The Forester football team was defeated 28-0 at Midwest Conference champion St. Norbert College on Saturday. Lake Forest senior tailback Brock Stenberg ran for 119 yards in the contest to become the third-leading rusher in program history.
Stenberg carried the ball 17 times in the game for 7.0 yards per attempt. He finished the season as Lake Forest's leader with 738 yards on the ground and completed his four-year career with 2,294 rushing yards. "Brock proved today why he is one of, if not the best running back in the conference," touted Forester head coach Jim Catanzaro. "His rushing statistics don't show that almost 85 of his 119 yards were after contact. He ran in a punishing style that was a great momentum builder for our team."
Freshman linebacker Jordan Cruz led the Forester defense with 11 tackles, including 10 solos. Junior safety Luke Butts was next on the squad with 10 stops, nine of which were unassisted. Senior linebacker Anthony Garetto, senior linebacker Tanner Compton, and junior defensive lineman Kenneth Clady Mason each recovered a fumble and freshman cornerback Ed Dobernig intercepted his fifth pass in the last three weeks and team-high sixth this season. "Our defense forced four takeaways," commented Catanzaro. "However, we allowed some of their drives to extend deeper into our territory than we should have. We had some costly missed tackles on third downs, and then they hit us with the flea flicker and the surprise onside kick."
St. Norbert broke a scoreless tie on a 43-yard touchdown pass with 9:44 to play in the second quarter and added a 5-yard touchdown run with less than a minute to play before halftime. The Green Knights, who finished the regular season with an overall record of 7-3 and a league-best conference mark of 7-2, added a long touchdown pass in each of the final two periods to put the game out of reach.
"Our team played very hard today," noted Catanzaro. "They showed up and gave St. Norbert a much greater challenge than I think they were expecting, based on our record. Unfortunately, we were unable to come away with points on our drives into their territory. Finishing drives was something that we did well the previous two weeks. Today was the first time that we had made errors in the kicking game all season. These errors proved costly in providing short fields for the Green Knight offense.
"Our young players proved that they were up to the challenge of playing our conference champions and I hope that they use that momentum as we enter into the offseason."
Lake Forest finished the year 2-8 overall and 2-7 in league play. In addition to Stenberg, Garetto, and Compton, the Foresters will also lose fellow seniors Geoff Sobey, Scott Coleman, Ty Van Valkenburg, Tim Gruzwalski, David Adams, Josh Smith, Chris Lang, Max Koenen, and Steven Yena to graduation in May. "This was a tremendous group of players that has given a lot of time, effort, and creativity to Forester football," stated Catanzaro. "Our program is better for their participation and the efforts that they have made in building the foundation for a more successful future."