The Morrison Mustangs football team — losers of just one other game the entire season — fell one point short Saturday afternoon in an Illinois High School Association Class 2A semifinal contest against the Tigers of Westville High School.

Though disappointment likely reigned supreme as the Mustangs players, coaches and fans endured a very long bus ride home (Westville is near the Indiana border) and will watch another school crowned state champion in Champaign, Ill., on Friday, we hope to remind them how special a season like this truly is.

Being one win from the state finals is a tremendous feat for any school, but this is especially true in Morrison where no football team has been this successful. In fact, few Morrison teams in any sport have done as well, which is why the football team captured the hearts of the community, drawing large crowds of impassioned supporters.

Every year, only one team wins its final game and stands as state champ. This year that team wasn’t Morrison, but the boys, guided by coach Scott Rickels and his staff, played better football than almost every other school their size in Illinois, and that’s something to be proud of for years to come.

Any time a team can finish a season with just two losses, there’s nothing to be ashamed of. At the conclusion of Saturday's game, a valiant comeback fell short when a two-point conversion failed, effectively ending the game. But Morrison did what it had done all year — played for the win and left everything on the field.

Congratulations, Mustangs.

You’ve done us proud. Not just on the field, but also in the crowd and the community at large.

This fine showing will be long remembered.

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