The state semi-finals of the 2019 IHSA football playoffs were played Saturday across Illinois and the Southland was once again well represented. In Class 8A, there was a battle of south suburban titans at Marist High School as the Lincoln-Way East Griffins came to visit the RedHawks.
Lincoln-Way East was looking to continue their undefeated season, while Marist wanted to keep their late season surge of excellence and knack for knocking off powerhouse programs going and earn a berth in the Championship Game next weekend in DeKalb.
Both teams played strong defense early, as the 1st Quarter ended in a 7-7 tie. The 2nd Quarter saw even less offensive output as the Griffins took only a 10-7 lead into the half.
The Griffins scored two 2nd Half touchdowns to earn a berth in the title matchup going away, 24-7.
In the other Class 8A semifinal, the Brother Rice Crusaders travelled to Gurnee to take on Warren Township in a battle of two of the best defenses in Illinois. Warren Township broke through in the 3rd Quarter and scored four second half touchdowns to win 28-0.
In Class 7A, the Mount Carmel Caravan will be making yet another title game visit after defeating Willowbrook 27-6. In Class 5A, St. Rita Mustangs had a big second half to punch their ticket to DeKalb with a 42-21 win over Rockford Boylen.