Six wins, you're in.
Earn that playoff-qualifying victory and all worries about playoff points are moot.
"We just knew if we got six wins we'd get in for sure. It was important to get this win today," said St. Francis junior Jack Petrando.
He helped secure the golden ticket, rushing for 172 yards with a 21-yard touchdown run, plus chain-moving sprints of 53 and 36 yards.
Holding the Knights scoreless for the first time since 2010 Week 3, St. Francis (6-2) won the Suburban Christian Conference crossover 18-0 at Lewis Stadium in Elmhurst.
"Our playoff points aren't as strong as we'd want them to be," said St. Francis linebacker Jeff Rutkowski, who sacked IC quarterback Demetrius Carr 3 times.
"But we got six, we're going to the playoffs, hopefully we'll get seven next week."
On the other side of the ledger, the Knights will probably qualify. Like St. Francis, IC (5-3) wants to be sure.
"The defense played a great game. They let up a couple points, but it's up to us to put the points back on the board," Carr said. "We just have to come back and start from scratch again and get ready for Guerin."
The athletic 6-foot-2 junior was the focus of St. Francis' swarming 3-5 defense, with Josh Croci, Peter Quirk and Steven Flaherty up front and linebacker Nate Baratta in the middle.
"They had 11 players on the ball most every play," Carr said.
The Spartans held Carr to 62 yards rushing and 70 passing. IC tailback Dan Vatch ran 8 times for no net yardage.
Knights center and middle linebacker James Peachey missed the entire second half with a leg injury, which contributed to a lack of offensive consistency.
"He's the glue that holds us together, he's the captain of the line, and you could tell," said IC coach Chris VanDyke, who praised his own defense for "playing their hearts out."
St. Francis scored on its second possession, Petrando's 36-yard burst setting up Dan Beck's 7-yard touchdown run behind a Croci block. Petrando delivered a 2-point conversion for an 8-0 lead at 4:38 of the first quarter. With the Spartans grinding out the clock, that stood till halftime.
St. Francis went up 16-0 at 7:19 of the third quarter. Petrando's 21-yard touchdown run preceded Rutkowski's 2-point conversion, again following Croci.
Early in the fourth quarter the Spartans earned a safety by tackling Carr in his end zone. In the last three minutes IC reached St. Francis' 14-yard line, but Rutkowski sealed the deal with a fourth-down sack of Carr.
"Overall defensively," Rutkowski said, "when you get a goose egg, that's the best feeling ever."