The 2012 season has arrived and the Lake County Game of the Week for Week 1 is the Lakes Eagles hitting the road to face the Grayslake North Knights. Lakes defeated Grayslake North 16-7 in Week 1 last season.
The Eagles will be led running back Direll Clark, who was an All-State player in 2011 and has received tons of college interest including Purdue among others. Clark ran for nearly 2,000 yards in 2011 and is a force in the backfield and it helps when he has an offensive lineman like 6’6″ Dillon Falotico who will create tons of holes for Clark to run through.
This is easily the best Lakes team in the school’s eight-year history and last season’s 9-2 record is something that the team will be looking to improve on in a big way and a game like this on the road against a tough Fox Valley Conference team will help in that cause.
The Knights bring back quarterback A.J. Fish, who leads a spread option offense in Grayslake. The team only lost one starter on offense from last season and can put up points in a hurry but the man to keep the closest eye on is Fish, who can pass and run the ball both effectively after throwing for over 2,000 yards and rushing for 500 more in 2011 as the Knights went 4-5. This season is going to be a big one for North with all the offensive talent coming back. With the way Lakes can run the ball with Clark, Fish will need to keep possession for the Knights as long as possible and get the ball into the end zone.
North averaged 33 points a game last season but gave up almost 28 per game. That is not winning football in the end and this game will be one where if Lakes can keep possession of the ball with Clark and out of Fish’s hands, it could be a long opening night in Grayslake.
I think this could turn into an offensive shootout but I will take Lakes on the road with a 34-21 victory to open the 2012 season. Don’t be surprised though if we see both of these teams in November during playoff time.