By Mike Carpinelli
Four state champions were crowned in Champaign on Friday and four more will be crowned on Saturday.
Here’s a quick look at Friday’s action:
Class 1A: Lena-Winslow defeated Camp Point Central 30-8
Lena-Winslow won her third consecutive Illinois Class 1A title on Friday. With Lena-Winslow leading 16-0 at halftime, Camp Point Central seemed to gain some momentum but both teams remained scoreless in the third quarter. The Panthers scored twice before finally conceding a Crown Point Central touchdown in the last minute of the game to make it 30-8.
Player of the Game: Gage Dunker led offense for the Panthers with three touchdowns and also caught an interception on defense.
Class 2A: St. Teresa defeats Tri-Valley 29-22
St. Teresa ended its perfect season with a Class 2A state championship. The Bulldogs scored twice in the second half in fourth, and with a final chance from inside the St. Teresa 30-yard line, Tri-Valley’s pass attempt to force overtime (up to the extra point) was grounded . St. Teresa celebrated their first championship since 1979.
Player of the Game: Tri-Valley running back Blake Regenold set a state record with 43 carries in a title game, turning those carries into 215 yards rushing and two touchdowns.
Class 3A: IC Catholic defeated Williamsville 48-17
Williamsville came out of goal hot as they took a 10-0 lead early in the second quarter. The Knights were able to adapt and accumulate 13 straight points to end the quarter and take a 13-10 lead at halftime. The second half was a different story as the Knights dominated and scored another 35 unanswered points to take control. The score was 48-10 in the middle of the fourth quarter before Williamsville scored again to make it 48-17.
After losing in Week 2, IC Catholic finished the season with 12 straight wins en route to their second state title in the last five seasons.
Player of the Game: Junior quarterback Dennis Mandala, a 3A All-State selection, was the star for IC as he threw four touchdown passes, including two to KJ Parker, and rushed for another.
Class 4A: Sacred Heart-Griffin defeated Providence Catholic 44-20
In the final game of Sacred Heart Griffin head coach Ken Leonard’s 43rd season, the Cyclones got the job done with a convincing win. Providence Catholic kept it close in the first half, but it was all Cyclones from that point on as they scored 23 points in the second half and limited the Celtics to just one second-half touchdown with 7 minutes to play to a 44- 20 finals to reach.
Leonard ended his coaching career with a record of 419-81 (the most wins in state history) in 500 games.
Player of the Game: Tyaire Lott, the Cyclones’ standout senior quarterback, threw for 214 yards and three touchdowns, while running back Richard Jackson rushed for 112 yards and a score, and Bill Sanders rushed for 100 yards and two TDs and one touchdown.
Check out Illinois High School’s football playoff brackets here: Class 8A | Class 7A | Class 6A | Class 5A | Class 4A | Class 3A | Class 2A | Class 1A
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