DEKALB, Ill. — Heading into Friday’s Illinois high school Class 2A state championship football game, Sterling Newman running back Jake Snow had studied up on Staunton and concluded the Bulldogs “looked good, looked quick.”
Snow ultimately found Staunton gave the Comets little resistance.
Snow ran for 172 yards and two touchdowns, leading Newman to a 40-13 win over Staunton for the Comets’ fifth state title in their program’s history. The Comets were the Three Rivers Conference North Division champion, finishing one game ahead of Erie/Prophetstown.
Dillan Heffelfinger added 155 yards on 19 carries and also scored twice for the Comets (13-1), who averaged 7.7 yards a carry in amassing 425 yards on the ground.
The Comets, who never punted during the game, scored five of their six touchdowns in the first half against Staunton, and none of those drives took longer than about 2 1/2 minutes.
Staunton (9-5) took a first-quarter lead of 7-6 on Marcus Sitko’s 1-yard run that capped a 14-play, 71-yard drive that consumed more than eight minutes. But the Comets quickly countered on Snow’s 15-yard touchdown and never trailed again.
Hare keys3A victory
DEKALB, Ill. — With an Illinois state title on the line, Stillman Valley’s Zac Hare certainly didn’t let a bothersome right ankle and cramps in his left leg slow him down.
The 6-foot-2, 230-pound senior fullback ran for 254 yards and four touchdowns, the last coming in overtime — topped off by his two-point conversion — in helping lift Stillman Valley to a 43-41 overtime win over St. Joseph-Ogden in the Class 3A championship game.
After Hare put the Cardinals (12-2), who defeated Erie/Prophetstown in the second round, ahead 43-35, the Spartans (11-3) responded with Connor Janes’ 5-yard touchdown run. But the Spartans’ bid to extend the game ended when Stillman Valley’s Logan Alberts and Eddie Torrance sacked quarterback Dalton Walsh on the two-point conversion attempt.