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Lake Forest's Tom Doherty (5) can't stop Rolling Meadows' Matt Campbell (85) from making this catch during the 6A IHSA football playoff game in Rolling Meadows on Friday, October 26, 2012. | Joel Lerner~Sun-Times Media
Trailing by 10 points late in the third quarter, its season on the line, the Lake Forest football team needed a game-changing play.
The Scouts got one from their defense.
A crushing hit by senior Chris Wilson jarred the ball loose from Rolling Meadows running back senior Steven Royster, junior safety Regis Durbin scooped it up and raced 52 yards for a touchdown, and the Scouts turned a 24-14 deficit into a stunning 42-24 win in the first round of the 6A playoffs Friday night.
“It was a big momentum swing,” Durbin said of the fumble recovery. “The ball was on the ground. I just picked it up and ran.”
Lake Forest will play Lakes — which beat St. Viator 35-21 Friday — in the second round.
Lake Forest had no answer for the Rolling Meadows duo of senior quarterback Jack Milas in the first half Friday. Milas (34-of-69, 431 yards) struck three times for touchdowns, and when he hit Matt Campbell (13 catches, 238 yards) for a 66-yard touchdown midway through the second quarter, it was 21-7 Mustangs.
But the Scouts forced three second-half turnovers. Their blitzing defense slowed down Miles, forcing two interceptions and leading to 28 unanswered points.
When senior quarterback Andrew Clifford (27-of-42, 288 yards, three touchdowns) found junior tight end Andrew Freeman for a 9-yard touchdown with 11:22 remaining, the Scouts had their first lead of the game at 28-24.
Durbin sealed the game for Lake Forest with 2:51 left when he picked off Milas and returned it 21 yards for his second defensive touchdown of the night. That made it 42-24 Scouts.
“You coach a lot of teams and different teams that have different personalities,” Lake Forest coach Chuck Spagnoli said. “This is obviously not one to lay down or stay down.”