Crystal Lake South QB Caden Casimino accounts for 5 scores in win over Dundee-Crown

Shaw Local News Network

Caden Casimino provided a simple explanation of just how good the Crystal Lake South offense could be.

"The sky's the limit," the 5-11, 185 pound senior said. "Once we get a few things worked out, we're going to be tough to stop."

Casimino accounted for 5 touchdowns Friday night - two on the ground and three through the air - as the Gators overcame a slow start and then shifted into overdrive in their 41-16 Fox Valley Conference triumph over Dundee-Crown at Ken Bruhn Field.

South (1-0) did little damage on its first two drives of the contest until Jake Christensen's electrifying 65-yard scoring run ignited the offense. The Gators scored on their next four possessions of the half, opening a 34-8 lead at the break.

Casimino scored on an 8-yard run early in the second quarter and then hit Sasha Summers on a 15-yard TD strike, Michael Prokos on a 57-yard crossing pattern, and Colton Hess on a 27-yard strike in the back of the end zone all in the second quarter. On the night, Casimino was 9 for 17 for 138 yards.

"The O-line gave me a ton of time back there in the pocket," Casimino said. "We had a tough start because not everyone knew where to be, but we got it together and were unstoppable."

The Gator defense played an equally integral part. They limited D-C's potent offense to two scores - touchdown passes of 19 and 2 yards by quarterback Zach Randl to Kali Freeman (10 receptions, 94 yards) and Hayden DeMarsh. However, the Chargers were shut out in the second half as South's defensive pursuit kept D-C in check.

"The key for us was not being complacent in the second half even though we were up big," defensive tackle Andy Burburija said. "They have some great athletes, (Freeman), (Terrion Spencer) and (Randl). As long as we continue to execute and learn our assignments, we'll be good."

Casimino capped the scoring early in the fourth quarter on a 26-yard run. On the night, South tallied 268 total yards almost evenly split between rushing (130) and passing (138).

D-C amassed 192 total yards - 152 rushing and 140 passing.

"We're an inexperienced team and it showed in a lot of places tonight," said D-C coach Mike Steinhaus, whose team was flagged for 11 penalties totaling 90 yards. "But I'm proud of the way we hung in there and fought. We have kids playing positions they've never played before so we're learning. I love our attitude and effort."

South coach Rob Fontana lauded the effort of his team's seniors and the experience they brought to the field.

"Their leadership was incredible. We have some young guys playing and it took awhile for them to adjust to the speed of the game," he said. "But our seniors out there know all the assignments and were making the realignments on their own. You can't coach that. Our second half was great. We were flying to the football and making plays."

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