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2017 Illinois State Football Championships: 5A

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Live coverage: Class 5A state title game


The Class 5A state football championship game will be played at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 25, 2017, between Chicago Phillips and Dunlap at Huskie Stadium in DeKalb.

GAME PREVIEW

Phillips Wildcats (13-0) vs. Dunlap Eagles (13-0)
Game time: 10 a.m. Saturday, NBC Sports Chicago
Coaches: Troy McAllister has been the architect of the WIldcats' wild rise to a state power. They are 72-22 in his eight years with the program and climbed above .500 all-time (174-172) this year.
Brett Cazalet is 53-37 in his nine year in charge of the Eagles. They've made six playoffs berths under him, including three in a row.
Conference: Phillips was 5-0 in the CPS Illini Land of Lincoln to claim the title, was a perfect 7-0 in the Mid-Illini Conference.
Playoff history: Phillips has seven playoff berths, six under McAllister and five in a row. Each of the last five years, the Wildcats have made at least the quarterfinals, and have four semifinal berths in a row. This is their first year not at 4A.
Dunlap has 25 playoff berths, including the last three years – although both were first-round exits. Before this season, the Eagles last made it out of the first round in 2008. This is their first year playing more than 11 games.
State championship appearances: For Dunlap, this is their first trip to a title game.
Phillips is making their third-trip all time. They lost the 2014 title, but made history in 2015 in DeKalb, becoming the first CPS team to win a title. They finished a round short of the championship last year, losing to Johnsburg in the semifinals, 23-20.
Fun fact: Phillips petitioned to play up at the 5A level this year.
Keep an eye on: Luke Bennyhoff was a workhorse in the semis against Washington, carrying 23 times for 115 yards and a touchdown for Dunlap.
He wasn't the only one. Craig Elmore had 37 carries for 157 yards as his Wildcats beat Sterling.
Why you should watch: It's an interesting twist, as Phillips plays the role of the experienced team playing a team that hasn't had a deep playoff run before.
The Phillips defense has been very tough all year, holding high-powered Sterling to just 14 points. The Wildcats have allowed an average of 8.9 points per game. Dunlap is scoring 37.5 points per game, and their defense has also been tough – surrendering just 11.5 points per game.
Also, this game is one of just two battle of unbeaten teams this year and the only one on Saturday.
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Phillips game-by-game
Wildcats 20, Loyola 14
Wildcats 34, Oak Lawn Richards 21
Wildcats 14, Simeon 0
Wildcats 46, Westinghouse 7
Wildcats 68, Chicago Vocational 0
Wildcats 41, South Shore 0
Wildcats 42, Raby 28
Wildcats 53, Clark 0
First round
Wildcats 40, Morgan Park 6
Second round
Wildcats 55, Solorio 14
Quarterfinals
Wildcats 15, Lemont 3
Semifinals
Wildcats 27, Sterling 14
Dunlap game-by-game
Eagles 36, Galesburg 6
Eagles 35, Marion 21
Eagles 37, Pekin 21
Eagles 47, East Peoria 0
Eagles 41, Morton 14
Eagles 28, Washington 14
Eagles 42, Metamora 7
Eagles 49, Limestone 20
Eagles 35, Canton 7
First round
Eagles 64, Streator 20
Eagles 28, Rich Central 14
Eagles 24, Hillcrest 6
Eagles 21, Washington 0

The Road to DeKalb:
Kaneland ready for battle with Sterling

Kaneland ready for battle with Sterling

MAPLE PARK – While coach Pat Ryan and the Kaneland football team are hoping to run the ball against Sterling to control the clock, the first…
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