March 29, 2023
Sports - McHenry County

Sports - McHenry County

High school football: McHenry beats Dundee-Crown, eligible for playoffs

McHenry receiver Matthew Mohr makes a catch in the end zone for a touchdown in front of Dundee-Crown's Cody Barcklay on Saturday in McHenry.

McHENRY – Ideally, McHenry would have liked something clean and crisp, something more aesthetically pleasing to make itself playoff-eligible for the first time in nine seasons.

What the Warriors got was more of a struggle against feisty Dundee-Crown in a flag-riddled contest Saturday at McCracken Field.

McHenry led all the way, most of the time by double digits, but could not really put D-C completely away. Still, the Warriors’ 27-16 Fox Valley Conference victory was cause for celebration for a school and community starving for some postseason football.

“You want to say [playoffs] with a better taste in your mouth,” said Warriors coach Nat Zunkel, whose team was penalized 12 times for 137 yards. “I don’t think anybody feels real good about this win. We’re super-proud for this school, for this community that we’re in a position to do something we haven’t done in almost 10 years.”

McHenry (5-2, 4-2 FVC) is playoff-eligible for the first time since 2007, which was the last of a playoff run of 20 consecutive years.

Linebacker Colton Folliard, who set up McHenry’s first touchdown when he picked off a pass on D-C’s first series and returned it from the McHenry 40-yard line to the D-C 20, said it’s a moment that has long been on the players’ minds.

“It’s a dream come true,” Folliard said. “We’ve been dreaming about this since we were freshmen. We’ve been working hard for so long. I’m just glad it came to realization.”

McHenry built a 19-0 lead before the Chargers (1-6, 0-6) chipped it down to 19-9 in the third quarter. D-C’s defense, along with the numerous penalties, stunted potential drives for the Warriors.

“We had the mindset to keep on pushing through it,” McHenry guard Kyle Lim said. “We had to control what we can control, which is attitude and effort. We did that, we pushed through and we won. A win is a win. I’m ready to have some fun at homecoming (tonight).”

Quarterback Colton Klein threw for 133 yards and three touchdowns, the first to Matthew Mohr and the second two to sophomore Braden Crowley. The Chargers scored on Conor Ryan’s 15-yard pass to Sean Jay in the third quarter, but McHenry scored early in the fourth to make it 27-9.

“I’m disappointed in a lot of things today and (the penalties) would be one of them,” Zunkel said. “We overcame though. We still scored 27 points with (137 yards) of penalties. I was really impressed with the way the kids handled themselves in that moment of adversity.”

D-C running back Greg Williams, who suffered a sprained ankle early, stayed in the game and ran 26 times for 100 yards and one touchdown.

“They’re fighters,” Chargers coach Mike Steinhaus said. “We deal with adversity all the time at Dundee-Crown. The kind of things we deal with at Dundee-Crown a lot of other schools don’t understand. So the kids know how to fight and keep fighting because nothing’s really given to us at our school.”

Ryan completed 17 of 36 passes for 141 yards and one touchdown.

Lim looked at a board outside the Warriors’ meeting room adjacent to the concession stand at McCracken for the list of playoff teams, although 2007 already was etched into his mind.

“I remember an interview in the summer where I said it would be awesome to be known as the generation and the class to bring McHenry football back to the playoffs, and right now it looks like we’re doing that. There are no words to express my emotions right now. I’m excited. I’m ready to see what this team can do in the playoffs.”


Kyle Lim

McHenry, sr., G

Lim joked that coach Nat Zunkel motivated him to shed some weight over the summer with threats of making him an offensive lineman. Lim willingly stepped in at guard with two starting linemen, Matt Flathau and Andrew Rupcich, missing Saturday’s game with injuries.


McHenry 27, Dundee-Crown 16

Dundee-Crown 0 3 6 7 – 16

McHenry 13 6 0 8 – 27

First quarter

M–McManus 12 run (run failed), 6:18.

M-Mohr 18 pass from Klein (Lee kick), 3:48.

Second quarter

M-Crowley 27 pass from Klein (run failed), 7:03.

DC-FG Nava 34, 0:21.

Third quarter

DC-Jay 15 pass from Ryan (pass failed), 6:37.

Fourth quarter

M-Crowley 17 pass from Klein (Breisch run), 9:15.

DC-Williams 3 run (Nava kick), 7:34.


RUSHING-Dundee-Crown: Williams 26-100, Rojas 1-minus 5, Ryan 3-minus 10. Totals: 30-85. McHenry: Purpura 16-82, McManus 8-43, Klein 6-10, L. Wheat 1-6, Schmidt 1-0, Team 3-minus 3. Totals: 35-138.

PASSING-Dundee-Crown: Ryan 17-36-1-141. McHenry: Klein 8-13-1-133.

RECEIVING-Dundee-Crown: Jay 8-58, Rojas 5-70, Becker 2-22, Williams 2-minus 9. McHenry: Mohr 3-61, Crowley 2-44, Purpura 2-13, McManus 1-15.

TOTAL TEAM YARDS-Dundee-Crown 226, McHenry 271.

Sophomore score: McHenry 23, Dundee-Crown 6.


McHenry team manager Steve Hensley, a 2012 graduate and cancer survivor, won $750 in the Split-The-Pot raffle at Saturday’s homecoming game. Hensley left his post with the camera in the west end zone long enough to quickly collect his winnings and then got back to work. He bought $10 worth of tickets.

Joe Stevenson

Joe Stevenson

I have worked at the Northwest Herald since January of 1989, covering everything from high school to professional sports. I mainly cover high school sports now.