One streak ended while another one is still alive.
Those were the story lines as Cary-Grove slugged out a 21-14 victory over Crystal Lake South in Fox Valley Conference Valley Division action in Cary Friday night.
South's streak of 12 straight playoff appearances ended while Cary-Grove (5-3, 5-1) is playoff eligible and likely to make its 10th straight trip to the postseason party.
"Our playoff streak was remarkable considering we are a public school and can't recruit," said Crystal Lake South coach Chuck Ahsmann, "We gave up two huge pass plays where we missed our reads. That was the story of our season."
With the defenses dominating early neither team was able to score in the first quarter,
The Trojans scored first on a 7-yard run by Tyler Pennington with 10:36 before halftime.
The Gators (3-5, 1-4) were able to score before the half to tie the score. Austin Rogers, who played quarterback most of the half, switched to split end while junior Payton Minogue came into the game at QB.
With the ball at the Cary-Grove 15, Minogue lofted a pass in the end zone where Rogers wrestled the ball away from two Trojan defenders for the score with 22 seconds left in the half to knot the game at 7 at intermission.
The Rogers TD pass was a point of emphasis in the Cary-Grove locker room at halftime.
'I questioned our kids' toughness," said Cary-Grove coach Brad Seaburg. "(Rogers) wanted the ball more than our kids."
With South jamming the line of scrimmage, the Trojans were able to utilize the pass in scoring 2 second half TDs.
Jason Gregoire lofted a perfect 37-yard TD strike to Jimmy Freskos with 6:48 left in the third quarter. The Trojans' second score of the second half was set up by a 35-yard pass from Gregoire to Zach McQuade.
Pennington finished the drive with a 7-yard run with 11:57 left in the game to give the Trojans a 21-7 lead.
The Gators didn't give up. Rogers connected with Eric Landis on a 4-yard score with 4:54 left. After a failed onside kick, Landis recovered a Trojan fumble at the CLS 33. South moved to the Cary-Grove 22. On fourth-and-5, linebacker Jack Timmons blitzed on the play and sacked Rogers for an 8-yard loss to give Cary-Grove the win.
"It was a backside blitz and I was able to get through the line and get the sack," said Timmons. "It was a great win ."