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The Bear's Sean Lynch (6) looks for running room during first half action of Lake Zurich's 17-6 win over Hononegah in round 2 of the Class 7A playoffs. Chris Anderson~for Sunday Times Media.
Lake Zurich coach David Proffitt may have summarized his team’s 17-6 Class 7A second round victory over Hononegah best with one simple sentence as the Bears huddled moments after the game.
“Championship football teams have to win games like this when things don’t go their way,” Proffit told his players.
The Bears did just that, overcoming turnovers on three consecutive possessions during a six-minute span late in the third and early in the fourth quarter to advance to the 7A quarterfinals for the second consecutive season.
With his team leading 10-6, Bears senior linebacker Robert Rossdeutcher intercepted Hononegah quarterback Joey Welsh at the Indians’ 9-yard line with 2:58 left in the fourth quarter. Two plays later, running back Sean Lynch found the end zone for a 6-yard touchdown run that iced things.
Rossdeutcher also recovered a key fumble early in the fourth quarter. The Bears defense came up huge late, stopping a pair of Hononegah fourth down attempts in Indian territory. The first came on a fourth-and-one at the Lake Zurich 17-yard line with 8:12 to play. The second stop came on a fourth-and-two at the Bears 37-yard line with 4:39 remaining.
“We just capitalized on their mistakes, and overcame ours,” Rossdeutcher said. “It’s playoff football. You’ve gotta just keep fighting. There were some big momentum switches by both sides, and we just kept coming out with the mentality that we had to attack no matter what happened.”
Lake Zurich (9-2) has won eight of its last nine contests, while the loss by Hononegah (9-2) ended its nine-game winning streak. The Indians, who had three separate running backs averaging over eight yards per carry coming in, only had two runs of nine or more yards all afternoon, on 46 total carries.