...to take the 8A crown and East St. Louis beats Geneva, 33-14, in 7A.
After finishing as runners-up in 2003, '04, and '05, the Hawks of Maine South won their third state title and their first since 2000. Vanderbilt-bound Charlie Goro rushed for 164 yards, an 8A title-game record by a quarterback. He also ran for one touchdown and passed for another. Junior running back Matt Perez scored three, including a 41-yard scamper late in the first quarter. I can't wait to watch him as a Senior. Another state playoff record was set by Maine South as Joey Orlando ran for 78 yards for the longest fumble return for a touchdown. The Hawks finished at 14-0, including wins over Schaumburg, Warren, and New Trier in the regular season. The team that came closest to beating Maine South? Glenbrook South, in a 30-27 nail-biter on October 10.
Meanwhile, in 7A, the Flyers of East St. Louis (13-1) handed the Vikings of Geneva (13-1) their first loss of the season as they recorded their seventh state championship. Viking running back Michael Ratay scored one touchdown in the game to finish the season with 47, averaging more than three per outing! Ratay said East St. Louis was "the fastest team I ever played against in my life." They were also explosive, as the Flyers scored 27 unanswered points in the second half.
So for the weekend I ended up 3-for-3, including almost calling the East St. Louis-Geneva game exactly, 38-14. By my math (and it got pretty confusing for a history major), I finished at 31 out of 49 for a .633 winning percentage. Now I sure don't claim any special talent for this, so thank God I can bask in my glory for a whole year. But I had fun with this and I hope you did, too. I also hope I kept you out-of-town fans up to date. After all, that's how this whole blog business got started in the first place.