packages include:
Recreational Items: board games, playing cards, magazines, stationary, etc)
Clothing: hats, bandannas, white or black socks, brown or green plain tee shirts)
Non-Perishable Food: canned food, snack food, powdered drink mix
Toiletries: flavored tooth paste, tooth brushes, bar soap, etc

If you have any questions on how you can help, please call Jim Catanzaro, Head Football Coach, at 847-735-6137, or email him at

Monday, September 5, 2011

Lightning Strikes!!!

The Foresters first game of the season was one that started with a BANG, and ended due to one. LFC traveled to Concordia University to renew the second game of their four game non-conference agreement to start the 2011 season. At kickoff, it was 90*, sunny, and humid, causing Coach Catanzaro to comment,"I hope we brought enough Gatorade, I'm sweating just standing here."

The Foresters won the toss, and chose to defer. Concordia received the opening kickoff, and the game was underway. The Cougars started out strong, using a quarterback run play to escape a backed up starting field position. Though the Cougars would gain 45 yards on their first drive, the Forester defense held strong and forced a punt. The ball was kicked through the end zone, and the Foresters received the ball on the 20 yard line.

Junior Al Mitchell received the call on the first play of the game. Mitchell used his "lightning" fast speed to turn the right corner and sprint up the sideline for an 80 yard touchdown. The Forester sideline erupted with enthusiasm as the junior started the season off on the right foot for the Foresters.

"Wow. All I could say was wow. I have seen Al run away from our defense, but his burst put him at a whole other level compared to the defense," mentioned Catanzaro.

On Concordia's next possession started with a 40 yard pass play. "We blew the coverage. We didn't get over the top of the route, and they took advantage of us." Concordia would go on to finish the drive and tie the game at 7.

The Foresters next offensive possession would be a three and out. The next CU possession was a 10 play scoring drive that was aided by a 3rd down "defensive holding" call on the Foresters away from the play. CUC would miss the extra point. This would be a critical component of the rest of the day.

Sophomore Darius McKay would take the following kickoff 32 yards to give the Foresters an advantageous starting field position. Mitchell would take the first two plays 33 yards to bring the LFC closer to the goal line. An Alec Howe rush for 6 yards, that included a bone crushing block by Jr. Tight End Justin Smith, put the Foresters inside the red zone. On the very next play, Jr. Pete Scaffidi would connect with classmate Rocky Al-Mutawa for a 19yd touchdown pass. The Foresters would go up 14-13 on the extra point.

The next Cougar drive would stall with a missed field goal inside their 20 yard line. With new NCAA rules in place, the ball was placed at the 20 yard line for the Foresters. As soon as the ball was snapped, QB Pete Scaffidi threw the ball to high school teammate, Kevin Davis, on a "quick strike." Davis would go 80 yards, untouched to extend the Forester lead to eight points after Domnick Campagna connected on his third extra point of the day.

The Cougars would get a momentum shift as freshman kick returner James Washington returned the kickoff 67 yards to the Forester 25 yard line. Three plays later the Cougars would score. A 2pt play attempt by Concordia would fail, giving the Foresters a two point lead 21-19.

The Foresters would be forced to punt on their next possession. The Forester defense looked to have Concordia in a tough position as they were faced with a 1st down and 25 yards, after an illegal block penalty. A pass interference penalty on the next play however, put the pressure back on the Foresters. Concordia would convert on 3rd and 3 to record their fourth touchdown of the day. They missed the extra point after this touchdown as well, gaining a lead of 26-21.

Freshman Joey Kropp would receive the next kickoff from Concordia, and provide an "electric" 78 yard retun to the Concordia 15 yard line.

"I couldn't believe that in the first 23 minutes of the game, we had three plays over 75 yards. That's incredible, I have never seen anything like that before," said Catanzaro.

On 2nd and 12, Scaffidi would throw his third touchdown of the day to Jr. Austin Sobey. Scaffidi to that point was 3 of 6 for 116 yards and 3 touchdowns. "He was on his way to a special day." Campagna connected on the extra point to give the Foresters a 28-26 lead. The Foresters 28 points required only 14 offensive plays.

"We were not only efficient, we were explosive. I was thrilled to see the adjustments made by Coach Kerr (new offensive coordinator) take shape on the field. I know that our players were confident in the changes that were implemented," said Catanzaro.

On the third play of the next Concordia drive, the game was halted due to lightning in the area at 2:12pm. The teams would attempt to restart the game at 3:50pm, but would be foiled in their attempt as lightning would reappear. After the game, there was confusion about how things were ended, it was made clear through a conference call later on Saturday evening, that in fact the officials had decided to postpone the game, rather than conclude the game.

Both administrations are currently looking for future dates to try and finish the game with the two teams.

Catanzaro on the delay,"I have never been in a situation like this before. I thought our players and coaches handled the delay the best we could given the situation we were in. I am thankful that (Mike) Gilboe was there to protect our players safety and be our point person on those issues. Now that we have stepped away from the game, I have learned every rule that there is regarding lightning, delays, and the like. I think a few of us in the decision making process didn't know what all of the options were for that situation. I look forward to trying to finish this game. I thought our players were playingPublish Post hard and at a very high level, and I am excited to see them carry this into the conference season against Ripon next week."

The lightning would also delay other division III games, as well as nationally televised games at Michigan and Notre Dame.