St. Edward had several chances to end its season on a winning note Friday night.
St. Francis just doesn't want its season to end.
The Spartans held off the Green Wave on Senior Night in Elgin, just enough to keep their slim playoff hopes alive, with a 19-7 victory at Greg True Field.
St. Francis (5-4, 3-4) is playoff eligible with its 5-4 record, but stands at 32 playoff points, which may be on the short side for the Spartans to receive an invitation to the 6A playoff party.
"I didn't even look at (the playoff scenarios)," Spartans' coach Greg Purnell said. "We win 5 and pray."
St. Edward (2-7, 1-6) looked to make things a little more interesting after sustaining a drive for the final 6 minutes of the first half. The Green Wave converted a fourth-and-1 after drawing a pass interference call on a fake punt and a third-and-9 with a 9-yard run from Devontae Elam. Elam's run set up a first-and-10 on the St. Francis 11 in the closing minute of the second quarter.
Elam rushed twice for 7 yards, but quarterback Mike Castoro was off target on a pass as time expired preserving St. Francis' 13-0 halftime lead.
"We had some calls go our way," Green Wave coach Mike Rolando said. "We didn't quite execute the way we wanted to. We didn't score. I was real proud of our seniors, they played like warriors."
In response, Castoro busted a 47-yard touchdown run on the Green Wave's next drive cutting the Spartans' lead to 13-7 in the third quarter. St. Francis responded in the same fashion it had all game pounding the ball hard at the Green Wave defense.
Jack Pertrando scored on a 21-yard scoring run with 10:34 left in the fourth quarter. A failed 2-point conversion cushioned the lead at 19-7.
Pertrando finished the game with 130 yards on 25 carries.
"We were playing in a mud bowl," said St. Francis tackle and Michigan recruit Kyle Bosch. "It's a lot like our field. Getting a foot into the ground was especially important. It was really important for us to get the first score of the game."
Alex Alcantara's 35-yard punt return set up Pertrando first touchdown run. Alcantara returned the ball to St. Edward's 15-yard line. Pertrando took 4 carries and wound up scoring on a 3-yard surge into the end zone.
On the next St. Francis possession Dan Beck sprinted on the outside 59 yards down the field. A missed extra point left the Spartans with a 13-0 halftime lead.
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