IHSA Destination DeKalb - 2017 Football State Championships

State Stories


IHSA Destination DeKalb - 2017 Football State Championships

Bookmark and Share

The Illinois High School Association (IHSA) Football State Championships return to DeKalb in 2017, as Northern Illinois University's Huskie Stadium plays host to the culminating games for the 3rd time. The eight title games will unfold on Friday and Saturday, November 24-25, with kickoffs each day slated for 10:00 AM, 1:00 PM, 4:00 PM, and 7:00 PM.

Visit DeKalb County and NIU have created a special website, Destination DeKalb, to enhance the experience for fans visiting.

Fans from competing schools will once again have team tents in the Spirit Zone just yards from Huskie Stadium.

The games will be broadcast on NBC Sports Chicago and streamed on NBC Sports and the NFHS Network. Click here for more on broadcasts or see links on righthand sidebar for channel information.

This year's broadcasts will also feature classic IHSA Football State Championship recaps between games as a part of the IHSA Greatest Games Championship Series.

The 2017 IHSA Football State Finals by the numbers...

3 – Teams playing in their first state championship game this weekend, including Gibson-City Melvin-Sibley (2A), and Pleasant Plains (3A) and Dunlap (5A).

28 – Combined state championships by this year’s qualifiers: Lena-Winslow (2010, 2013), Tuscola (2006, 2009), Maroa-Forsyth (2006, 2012), IC Catholic (2002, 2008, 2016), Phillips (2015), Rochester (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016), Morris (1980, 1984, 2005), Prairie Ridge (2011, 2016), Nazareth (2014, 2015), Batavia (2013), Lake Zurich (2007), Lincoln-Way East (2005) and Loyola (1993, 2015).

5 – Teams returning to the state finals from last year. IC Catholic (3A), Rochester (4A and Prairie Ridge (6A) are back to defend their state titles, while Maroa-Forsyth (2A) and Loyola (8A) return to the title game after finishing second in 2016.

29 - Miles from Batavia High School (7A) to Huskie Stadium, the shortest trip of any qualifiers.

194 - Miles from Pleasant Plains High School (3A) to Huskie Stadium, the longest trip of any qualifiers (one mile longer than Tuscola).

2 - Teams playing Friday from the Sangamo Conference in Maroa-Forsyth (2A) and Pleasant Plains (3A). Maroa-Forsyth defeated Pleasant Plains 21-13 in their Week 4 conference matchup.

2 – Times that Lena-Winslow and Lincoln-Way East defeated the defending state champs in their classes this season. Lena-Winslow knocked off Forreston 28-14 in Week 2 Northwest Upstate Illini play and 12-8 in the semifinals. Lincoln-Way East edged Maine South 28-26 in a Week 2 non-conference tilt and 24-14 in the semifinals.

7 – The number of state championship games featuring the #1 team from the final Associated Press poll of the 2017 season after Week 9. Lena-Winslow (1A), IC Catholic (3A), Rochester (4A), Phillips (5A), Prairie Ridge (6A), Lake Zurich (7A) and Lincoln-Way East (8A).

1 – The number of state championship games featuring the #1 v. #2 teams from the final Associated Press poll. Class 1A: #1 Lena-Winslow vs. #2 Tuscola.

4 – Illinois High School Football Coaches Association (IHSFCA) First Team All-State selections playing in the Class 1A game: Lena-Winslow junior OL/DL Ian Kuehl and senior RB/DB Rahveon Valentine; Tuscola senior WR Dalton Hoel and senior OL Hunter Woodward

289 – pounds that Woodward, an Oklahoma State commit who stands 6-6 weighs in at.

2,025 – rushing yards that Valentine has recorded this season to go along with 25 TDs (29 total).

2,965 – combined passing (2,051) and rushing (914) yards by Tuscola quarterback Luke Sluder, including 38 touchdowns (23 pass/15 rush).

3 – Illinois High School Football Coaches Association (IHSFCA) First Team All-State selections playing in the Class 2A game: GCMS junior DE Bryce Barnes and senior RB Mitchell McNutt; Maroa-Forsyth senior RB Deondre Gregory.

1550 - rushing yards by GCMS’s Mitchel McNutt this season (29 TDs).

10.3 - rushing average per carry by Maroa-Forsyth's Deondre Gregory this season en route to 1,630 yards and 29 TDs.

1 - point scored by Maroa-Forsyth kicker Reilly Fitzpatrick on an extra point in last year’s state championship game loss. Fitzpatrick became the second female player in state history to score points in a state championship game (IC Catholic’s Olivia Vatch in 2008). Fitzpatrick has 53 points this season.

0 – Points allowed by IC Catholic defense in 7-0 semifinal win over Byron. The Knights scored in the final 23 seconds to secure the win in a game that featured a pair of former University of Iowa and NFL players coaching in IC Catholic DB coach Matt Bowen and Byron defensive coordinator Sean Considine.

1 – Playoff game won by Pleasant Plains in program history prior to this postseason. Also the number of passing attempts the Cardinals used in their 41-2 semifinal win over Anna-Jonesboro, where Nik Samson ran for 209 yards and three scores.

2 – Starting quarterbacks lost by IC Catholic to injury this year. Four-year starter and record-setting QB Luke Ricobene’s season ended to an injury in Week 2, and Khalil Saunders also lost time to injury opening the door for CJ West. West stepped in Week 6 and has thrown for 1,831 yards and 24 TDs in eight straight wins.

16 – Pleasant Plains playoff seed. The Cardinals upended #1 Wesclin 51-20 in the First Round to start their run.

1 – Illinois High School Football Coaches Association (IHSFCA) First Team All-State selections playing in the Class 3A game: IC Catholic senior OL/DE Dylan Packer.

50 – yards that Morris semifinal opponent Al Raby High School’s punt rolled en route to an 86-yard punt on Saturday. The play didn’t deter Morris, who won 43-8, but the play has taken the internet by storm.

52 – Touchdown passes thrown by Rochester senior quarterback Nic Baker (3,678 yards), against just two interceptions.

2 – Fathers of Morris players who played Major League Baseball. Standout RB/LB Kam Dransfeldt’s (1679 yards, 20 TD) dad Kelly Dransfeldt spent four years in MLB, while WR/DE Tyler Spiezio’s (7 TD) father Scott Spiezio won World Series titles with the Anaheim Angels and St. Louis Cardinals.

11 – Speaking of fathers, Rochester coach Derek Leonard and his dad, Sacred Heart-Griffin football coach Ken Leonard, have 11 combined state titles, and Derek can make it an even dozen on Saturday. Ken is second in IHSA history in total coaching wins and has won five state championships.

4 – Number of three-sport athletes suiting up for Morris in Dransfeldt, Chatten Dryfhout, Payton Voitik and Jacob Overbeck (Baseball, Basketball)

2 – Illinois High School Football Coaches Association (IHSFCA) First Team All-State selections playing in the Class 4A game: Rochester senior quarterback Nic Baker; Morris senior OL Nolan Feeney.

3 – State championships won by Dunlap teams since last spring, including the Eagles Girls Track & Field (2A), Boys tennis (1A) and Girls Cross Country (2A) programs.

1 – State championships won by a Chicago Public School team. That historic victory occurred in DeKalb two years ago, when Troy McCallister led Phillips to a Class 4A title over Althoff.

1 – Number of Mid-Illini conference titles Dunlap has now won in school history after sweeping their league opponents to make history this fall.

2 – Classes above where Phillips’ enrollment would place them for the season. A Class 4A power the past few seasons, Phillips enrollment dipped to Class 3A this year, but the school chose to play up in Class 5A. Defending 7A champ East St. Louis, who fell to Chicago Mt Carmel in the quarterfinals, was the only other football team in the state who petitioned to play up in a higher class this season.

3 – Illinois High School Football Coaches Association (IHSFCA) First Team All-State selections playing in the Class 5A game: Dunlap senior TE/LB Charlie Mangieri (; Phillips senior RB Craig Elmore (1814 rushing yards, 22 TD) and senior DE Terrance Taylor.

32 - Rushing yards by Dunlap's Luke Bennyhoff, who has run for 2,092 yards in 2017.

3 – Division I commits playing in the Class 5A game, including Phillips’ Queneil Morrisson (NIU) and Terrance Taylor (Toledo), as well as Dunlap’s Charlie Mangieri (Northwestern). Phillips J'Bore Gibbs (1755 passing yards, 23 TD) is committed to Division I FCS school South Dakota State.

6 – state titles won by Nazareth head coach Tim Racki. Racki led Driscoll to four straight titles from 2001-2004 before leaving for Nazareth, a run that would build to seven straight crowns through 2007. Nazareth went back-to-back in 2014 and 2015 under Racki.

66 – yard game-winning touchdown run from Prairie Ridge QB Samson Evans with less than 20 seconds left in the Wolves 17-13 Second Round win over Cary-Grove. The play further cemented his legacy as one of the best option quarterbacks in state history, which includes 274 yards and four touchdowns on the ground in last year’s state championship victory.

2 – Illinois High School Football Coaches Association (IHSFCA) First Team All-State selections playing in the Class 6A game: Prairie Ridge senior QB Samson Evans and senior OL/DL Jeff Jenkins; Nazareth senior LB Wesley Jones.

9 – number of sophomores who played varsity football varsity for Nazareth last season, making the Roadrunners an experienced football team despite being led by several underclassmen.

3 – Players in the Class 6A title game heading to the Hawkeye state to play college football, including teammates Samson Evans and Jeff Jenkins to Iowa and Nazareth’s Isaiah Lee to Iowa State.

12 – seasons spent at Lakes High School by first-year Lake Zurich coach Luke Mertens. Mertens started the Lakes program in 2005 and won 72 games and made he playoffs nine times in his dozen years there.

86 – combined points allowed by the Batavia (47) and Lake Zurich (39) in their four playoff games this year. Numbers that are even more impressive when you look at the gauntlet schedules that include wins over the likes of Glenbard North, Wheaton North, St. Rita and Mt. Carmel.

4 – Illinois High School Football Coaches Association (IHSFCA) First Team All-State selections playing in the Class 7A game: Batavia senior SS Michael Niemiec (120 tackles) and senior DB Tommy Stuttle; Lake Zurich senior QB Evan Lewandowski (2572 yards, 26 TD) and senior linebacker Jack Sanborn (113 tackles).

1094 – rushing yards by Lake Zurich’s Joey Stutzman (15 TD) this season.

2 – Division I college commits in the 7A championship game in Lake Zurich’s Jack Sanborn (Wisconsin) and Batavia’s Nolan Eike (Central Michigan).

13 – sacks recorded by Batavia’s Michael Jansey this season to go along with 25.5 tackles for loss.

1 – Football coaches in Lincoln-Way East history. Rob Zvonar has been at the helm every year since the school’s inaugural varsity season in 2001. Under Zvonar, the program has never had a losing season, reached at least the quarterfinals of the playoffs every season, and played for two state titles, winning in 2005 and losing in 2012.

3 – Illinois High School Football Coaches Association (IHSFCA) First Team All-State selections playing in the Class 8A game: Loyola senior QB Quinn Boyle (1885 yards, 20 TD) and senior DL Marty Geary; Lincoln-Way East senior DL Devin O’Rourke.

8 – seasons spent playing in the NFL by Loyola coach John Holecek, who spent time with the Bills, Chargers and Falcons after starring at the University of Illinois.

13 – sacks this season by Lincoln-Way East defensive end and Northwestern University commit Devin O'Rourke.

44th annual State Playoffs
3rd year at NIU


Brigham Field at Huskie Stadium
Northern Illinois University

Spirit Zone, Gameday and Visitor Information

Northern Illinois University

NIU Athletics

Visit DeKalb County

Friday, November 24
Class 1A - 10:00 a.m.
Lena-Winslow vs. Tuscola

Class 2A - 1:00 p.m.

Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley vs. Maroa-Forsyth

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

Class 4A - 7:00 p.m.

Morris vs. Rochester

Saturday, November 25
Class 5A - 10:00 a.m.
Phillips vs. Dunlap

Class 6A - 1:00 p.m.

Prairie Ridge vs. Nazareth

Class 7A - 4:00 p.m.
Batavia vs. Lake Zurich

Class 8A - 7:00 p.m.

Lincoln-Way East vs. Loyola Academy

$10 per day (no re-entry)

Get tickets online


TV: NBC Sports Chicago

Stream: NBC Sports Live App  &  NFHS Network

WFPS 92.1 FM (Freeport)
Lena-Winslow home call
Internet Broadcast

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

WGCY 106.3 FM (Gibson City)
GCMS home call
Internet Broadcast

WDKR 107.3 FM (Maroa)
Maroa-Forsyth home call

WYDS 93.5 (Decatur)
Maroa-Forsyth home call
Internet Broadcast

WFMB 1450 AM (Springfield)
Rochester home call
Internet Broadcast

WFMB 1450 AM (Springfield)
Rochester home call
Internet Broadcast

WJDK 95.7 FM (Morris)
Morris home call

WGLO 95.5 FM (Peoria)
Dunlap home call
Internet Broadcast

Internet Only

Internet Only

WRLR 98.3 FM (Round Lake)
Lake Zurich home call
Internet Broadcast

Internet Only

WJOL 1340 AM (Joliet)
Lincoln-Way East home call
Internet Broadcast

Internet Only

IHSA Football Homepage

#IHSA on Twitter
Twitter - @IHSAstate

Instagram - @IHSA_IL


Classic IHSA YouTube Video

Gear from Minerva

Photos from VIP

Balls from Wilson

IHSA Program

Country Financial

Wilson Sporting Goods

Biaggi's Ristorante Italiano



Illinois Treasurer

Peoria Awning Co.

University of Northern Iowa

Play Smart. Play Hard.

Take the PSPH pledge...

2017 Playoffs

Record Book & Past Champions


Theme picker