South Elgin didn't take a loss kneeling down.
Waubonsie Valley (6-0, 3-0), behind 217 rushing yards from senior running back Austin Guido, kept its record undefeated during a 35-20 Upstate Eight Valley Division Homecoming win over the visiting Storm on Friday night.
Afterward, South Elgin coach Dale Schabert gathered his team for the postgame speech and allowed his team to stand rather than kneel as a reward for their valiant effort.
"I kept the guys on their feet and told them you've earned the right to stand on this field tonight," Schabert said. "I'm really proud of their effort. The only place that doesn't say we're successful is on the scoreboard."
South Elgin (3-3, 2-2) came back from a 28-7 deficit heading into the fourth quarter, cutting the Warriors lead to 28-20 with 3:28 left in the game.
Waubonsie Valley coach Paul Murphy turned to Guido throughout the night, and the fourth quarter was no exception. The senior carried the ball 34 times, including all five carries on the Warriors' final touchdown drive that ended the South Elgin threat and guaranteed Waubonsie Valley a spot in the IHSA playoffs.
"That's the second most carries I've had this season, so I'm used to that," Guido said of the workload. "But I'm really proud of my teammates tonight. I couldn't ask for better teammates."
Guido scored his first of four touchdowns at the 8:47 mark of the first quarter on a 1-yard run. Quarterback Dylan Warden followed on the Warriors' next series, scoring on a 4-yard keeper to put his team up 14-0.
Waubonsie Valley looked to be driving for its third straight score, but South Elgin defensive back Tyler Thorson intercepted Warden's pass at the Storm's 7-yard line.
South Elgin marched 93 yards down the field and was helped by a Waubonsie Valley pass interference call along the way. The end result was a 3-yard scoring run by Jeff Broger, cutting the Warriors' lead to 14-7 heading into halftime.
Two more touchdown runs by Guido gave the Warriors a comfortable 28-7 lead, but the Storm wasn't finished just yet.
South Elgin kept a third quarter drive alive when Waubonsie Valley muffed a punt. The Storm recovered the ball at the Warriors' 11-yard line with just seconds left in the third quarter.
Cuda eventually found Broger open in the flat for a 5-yard scoring pass, cutting the deficit to 28-14. Cuda threw for 169 yards and 2 touchdowns on the night.
"We put them back in the game with that dropped punt," Murphy said. "We also shot ourselves in the foot with the pick in the first half and had a penalty on a first down that killed a drive. We can't make big mistakes if we want to be a state-caliber team."
After a Waubonsie Valley three-and-out series, South Elgin completed a 47-yard scoring drive, converting twice on fourth down, including on a 4-yard touchdown pass from Cuda to Christopher Bingham with 3:28 left.
Waubonsie Valley turned to Guido on the final scoring drive, and he finished with runs of 4, 45, 4, 0 and 6 yards, ending with a 6-yard scoring run to put the game away.