A Crystal Lake South win and the Gators still had a solid chance to make a 12th straight appearance in the IHSA playoffs.
A loss and the Gators' chances for an invite to the postseason party would have been slim.
South got the job done.
Moving to 2-3 on the season, the Gators, led by a 142-yard effort by Zevin Clarkm sloshed to a 28-12 Fox Valley Conference Valley Division win over McHenry at South's Ken Bruhn Field Friday night.
"The offensive linemen did an outstanding job," said Clark. "I had huge holes to run through all night long. We just pounded the ball at them all night and I think we wore them down. This was our most complete game of the season."
The Gators, 1-2 in conference play, set the tone on their first drive of the game. Marching 92 yards on 12 plays, South needed 5 minutes, 28 seconds to take a 7-0 lead capped by an 11-yard run from Clark. The senior back carried the ball 8 times for 52 yards during the drive.
Junior quarterback Austin Rogers completed both passes he attempted on the drive for 27 yards, which included a 21-yarder to tight end Josh Smith.
"We were pinned way back and the kids put together a great drive," said South coach Chuck Ahsmann. "We set the tone that we wanted to run te ball on that first drive. The offensive line opened some huge holes and Zevin ran great. "
Holding a slim 14-6 lead, the Gators scored a momentum-changing touchdown before intermission. Making the most of a broken play, Rogers broke 7 McHenry tackles in scampering to a 44-yard touchdown with 1:17 left before halftime. The Gators enjoyed a comfortable 21-6 lead after 24 minutes of play.
South scored an insurance touchdown with 5:43 left in the third quarter when Rogers rifled a 4-yard scoring pass to Eric Schiller to give the Gators a 28-6 lead.
The South defense totally stymied the McHenry running game as the Warriors (2-3, 1-2) amassed only 4 yards on the ground.
Warrior quarterback Kyle Snedeker, who was sacked 6 times, completed 16-of-23 passes for 279 yards and 2 touchdowns. Korey Partenheimer snared 6 passes for 121 yards which included a 70-yard touchdown. Jake Braskett caught 6 passes for 125 yards and a 37-yard TD.