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2017 Illinois State Football Championships: 8A

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Live updates: Class 8A title game


The Class 8A state football championship will take place at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 25, 2017, between Lincoln-Way East and Loyola Academy at Huskie Stadium in DeKalb.

GAME PREVIEW

Lincoln-Way East Griffins (13-0) vs. Loyola Academy Ramblers (12-1)
Game time: 7 p.m. Saturday, NBC Sports Chicago
Coaches: Rob Zvonar is the only coach the Griffins have ever had in 17 years of existence. He has a record of 164-38.
Loyola has been around slightly longer, starting play in 1909 according to IHSA records. John Holecek has coaches the last 12 of those years with a 135-26 mark. He has also made the playoffs every year
Conference: The Griffins were a perfect 7-0 in Southwest Suburban play, the only perfect team in the 13-team conference. Loyola was 4-0 in the Chicago Catholic Blue.
Playoff history: It's a perfect 17 for 17 for the Griffins all-time in qualifying for the postseason. Only twice were they eliminated in the first round.
Loyola is right there with them. The Rambles are 16 for the last 17 and have qualified every year since 2002. They have 28 playoff berths in the modern system.
State championship appearances: Loyola won title in 1993 and 2015, plus won older state titles 12 times, dating back to 1911 according to IHSA records. The Ramblers lost state title games in 1992, 2011, 2013 and 2016.
Lake Zurich won the 2005 title but lost the title game in 2012.
Fun fact: Lincoln-Way East beat Maine South for the second time this year in the semifinals. Maine South had beaten the Griffins in the quarterfinals last year on the way to a state title.
Keep an eye on: Ryan Scianna kept grinding away at the Maine South defense in a semifinal Saturday for the Griffins. He ended up with 23 carries for 72 yards, but also had a 46-yard touchdown reception.
For Loyola, their backfield has been dinged up. Hamid Bullie saw limited action Saturday against Edwardsville in a 17-10 win, but it was Rhys Logan who led the team with 62 yards and 13 carries. Trevor Cabanban, who starts with Bullie, also did not play.
Why you should watch: After what will be almost 21 hours of football by the kickoff of this game, two teams with good offense and even better defense will go at it. The Griffins have allowed nine points a game this year. They gave up 26 pints in Week 2 against Maine South, but have given up more than 14 since – that's all Maine South got against them in the rematch.
Loyola's defense has also been tough – only two games in which they've give up more than 19 points and an average of 11.1 points per game.
There's also the reputation the two teams have. The last time either lost four games in a year was in 2007, when Loyola was 9-4 but still reached the 8A semifinals. The last first-round playoff exit for either team was in 2003, when Lincoln-Way East was one-and-done in their third year of existence.
Loyola has not lost since Week 1, a 20-14 defeat to Phillips – which is still perfect and looking for a 5A title.
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Lincoln-Way East game by game
Griffins 27, Crete-Monee 7
Griffins 28, Maine South 26
Griffins 42, Andrew 2
Griffins 46, Sandburg 7
Griffins 28, Lincoln-Way Central 14
Griffins 29, Homewood-Flossmoor 7
Griffins 49, Lockport 6
Griffins 18, Bolingbrook 14
First round
Griffins 44, Joliet West 0
Second round
Griffins 15, St. Charles East 14
Quarterfinals
Griffins 31, Oswego 0
Semifinals
Griffins 17, Edwardsville 10
Loyola Academy game-by-game
Phillips 20, Ramblers 14
Ramblers 13, Bishop Amat (Calif.) 6
Ramblers 31, Mt. Carmel 7
Ramblers 42, St. Francis 7
Ramblers 41, Fenwick 14
Ramblers 34, St. Rita 14
Ramblers 40, Chicago Leo 7
Ramblers 28, Providence Catholic 3
Ramblers 28, Brother Rice 7
First round
Ramblers 35, New Trier 32
Ramblers 28, Hinsdale Central 7
Ramblers 30, Marist 10
Ramblers 17, Edwardsville 10

The Road to DeKalb


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