Grayslake Central football coach Ben Ault was correct, of course.
When the kicker of a team is the key figure of the game, it probably was a long night.
Now, Kevin Dunk has quite the leg. The Central junior works on his kicking skills quite frequently. And when it was time to bring him out to attempt a 39-yard field goal on Friday night, he was all over that.
"I've been kicking 50-yard field goals in practice,'' Dunk said.
Well, the 39-yard field goal was signaled good in the fourth quarter. Alas, there was a penalty called on Dunk's team. It was time to march the Rams back another 5 yards.
Did Ault and company bring out the punting unit?
Not a chance. Dunk was left on the field, and because of the penalty, his next kick came from 44 yards.
It was also good. And homecoming was a success at Grayslake Central in a general way, as the weather cooperated.
But on the field, the Rams (3-2) ran into a gifted and quick offense from Crystal Lake Central, which motored to a quick 21-0 start and coasted to a 34-10 FVC victory.
"Their quarterback (Kyle Lavand) played a great game,'' Ault said. "But they also have some physical players. They are a great team."
By the time it came for Dunk's heroics, the game was quite out of hand. The Tigers opened a 21-0 lead before halftime only to see their shutout disappear when Rams QB Alex Lennartz fired a 36-yard touchdown pass to Matt Loeffl.
By the time Dunk entered the game, the Rams were down by 27 points.
"At first, they weren't trying to block the field goal,'' Dunk said. "But I knew they would call the penalty. So I just focused in on the next kick."
Dunk does the punting for the Rams and also is responsible for those delightful pooch kicks.
"I just try to kick those as high as I can,'' he said. "I really work hard on those in practice."
The Rams have dropped two games in a row after starting the season with a three-game winning streak. Next up is a road trip to Dundee; that's where the Rams will battle a former Grayslake coach in present-day Dundee-Crown
leader Vito Andriola.
"That's going to be tough,'' Ault said. "Those kids will be physical. Vito will have them prepared. But we have four games left and we have to make a push for the playoffs."
Central got a strong game on both sides of the ball from Malcolm Reed.
On a 31-yard gallop late in the third quarter, he crossed over the 100-yard mark for the game.