Dundee-Crown wanted nothing more than to upset McHenry, prevent its losing streak from reaching 20 and go home happy Chargers.
And during the first half of their Fox Valley Conference Valley Division opener at the D-C Bowl Friday night, it looked like the Chargers were on the cusp of doing just that.
D-C pulled out a few tricks on a blocked punt recovered in the end zone and a punt that ricocheted off a McHenry defensive player that kept a drive alive for Cody Lane to pound a 10-yard touchdown run to give the Chargers a 14-6 lead midway through the first quarter.
And coming out of halftime leading 14-13 with the ball, coach Vito Andriola's squad was primed.
But the bottom eventually fell out.
After D-C turned over the opening kickoff, McHenry scored 3 plays later on Robert Tonyan's 20-yard pass to Adam Mattson and went on to score 2 more touchdowns to take a 33-14 win and give Dundee-Crown its dreaded 20th consecutive loss.
"It's not easy," Andriola said. "We're battling things that haven't happened, we end the half winning and then we do a play we've practiced all week, and that's disappointing. I can't count how many times, so we don't make it. And that's what good programs do. Good programs make the plays they're supposed to do and we're not yet. We're trying to change a mentality here, we're young. We start eight sophomores which I'm still not pleased with that but it is what it is."
Andriola alluded to 2 plays at the end of the first half and beginning the second half that cost the Chargers ultimately.
D-C (0-3, 0-1) failed to score on the last drive of the first half that was extended after the Warriors muffed a punt on the D-C 36. Seven plays later D-C, at the 1-yard line, couldn't convert on 4th-and-1 after some miscommunication with the yard-marker, down and distance.
Then after halftime, McHenry (2-1, 1-0) kicked off and D-C failed to scoop the ball up. McHenry recovered, drove down the field in 3 plays and had a 19-14 lead on Tonyan's 20-yard touchdown pass.
D-C couldn't stop McHenry after that. Tonyan threw for 2 more touchdowns and after a first half that saw the Warriors amass just 190 total yards, McHenry piled up 391 total for the game and held the Chargers in the negative all second half (-8 yards) and allowed just 1 first down.
"We just kept it up," said Tonyan, who finished with 283 yards passing on 22 of 33 passes and 4 touchdowns. "Kept positive, stayed true to my guys and kept going at it. We're not going to lay down for anyone and show no mercy."
Bryan Wegner led the Warriors with 7 catches for 110 yards but it was Ryan Mattson who scored twice on throws from Tonyan, a 20-yard and a 46-yard score.
D-C looked primed after Julian Durate blocked a McHenry punt and Cordero Parson recovered in the end zone to help give D-C an early 7-0 lead just 1:42 in. And after Cody Lane's 10-yard run, D-C was rolling. But the blunders caught up with the Chargers.
"You can't make mistakes," Chargers quarterback Garrett Ryan said. "It was multiple mistakes that led to the loss."
Lane rushed 12 times for 66 yards for D-C, which managed just 137 total yards. McHenry turned the ball over 4 times in the win.