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2016 Football State Championships - www.LegendsPlayHere.com

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The Illinois High School Association (IHSA) Football State Championships return to Champaign in 2016, as Memorial Stadium will host the games for the 16th time. The eight title games will unfold on Friday and Saturday, November 25-26, marking the 43rd annual edition of the state finals.

Visit Champaign County has created a special website, LegendsPlayHere.com to enhance the experience for fans visiting.

Fans from competing schools will once again have team tents in Tent City to gather before and after the game, while Tent City moves to the new Grange Grove on the west side of the stadium for the first time.

The games will be broadcast in  by Comcast SportsNet Chicago and streamed on IHSA.tv. Click here for more on broadcasts or see links on righthand sidebar for channel information.

CLASS 1A
Both programs received a pair of first-place votes in the AP’s Preseason Poll back in August and have lived up to the expectations by reaching the state finals.
FORRESTON CARDINALS (13-0)   vs.
ST. TERESA BULLDOGS (12-1)

Head coach Denny Diduch tries to lead Forreston to its second state title in three years, which would also be the seventh for the Northwest Upstate Illini Conference since 2007. Junior running back A.J. Christensen (1,109 yards, 20 TD) leads a balanced offense that has four players who have rushed for 603 yards or more this season. The stingy Cardinal defense is led by senior Noah Gipe (114 tackles). 2015 runner-up Stark County was the lone school to score 14 points on the unit this year, while perennial power Lena-Winslow managed 14 total points in two games this year vs. the Cardinals.
Mark Ramsey coached Central A&M to five title games, including one championship (1997), during a 30-season hall of fame run at the school. In his first season coaching in Decatur, he has the program on the cusp of its fourth state championship (1974, 1975, 1979). All-State sophomore running back Jacardia Wright (2,485 yards, 39 TD) is already being recruited by the likes of the University of Iowa. The Bulldogs are not a one-man show, as senior quarterback Ryan Fyke has thrown for 2,074 yards and 25 touchdowns. Opening holes for Wright and protecting Fyke is All-State offensive linemen Sam Luckenbill.


CLASS 2A
A true backyard brawl between two programs who are separated by just 54 miles and sit roughly an hour or closer to Memorial Stadium.
DEER CREEK MACINAW CHIEFS (12-1)   vs.
MAROA-FORSYTH TROJANS (12-1)

Deer Creek-Mackinaw is making its second-ever state final trip and first since finishing second in 1987. Fullback Jared Reese (1,951 yards, 29 TDs) has been a force for the Chiefs this year, running behind All-State offensive/defensive linemen Hunter Mull en route to nearly 5,000 team rushing yards. The Chiefs have shown they can adapt to any game, beating Hope Academy 91-70 and Newman Central Catholic 14-12 in back-to-back playoff games.
Maroa-Forsyth has made the trip to Memorial Stadium plenty of times, as all six of its state final trips since 2006 (titles in 2006 & 2012) have been in Champaign and come under 17-year head coach Josh Jostes. The Trojans are averaging over 42 points per game with the senior backfield tandem of quarterback Tyler Ray (149-233, 2,293 yards, 32 TD) and running back Jaxon Nelson (1,119 yards, 15 TD), while senior Logan Allsup is a two-way starter at wide receiver/linebacker who earned All-State honors.


CLASS 3A
IC Catholic has been a favorite to reach Champaign since a Week 1 win, while Carlinville looks for one more upset after beating the No. 1 and No. 3 seeds in the quarters and semifinals.
IC CATHOLIC KNIGHTS (13-0)   vs.
CARLINVILLE CAVALIERS (12-1)

Bill Krefft’s squad made a statement to open the season, as they knocked off defending champ Bishop McNamara 34-0 after losing to the Irish in the semifinals 42-14 in 2015. Senior running back and Northern Illinois commit Jordan Rowell (2,025 yards, 34 TD) is a Player of the Year candidate in Illinois, while senior linebacker Chris Johnson leads a defense that has allowed just 28 points in four postseason games and has shutout seven opponents this year.
Carlinville makes its third state championship appearance and first under ninth-year head coach Chad Easterday, who hopes to bring the school its first state title. The Cavaliers have rode Jacob Dixon to Champaign, as the All-State senior running back enters with 45 rushing touchdowns and three yards short of 3,000 on the year. Senior linebacker Dylan Chism (149 tackles) and company are battle-tested after winning their last three postseason games by 11 points or less.


CLASS 4A
A new contender in Johnsburg looks to challenge the current kings of the Class 4A throne in Rochester.
JOHNSBURG SKYHAWKS (13-0)   vs.
ROCHESTER ROCKETS (12-1)

Second-year coach Dan DeBouef has relied on All-State running back Alex Peete (2,295 yards, 37 TDs) to lead Johnsburg to its first state title appearance, but it was the Skyhawk defense that helped get the team to Memorial Stadium. In the team’s 23-20 win over defending state champ Phillips in the semifinals, junior linebacker Jack Kegal (101 tackles, 8 sacks) and company forced three crucial turnovers, and then used a game-winning  fourth-down sack to make Adam Jayko’s field goal stand up.
Arguably the state’ best program in the last decade, Rochester won five straight Class 4A titles from 2010-2014 before falling to Althoff in last year’s quarterfinals. It appeared they would suffer the same fate this season, but Derek Leonard’s group rallied from 19 points down in the second half to advance to the semifinals. Junior quarterback Nic Baker (144-218, 2,418, 28 TD) is the next name in a lineage of great quarterback play, while senior Avante Cox (47 rec., 996 yards, 19 TD) is a gamebreaker at the wide receiver position.


CLASS 5A
The epitome of contrasting styles, Vernon Hills stout defense will try to slow down a Peoria offense that only has one gear.
VERNON HILLS COUGARS (10-3)   vs.
PEORIA LIONS (12-1)

Fourth-year head coach Bill Bellecomo leads Vernon Hills to its first-ever state final appearance after making a run that includes a second round win over defending champion Nazareth. The Cougars defense has been its identity this season, as the group led by Trey Hommer (8 sacks) has limited its four playoff foes to six, two, zero and 16 points, respectively. Senior quarterback Kyle Hull (130-207, 1,512 yards, 15 TD) makes the Vernon Hills offense go, as he is also the squad’s leading rusher (337 yards, 6 TD).
The alma mater of Shaun Livingston is turning into a football school, thanks to the efforts of seventh-year head coach Tim Thornton, who has the school in the state finals for the second time ever (runner-up in 1988). The Lions are known for their explosive offense, which has put up 743 points this season behind the efforts of junior quarterback Coran Taylor (1,327 passing yards, 1,537 rushing yards, 34 total TD) and Geno Hess (2,597 yards, 42 TD), the latter of whom rushed for 567 yards and eight TDs in Week 1 this year.


CLASS 6A
The essence of a state championship game, this tilt features a pair of dominant and unbeaten teams with state championship pedigrees.
PRAIRIE RIDGE WOLVES (13-0)   vs.
SACRED HEART-GRIFFIN CYCLONES (13-0)

Chris Schremp’s Prairie Ridge squad has outscored its foes 653-140 so far this season and will now try to win the program’s second state title (2011). The Wolves triple-option attack is led by junior quarterback Samson Evans, an All-Stater who has averaged over eight yards per carry in 2016 en route to 1,870 yards and 38 touchdowns on the ground. Prairie Ridge’s defense has limited eight opponents to seven points or less with junior linebacker Jacob Ommen (89 tackles, 5 sacks) leading the way.
Legendary Sacred-Heart Griffin coach Ken Leonard is 5-2 in state championship games, with the two losses coming by seven total points, and can move within one victory of Mt. Carmel’s Frank Lenti on the career win list with a state title on Saturday. The Cyclones potent offensive attack features a pair of All-State players in the backfield in senior quarterback Tim Brenneisen (120-185, 2,436 yards, 23 TD) and junior running back Tremayne Lee (2,108 yards, 32 TD).


CLASS 7A
East St. Louis owns one of the state’s best traditions (7 state titles) and meets an upstart Plainfield North program making history in its 11th season of existence.
EAST ST. LOUIS FLYERS (13-0)   vs.
PLAINFIELD NORTH TIGERS (11-2)

Many wonder if Darren Sunkett’s East St. Louis squad might be here defending a state title had a teacher strike not ended the team’s 2015 season. Senior quarterback Reyondous Estes (112-198, 2,031 yards) will continue his career at the University of Missouri, while senior wide receiver Jeff Thomas (997 yards, 11 TD) is an All-American candidate. The Flyers were nearly upset in the Second Round by Glenbard North, but a 23-yard TD from Estes to Thomas with time remaining won the game.
With its semifinal controversy now behind it, Tim Kane’s Plainfield North squad can focus on making more history. The program won its first playoff game ever this postseason and opened eyes statewide with a 49-20 second round road win over the AP’s No. 1 ranked team in the class, Bradley-Bourbonnais. Senior running back Tyler Hoosman (1,625 yards, 26 TD) leads the Tiger offense, while senior linebacker JJ Frey (102 tackles) is a standout on a defense that has limited foes to an average of under 10 points per game.


CLASS 8A
A rivalry renewed. Not only did Loyola outlast Maine South 44-43 in Week 2, but the programs are meeting in the playoffs for the fifth time since 2008 (Maine South leads 3-1).
LOYOLA ACADEMY RAMBLERS (13-0)    vs.
MAINE SOUTH HAWKS (10-3)

After a pair of close state championship losses in 2011 and 2013, John Holecek’s Loyola squad cruised to a 41-0 state championship win last year, the second in school history and first under Holecek. Duke commit Jake Marwede lines his 6-5, 240-pound frame up all over the field, as the WR/TE rushed for 109 yards and two scores from the Wildcat QB position in a semifinal win over Glenbard West. Anthony Romano (105 tackles) leads a defense that has improved throughout the season, allowing just 30 total points in the playoffs.
Maine South is back in the state title game for the seventh time under head coach David Inserra, which included a championship threepeat from 2008-2010. Senior Nick Leongas continues the Hawk tradition of great quarterback play (155-247, 2,747 yards, 27), especially impressive considering the schedule included perennial powers Montini, Barrington (twice) and Lincoln-Way East, in addition to Loyola. Leongas is also a 1,000-yard rusher (1,040, 11 TD) who teams with junior running back Fotis Kokosioulis (1,358 yards, 21 TD) to form one of the state’s most potent offensive attacks.

TOURNAMENT HISTORY
43rd annual State Series
16th year of 8-Class series
16th year at U of I


SITE

Memorial Stadium
Champaign-Urbana
Directions


HOST
University of Illinois
Illini Athletics
Visit Champaign County


LEGENDS PLAY HERE
Friday Class 1A-4A Tents

Saturday Class 5A-8A Tents

Hotels, Restaurants, Local info


SCHEDULE

Friday, November 25
Class 1A - 10:00 a.m.
Forreston vs. St. Teresa

Class 2A - 1:00 p.m.

Deer Creek-Mackinaw vs.
Maroa-Forsyth

Class 3A - 4:00 p.m.
IC Catholic vs. Carlinville

Class 4A - 7:00 p.m.

Johnsburg vs. Rochester


Saturday, November 26
Class 5A - 10:00 a.m.
Vernon Hills vs. Peoria HS

Class 6A - 1:00 p.m.

Prairie Ridge vs.
Sacred Heart-Griffin

Class 7A - 4:00 p.m.
Plainfield North vs.
East St. Louis

Class 8A - 7:00 p.m.

Loyola Academy vs.
Maine South


TICKETS
$10 per day (no re-entry)


WATCH

Comcast Sports Net Chicago & the IHSA TV Network will broadcast the games in HD

Channel Listings

www.IHSA.tv


LISTEN
CLASS 1A
WFPS 92.1 FM (Freeport)
Forreston home call
Internet Broadcast

WLLT 107.7 FM (Polo)
Forreston home call

WSOY 1340 AM (Decatur)
St. Teresa home call
Internet Broadcast

WXFM 99.3 FM (Mt. Zion)
St. Teresa home call

CLASS 2A
WDZ 1050 AM (Decatur)
Maroa-Forsyth home call
Internet Broadcast

WJBC 1230 AM
Deer Creek-Mach. home call
Internet Broadcast

WXFM 99.3 FM (Mt. Zion)
Maroa-Forsyth home call

CLASS 3A
WSMI 1540 AM (Litchfield)
Carlinville home call
Internet Broadcast

CLASS 4A
WFMB 1450 AM (Springfield)
Rochester home call
Internet Broadcast

CLASS 5A
WRLR 98.3 FM (Round Lake)
Vernon Hills home call
Internet Broadcast

WGLO 95.5 FM (Peoria)
Peoria HS home call
Internet Broadcast

SportsTownChicago
Internet Only

CLASS 6A
WFMB 1450 AM (Springfield)
Sacred Heart-Griffin home call
Internet Broadcast

SportsTownChicago
Internet Only

CLASS 7A
WJOL 1340 AM (Joliet)
Plainfield North home call
Internet Broadcast

SportsTownChicago
Internet Only

CLASS 8A
SportsTownChicago
Internet Only


RESULTS & BOX SCORES
IHSA Football Homepage


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OFFICIAL STATE FINAL

Gear from Minerva

Photos from VIP

Balls from Wilson


SOCIAL MEDIA

#IHSA
Twitter - @IHSAstate

Instagram - @IHSA_IL

Facebook.com/IHSA.IL

Classic IHSA YouTube Video


STATE SUPPORTERS

Country Financial

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HISTORY & RECORDS
2016 Playoffs

Record Book & Past Champions