CRYSTAL LAKE – In a game with 83 combined points, any play could have turned the tide.
That’s why Dundee-Crown coach Mike Steinhaus is not blaming his kicker. D-C scored with 19 seconds remaining Saturday, and kicker Christian Alamillo’s extra point sailed wide right. Crystal Lake Central held on for a 42-41 win in Fox Valley Conference play.
“It’s not on Christian Alamillo,” Steinhaus said. “I know he’s going to be taking it hard. We’re going to let him know it’s not on Christian Alamillo. The Chargers didn’t get the job done.”
Alamillo nailed a season-long 48-yard field goal in Week 1 and was 19 of 21 on extra points entering play this week. D-C had plenty of other issues in a game that was suspended by lightning in the fourth quarter Friday night.
The Chargers (3-4, 2-4 FVC) let a 21-6 first-quarter lead slip away and allowed Central to rack up 478 yards of offense. When play resumed Saturday, tied 35-35, Central (2-5, 2-4 FVC) scored the first blow.
Quarterback Aidan Ellinger drove the Tigers 88 yards, connecting with Drew Jenkins on a 13-yard touchdown pass. Ellinger completed 21-of-27 passes for 365 yards and three touchdowns.
“We really wanted to work their secondary,” Ellinger said. “We wanted to get guys open, work the ball short, make the defense come up, and then take a shot [deep].”
Jenkins caught six passes for 110 yards, two touchdowns, and also scored a rushing touchdown. Anthony Beck caught seven passes for 165 yards.
“That was a great win for us,” Central coach Jon McLaughlin said. “I thought Aidan Ellinger was just phenomenal last night and today. Anthony Beck made some fantastic catches.”
With a 42-35 lead, the Tigers kicked short and gave D-C the ball at the 50-yard line with 4:55 to play.
The Chargers ate up most of the clock and drove to the 9-yard line. A sack set them back, and on fourth-and-goal from the 15, quarterback Josh Raby connected with receiver Jack Michalski for a touchdown with 19 seconds.
“We know the middle of the field is going to be wide open,” Steinhaus said. “We did exactly what we were coached to do, that’s how it’s supposed to look and we scored.”
The rain-soaked field may have played a factor in the missed extra point.
“It’s not the outcome we wanted, but we’re still playing meaningful football,” Steinhaus said.
D-C needs to win its final two regular season games against Hampshire and Huntley to have a shot at the playoffs. Central is already out of playoff contention.
• Tim Froehlig contributed to this report.
STAR OF THE GAME
Crystal Lake Central, jr., QB
Ellinger threw for 365 yards and three touchdowns on 21-of-27 passing. He connected with Drew Jenkins for a 13-yard touchdown pass with 4:55 remaining, which proved to be the game-winner.
Crystal Lake Central 42, Dundee-Crown 41
D-C 21 0 14 6 – 41
CLC 13 6 8 15 – 42
DC – Ibarra 38 run (Alamillo kick), 11:31
CLC – Coss 3 run (Kick failed), 8:00
D-C – Dunner 11 run (Alamillo kick), 4:33
D-C – Ibarra 15 run (Alamillo kick), 3:24
CLC – Coss 21 run (Hush kick), 1:40
CLC – Jenkins 33 pass from Ellinger (Pass failed), 8:12
CLC – Moszkiewicz 15 pass from Ellinger (Ellinger pass to White), 5:57
DC – Dunner 42 run (Alamillo kick), 4:24
DC – Hairston 85 pass from Raby (Alamillo kick), 2:01
CLC – Jenkins 4 run (Ellinger run), 9:57
CLC – Jenkins 13 pass from Ellinger (Hush kick), 4:55.
D-C – Michalski 15 pass from Raby (kick failed), 0:19.