L-W East, Mt. Carmel cap perfect seasons with state titles

The 2019 IHSA State Football Championships were decided on over Thanksgiving weekend at Huskie Stadium on the campus of Northern Illinois University in DeKalb. The Lincoln-Way East Griffins were looking to finish a perfect season with their second Class 8A state title in three years. The 13-0 Griffins faced Warren Township Blue Devils who were also 13-0. Both teams arguably had the two best defenses in Illinois, Warren Township only allowing 40 points all season including a 28-0 shutout of Brother Rice in the semi-final.

Both defenses did not disappoint as each held the opposing offense scoreless until Lincoln-Way East kicked a 46 yard FG to take a 3-0 lead into the locker room at halftime. The Griffins defense held Warren Township to a paltry 36 yards of total offense all night. After another Griffins field goal in the 3rd Quarter to extend the lead to 6-0, Griffins RB and Michigan commit AJ Henning ran 56 yards for the game clinching TD. Final score: LIncoln-Way East 12, Warren Township 0.

In Class 7A, Mount Carmel Caravan was looking to add a 13th state crown in school history in another Battle of Undefeated Powers when the Caravan faced defending Class 7A Nazareth. Mount Carmel coach Jordan Lynch won a state title playing Quarterback at Mount Carmel, and nearly won a Heisman Trophy on the field hosting the game. Coach Lynch was looking to coach his brother Justin, Mount Carmel QB, to the same accomplishment. In the first half, the two teams traded score for score. Justin Lynch ran from a yard out in the final minute of the first half to give the Caravan a 21-13 lead at the break.

The second half was the property of the Mount Carmel defense, as they completely shut down the potent Nazareth offense, not allowing a score, while Lynch added two rushing touchdowns to finish the state title game with five TDs. The final score: Mount Carmel 37, Nazareth 13.

St. Rita was the third Southland school looking for a state title on Saturday in Class 5A as the Mustangs took on downstate power Rochester. St. Rita was riding their defense to a 9 game winning streak coming into the state championship after a 1-3 start.

Rochester used their offense to go up 21-0 in the first half, then their defense to hold off a furious St. Rita 4th Quarter comeback, to win 42-28.

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