Kevin Johnson found a way to pick up plenty of momentum for the Bears, when he picked off a pair of interceptions with one going for an incredible distance of 100 yards.
Those two picks were just a beginning en route to five interceptions and a fumble recovery and second-seeded Lake Zurich left a frozen rope on 10th-seeded host Deerfield 41-0 on Friday night in the second round of the Class 7A playoffs.
The Bears' Kyle Skarb, Kevin Callahan and Joe Fanta had the other swipes off Deerfield quarterback Marco Antic (9 of 22 for 63 yards).
It was Skarb, who started things off on the very first play of the game. Skarb intercepted Antic with a return of 17 yards to the one-yard line and Jon Janus scored on the next play rushing in on a one-yard run.
Deerfield's Nick Anderson (9 carries, 78 yards) had a 64-yard scamper to the Bears 18-yard line on its next possession, which put the Warriors (8-3) in position to tie the game early in the first quarter.
But, Johnson stepped up and got the pick off and it was off to the races towards the end zone for the Bears (10-1) for a 14-0 advantage.
"I just felt like, let the team down on the long run and had to find a way to get it back," Johnson said. "I got the opportunity with a short pass and ran it back as fast as I could. I didn't go anywhere but for the end zone.
'It's all about big plays and momentum. We had a big play on the first play of the game and we got the momentum. They got a huge run and I wanted to get the game back in my hands."
Lake Zurich went on scoring 4 more times and carried the margin out to 41-0 into the third quarter.
Matt Blanchard rushed for a 14-yard run. Blanchard hooked up with Skarb for a 72-yard touchdown pass, Janus scored a 37-yard run and Adam Simpson (7 carries, 77 yards) scampered into the end zone from 10-yards.
"I think we made some big plays early and it took the wind out of their sails," Lake Zurich coach Bryan Stortz said. "Deerfield is a quality program, but we were fortunate to make some big plays and didn't look back from there."
Lake Zurich will next either host the winner of third-seeded Rockford Boylon/sixth-seeded Carmel next weekend in the quarterfinals.
By Rusty Silber
LZ - Janus 1 run (Johnson kick)
LZ - Johnson 100 interception return (Johnson kick).
LZ - Blanchard 9 14 run (Johnson kick).
LZ - Skarb 72 pass from Blanchard (Johnson kick).
LZ - Janus 37 run (kick failed).
LZ - Simpson 10 run (Johnson kick).