EMMANUEL College hopes home-ground advantage could help it progress to the School Sport Victoria premier boys' division football grand final.
The Warrnambool-based school booked its spot in the semi-finals after a midfield-inspired effort against Box Hill Secondary College in their final pool game on Wednesday afternoon.
The semi-final will be on Wednesday, June 15, with McLaren hopeful Reid Oval is available.
Emmanuel College - driven by midfielders Oscar Pollock, Jamie Lloyd, Judah Greene, Curran O'Donnell and Harry Keast - dismantled Box Hill Secondary College after quarter-time, winning 81-23.
McLaren also praised key forwards Mitch Lloyd, Amon Radley, Mitch Wollermann and Jordan Garner for bringing the ball to ground and Connor Byrne and Will White "as small forwards who were dangerous" in the Melbourne-based game.
"It was pretty tough conditions. It was misty with a couple of decent showers and was quite wet in the lead-up to the game," McLaren said.
"It was a different ground for us, especially after playing on the Reid the past two weeks.
"It was really tight - the 50-metre mark almost touching the centre square.
"It was quite a wide ground (at Box Hill). We had to slightly change the way we needed to play in the conditions and on the oval. It was more about territory and not letting them out the front of the stoppages."
Emmanuel College was without captain Henry Rhodes, who broke his foot playing under 18s for South Warrnambool on Saturday, and fellow Rooster Luamon Lual (wrist) was absent after he was injured playing for GWV Revels in the NAB League.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.