Crystal Lake South drops opener to CLC
Justin Kowalak completed 19-of-32 passes for 230 yards and a touchdown while Brock Jewson caught 7 passes for 151 yards.
Those lofty numbers didn't produce a Fox Valley Conference win for Crystal Lake South at South Friday night.
Crystal Lake Central intercepted 2 Kowalak passes and recovered 2 fumbles in opening the 2021 Fox Valley Conference slate with a 19-7 win.
"We moved the ball on offense but the 4 turnovers really hurt us," said Gators coach Rob Fontana. "We missed a couple of shots. Our defense was outstanding, We stopped them inside the red zone a couple of times. We were just glad to play. It has been 503 days since we played a game. I want our seniors to embrace every opportunity to play. I am not worried about the wins and losses. I want them to enjoy it."
Crystal Lake Central (1-0, 1-0) scored twice late in the first half to break a scoreless deadlock.
Brent Biltek, who ran for 102 yards, put the Tigers on the scoreboard with a 10-yard run with 4:04 remaining in the first half.
Central went to the airwaves for its second touchdown of the night. Colton Madura connected with Jacob Carnrite for a 13-yard TD pass with 10 seconds remaining.
The Tigers, who missed on the extra point on the second TD, led 13-0 after 24 minutes,
Crystal Lake Central scored on an 18-yard run by Madura with 5:58 left in the fourth quarter.
The Gators, who squandered opportunities all night, finally got on the scoreboard with 5:42 remaining as Kowalak threw a perfect strike to Jewson for a 68-yard touchdown. Kevin Land's extra point made the score 19-7.
Crystal Lake South, who rushed for only 44 yards, got 8 receptions for 58 yards from Nate Freese.
Peyton Falco spearheaded the Tigers defense with 2 interceptions and a fumble recovery.
"We gave up a lot of passing yardage early, but we changed from a 4-man front to a 3-man front." said Central coach Jon McLaughlin. "Peyton came up with some big plays. We did a better job in coverage with the 3-man front. We were able to get some turnovers which were huge."
Madera, with a 18-yard touchdown run, led the Tigers with a 112 yards on 19 carries.
"Colt is a special kid," said McLaughlin. "He adds a dimension with his athleticism."