Crystal Lake South senior fullback Kyle Bartusch got a second chance Friday and made the most of it.
After losing a fumble when he had a clear path to a possible clinching touchdown in the fourth quarter, Bartusch got free for a 22-yard catch of a Payton Minogue pass at the 4-yard line with five seconds left to set up teammate Tyler Baker for the game-winning 22-yard field goal in a 32-29 nonconference victory at home over South Elgin.
“We called the play for me and I was running and a kid was kind of holding me on it and Payton made a play in the backfield and it got me open and I just made as much as I could out of it.
“I was happy. I was just trying to make a good play after that (fumble).”
Bartusch had broken off tackle and seemed headed for the TD that would have given Crystal Lake South (1-1) a 36-22 lead, but had it stripped from behind at the 16 after a 27-yard gain, and it rolled to the 3 where Joey Rohde recovered for South Elgin (1-1). But Bartusch had come out of his pattern when Minogue started to scramble and came free near the sideline for the catch to set up the game-winner.
“We figured it was a back and forth game all along and those guys have a ton of talent,” Crystal Lake South coach Chuck Ahsmann said of South Elgin. “We think they’re going to be a playoff team so I’m proud of our guys for battling and coming up with the win in the end.
“That (fumble) was a crucial play at the time. I’m proud of Bartusch for being able to bounce back as well.”
South Elgin had driven 97 yards to score the tying points on Kyle Ware’s 3-yard run with three minutes left, then forced a Gators punt and drove to the Storm 44, but Shawn Griffin got stuffed on a fourth-and-1 run for a yard loss to set up South’s 39-yard drive to the winning kick by Baker.
“We had a few situations that we have to get better at and we’ll work at it and will,” South Elgin coach Pat Pistorio said. “I couldn’t by unhappy with our effort, but we had chances and didn’t take advantage.”
Corey Sheehan powered to 153 yards rushing on 19 carries, including a 3-yard TD run in the second half.
“We saw a little bit of that with Corey last week,” Ahsmann said. “He’s a junior. He’s just going to get better and better.”
Minogue had a 1-yard TD run and competed 3-of-9 for 143 yards, including a 45-yard TD pass to Baker on the first possession and a 69-yard TD pass to Bartusch.
South Elgin had 160 yards passing on 12-of-21 from quarterback Hayden Nelson, but he threw two interceptions to Alex Reich on deep balls. The Storm quarterback threw TD passes of 25 and 14 yards to Derek Kumerow in the first half, and running back Shawn Griffin made a 53-yard TD run.
Ware led South Elgin with 102 yards on 16 carries.