When Crystal Lake South cornerback Brad Walovitch spoke about his 3 interceptions in Saturday's nonconference game at Thornridge, the senior immediately deferred the attention to his defensive line.
"It was a good rush from the defensive line," Walovitch said. "We got a lot of pressure and the quarterback threw it up. Our defense is really good. They were pressuring the ball a lot."
Walovitch's 3 picks and 1 touchdown led the way for the Gators and a 41-6 win over Thornridge in the season opener. The senior standout had 2 interceptions in all of 2010. The Gators rushed for 224 yards on the ground and had 296 total yards of offense in the game. The Gator defense held Thornridge to 1 yard of total offense.
"We were real happy with our defense," Gators coach Chuck Ahsmann said. "And the fact that our offense didn't make a lot of mistakes. We were able to move the ball and we had some breakdowns in our blocking scheme but that's to be expected. We have some young guys."
After the Gators came up short on a methodical first quarter drive to the Thornridge 1-yard line, Walovitch recorded his first interception of the day early in the second quarter and took it back to the Falcons' 19-yard line to set up the first Gator score. Bryan Kazmer ran the ball in from 6 yards out to give the Gators the early 7-0 lead. Walovitch's second interception of the day came under a minute later and was returned 41 yards for the touchdown to put South up 13-0.
"All offseason we worked on finishing the play," Walovitch said of his interception return for a TD. "Catching the ball then returning it. We've worked on getting out and blocking for each other."
Thornridge's first 5 passes of the day were all thrown for interceptions. Brandon LaPak and Reese Dziedzic also recorded an interception for the Gators. Dziedzic had his interception midway through the third quarter and returned it for a touchdown before the play was brought back on a blocking penalty. Dziedzic then ran in the first down play from 16 yards out to extend the Gator lead to 35-0.
"I've had picks my freshman year so it's a good feeling," Dziedzic said. "He told me to stay in a fullback and he game me a 31-trap. Can't wait for week two now."
The Gators used 10 different backs throughout the game for their rushing attack. Junior Brendan Chrystal started the game at quarterback for the Gators, but backup Austin Fowler saw playing time in the third quarter and was 2 for 2 with a touchdown and 60 yards passing. Fowler threw a 42-yard touchdown to Will Ahsmann to put Crystal Lake South up 28-0.
Zevin Clark and Karl Mikulec also had rushing touchdowns for the Gators.