Crystal Lake South's 2 late TDs stun Cary-Grove

  • Crystal Lake South's Nolan Gorken, left, and Michael Prokos, right, celebrate a Prokos touchdown at Cary-Grove High School Friday night.

    Crystal Lake South's Nolan Gorken, left, and Michael Prokos, right, celebrate a Prokos touchdown at Cary-Grove High School Friday night. Patrick Kunzer/for Shaw Local

  • Crystal Lake South's Nathan Compere, left, and Dom Ariola, right, pursue Cary-Grove's Gavin Henriques, center, as Henriques runs in a first-quarter touchdown at Al Bohrer Field on the campus of Cary-Grove High School Friday night.

    Crystal Lake South's Nathan Compere, left, and Dom Ariola, right, pursue Cary-Grove's Gavin Henriques, center, as Henriques runs in a first-quarter touchdown at Al Bohrer Field on the campus of Cary-Grove High School Friday night. Patrick Kunzer/for Shaw Local

  • Cary-Grove's Gavin Henriques, right, is greeted by Mykal Kannelakis, left, in the end zone after an Henriques touchdown against Crystal Lake South at Al Bohrer Field on the campus of Cary-Grove High School Friday night.

    Cary-Grove's Gavin Henriques, right, is greeted by Mykal Kannelakis, left, in the end zone after an Henriques touchdown against Crystal Lake South at Al Bohrer Field on the campus of Cary-Grove High School Friday night. Patrick Kunzer/for Shaw Local

  • Crystal Lake South's Brady Schroeder runs the ball as Cary-Grove's Mykal Kannelakis tracks him down in football at Al Bohrer Field on the campus of Cary-Grove High School Friday night.

    Crystal Lake South's Brady Schroeder runs the ball as Cary-Grove's Mykal Kannelakis tracks him down in football at Al Bohrer Field on the campus of Cary-Grove High School Friday night. Patrick Kunzer/for Shaw Local

  • Cary-Grove's Thomas Burton pushes Crystal Lake South's Caden Casimino out of bounds.

    Cary-Grove's Thomas Burton pushes Crystal Lake South's Caden Casimino out of bounds. Patrick Kunzer/for Shaw Local

  • Crystal Lake South's Nathan Van Witzenburg, right, runs the ball at Cary-Grove High School Friday night.

    Crystal Lake South's Nathan Van Witzenburg, right, runs the ball at Cary-Grove High School Friday night. Patrick Kunzer/for Shaw Local

  • Crystal Lake South's Michael Prokos eludes a defender at Cary-Grove High School Friday night.

    Crystal Lake South's Michael Prokos eludes a defender at Cary-Grove High School Friday night. Patrick Kunzer/for Shaw Local

  • Cary-Grove's Peyton Seaburg runs the ball against Crystal Lake South at Al Bohrer Field on the campus of Cary-Grove High School Friday night.

    Cary-Grove's Peyton Seaburg runs the ball against Crystal Lake South at Al Bohrer Field on the campus of Cary-Grove High School Friday night. Patrick Kunzer/for Shaw Local

  • Cary-Grove's Mykal Kannelakis, right, reels in a pass as Crystal Lake South's Michael Prokos, left, moves in for a tackle at Al Bohrer Field on the campus of Cary-Grove High School Friday night.

    Cary-Grove's Mykal Kannelakis, right, reels in a pass as Crystal Lake South's Michael Prokos, left, moves in for a tackle at Al Bohrer Field on the campus of Cary-Grove High School Friday night. Patrick Kunzer/for Shaw Local

  • Cary-Grove's Colin Desmet scores a first-quarter touchdown against Crystal Lake South at Al Bohrer Field on the campus of Cary-Grove High School Friday night.

    Cary-Grove's Colin Desmet scores a first-quarter touchdown against Crystal Lake South at Al Bohrer Field on the campus of Cary-Grove High School Friday night. Patrick Kunzer/for Shaw Local

  • Cary-Grove's Colin Desmet, center, is all smiles in the end zone after scoring a touchdown as he is greeted by Peyton Seaburg, left, and Mykal Kannelakis, right, at Al Bohrer Field on the campus of Cary-Grove High School Friday night.

    Cary-Grove's Colin Desmet, center, is all smiles in the end zone after scoring a touchdown as he is greeted by Peyton Seaburg, left, and Mykal Kannelakis, right, at Al Bohrer Field on the campus of Cary-Grove High School Friday night. Patrick Kunzer/for Shaw Local

  • Crystal Lake South's Michael Prokos runs in for a touchdown at Cary-Grove High School Friday night.

    Crystal Lake South's Michael Prokos runs in for a touchdown at Cary-Grove High School Friday night. Patrick Kunzer/for Shaw Local

 
 
Updated 9/3/2022 10:30 AM

Crystal Lake South junior quarterback Caden Casimino looked off a Cary-Grove safety and threaded a dart into the body of Nate Van Witzenburg.

Van Witzenburg hauled in the pass and walked the last 4 yards into the end zone to erase an 11-point deficit for the Gators in the fourth quarter. South's defense then held the Trojans on their final possession, and the Gators knocked off Cary-Grove, 43-39, on Friday at Al Bohrer Field.

 

Before Friday, South's last win against C-G was in 2011, while the Trojans had not lost any game since the 2019 postseason (a stretch of 19 games).

The Gators celebrated the statement victory together at midfield and then carried it over to the visitors' bleachers to celebrate some more with fans.

"For three years, I've been getting my [butt] kicked by Cary-Grove," offensive-defensive lineman Nate Compere said. "I've been telling everybody at school, 'This is a different Crystal Lake South team.' It's a different mentality, it's a different attitude. ... [We] wanted it more than ever, and we took it tonight."

South rallied and scored 14 points in the final 4:23, scoring the go-ahead touchdown with 30.9 seconds remaining. Before Van Witzenburg's touchdown, Casimino found with Colton Hess for a 16-yard score, cutting C-G's lead to 39-36 with less than five minutes left.

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Hess, who also is the team's kicker, then had a successful onside kick, which set up South for the game-winning score. On the game-winning drive, South had a fourth-and-1 on the Trojans' 31 and used backup quarterback Brady Schroeder, who just got enough yards on a sneak.

After a 4-yard run by Van Witzenburg and an incomplete pass, Casimino connected with Van Witzenburg for the go-ahead score from 26 yards out.

"We ran the same play on the previous play, and I thought I was open," Van Witzenburg said. "We came back to the huddle, and Caden said we're going to run the same play again. I was like, 'Alright, let's go.' I knew I was going to get to that ball. I had all the confidence in the world in Caden.

"It felt awesome. The win, the walk-off [win], it's indescribable."

Casimino finished 21-of-28 passing for 376 yards and four touchdowns. He also had a 75-yard score to Michael Prokos (7 catches, 153 yards) in the first quarter and a 23-yard touchdown pass to Hess (5 catches, 77 yards) in the second quarter.

Van Witzenburg finished with 107 yards on 23 carries and added 49 yards on three catches. Casimino ran for 68 yards.

Cary-Grove's Mykal Kanellakis broke free for a 60-yard touchdown with 3:00 to go in the third quarter, which gave the Trojans a 32-28 lead. C-G got the ball back after an interception by Colin Desmet, and the Trojans scored again to go up 39-28 with 5:46 left on a 16-yard touchdown run by Alex Schuppe.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

For Cary-Grove, Desmet finished with 149 rushing yards on 13 attempts, scoring on runs of 1, 71 and 35 yards. Andre Prio had 67 yards on the ground.

Cary-Grove coach Brad Seaburg said the fourth quarter came down to execution.

"I told the kids, it was a great high school football game," Seaburg said. "Two teams fought hard, and there was effort on both sides. But high school football isn't just about effort. High school football is about execution. We both had the same amount of touchdowns. They got all their extra points, and we didn't.

"When it comes down to the wire, you've got to execute, and we didn't."

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