In a tone that was much different than both the pre-game, and half-time talks with the team, Catanzaro was smiling and joking with his players after the game.
"We were frustrated at half time, we felt like we had given them both touchdowns because of drive extending penalties. They came at us with everything they had in the playbook. Reverse passes, throwback screens, a surprise on-side kick, a fake punt, among others. To their credit, they did a lot of things to try and win the game. To our guys credit, they battled against everything they saw, and we came out and won the game in the second half," said Catanzaro."Our pregame talk was full of emotion, and I think that was a detriment to us early in the game as we were "too fired up" to stay focused on the task. At half-time, especially with the defense, I wanted a very calm focus. I wanted us to make sense of the mistakes we had seen to that point, and capitalize on our line play on both sides of the ball in the second half."
The talk must have worked, as the Forester offense exploded into the game, and scored four touchdowns, including one on each of their first three drives. Meanwhile, the Forester defense shut out the Knox offense and limiting them to 128 yards after intermission.
"I though Coach Kerr and the offense in the second half was outstanding. That's the second week in a row where we have really gotten going in the second half. This is a testament to the adjustments that they are making at half-time. For the players, our challenge to them is to start the game with the same type of execution.I thought that we were able to capitalize on some big plays, but more importantly, we were able to sustain long drives," said Catanzaro."Pete (Scaffidi) did a tremendous job managing the clock, and pace of our offense. He was outstanding in all facets of that. He has really matured in his game management, and I am looking forward to his continued growth and effectiveness."
|Austin Sobey move into fifth all-time in receiving TD's|
During the course of the game, a few Forester milestones were passed as Senior WR Austin Sobey caught his 100th pass reception, and moved into sixth place on the all-time receptions list at Lake Forest, as well as sixth on the all-time receiving yards category. His touchdown reception ties him for fifth overall in school history.
Quarterback Pete Scaffidi moved into fourth all-time in career passing yards with his performance. Senior running back Al Mitchell moved into fifth place for career rushing touchdowns with his first score of the day.
Even with the strong senior offensive performances, it was a pair of freshman on the offensive side of the ball that truly caught Coach Catanzaro's eye.
|Senior Al Mitchell hurdling ahead for the Foresters|
"Did you see how Joey (Valdivia) ran the ball? That was a fantastic to see. This was the most extensive look we had at him, and he ran with such conviction and power. He is a going to be a great running back here if he continues to run like that. The other guy that it was great to see was Mike Rantis. The burst he displayed after his first catch was outstanding. He caught a six yard route, and turned it into a 30 + yard gain. His one kick return was fantastic as well. He was one defender a way from a touchdown. I was really excited to see both of those guys going at full-speed and not thinking while they were out there. That has been the greatest improvement for each of them as they get more comfortable with our schemes their impact is only going to increase," commented Catanzaro.
The Foresters travel to Waukesha, WI next Saturday to play against Carroll University, who were defeated in over-time by St. Norbert College this past weekend 28-21.
"This game is always tough. We have had some great battles with the Pioneers during my time at Lake Forest. Our guys are going to have to go to the next level of execution and performance to defeat one of the top teams in the conference," previewed Catanzaro.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK:
Offense: Sr. AL MITCHELL, RB- Pulaski HS, Milwaukee, WI. 13 rushes for 75 yards, and 2 touchdowns, while also recording 6 catches for 56 yards and 1 touchdown.
Defense: Jr. JOHN DILLON, LB- Basha HS, Phoenix, AZ. 7 tackles, 2 sacks, and 3 quarterback knockdowns.
Special Teams: So. JOEY KROPP, DB/RET- Rolling Meadows HS, Arlington Heights, IL. 3 of 3 on Extra Point Holds, 2 Punt Returns for 26 yards.
Lineman of the Week: So. BRYAN FELTMAN, OG- Marist HS, Chicago, IL. Graded out at 89%, and had several blocks beyond 15 yards from the line of scrimmage.
Scout Team: Fr. RYAN FLYNN, DL- Morristown HS, Morristown, NJ.
Click on the link below to view highlights of the game on Saturday.