8/24 7:30 @
4A State Finals vs.Breese (Mater Dei)(11-3)
Six for Six
Champaign (Memorial Stadium) - Going for it's 6th staright title the Highlanders of Driscoll Catholic looked in control in the first quarter, except for one problem, they hadn't scored in two trips to the redzone.
Mater Dei's defense had the dubious task of stopping the Highlander offense twice in the redzone within a minute of each other.
Driscoll, looked to be off to a flying start as they drove down field on their opening drive before missing a 25 yard field goal on 4th & 1. Nick Lombardo would recover a Mater Dei fumble just a couple of plays later giving the Highlanders a second chance with a 1st and 10 on the 11 yard line of Mater Dei. The Knights would again stop the Highlanders forcing a field goal that would miss the uprights.
"We went down field both times and we stalled. We knew we could move the ball, so [the offense] was very positive", Phil Pedi said about the Highlanders first quarter performance.
The Knights defense was playing like a team possesed as Cory Kunkle (DL 6' 200 sr.) sacked Driscoll's Phil Pedi (QB 6'2 200 sr.) causing a fumble that Driscoll's Kyle Sanders recovered, but the Knights' Erick Monken (LB 6'1 225 sr.) would come in and hit Pedi for another sack on the next play.
Pedi & the Higlanders would get in a grove before half time though, as he tossed a ball in the same area code as Anthony Tremback (WR 6'2 225 sr.) who jumped and reached over the head of a Mater Dei defender before turning around and running into the endzone to put the Highlanders on the baord 7-0 with 11:07 in the 2nd quarter.
Tim Franken (RB 6' 180 jr.) would end another Highlander drive with later that quarter with an 11 yard run, putting Driscoll up 14-0 with 5 minutes left in the half.
The Highlanders kept rolling in the 2nd half as Pedi hit Danny Taylor for another score and Mike Fabrizi (LB 5'9 200 sr.) would pick off Colin Detmer (QB 6'1 165 sr.) and return it 46 yards for a touchdown putting the Highlanders up 28-0 just before the end of the 3rd quarter.
A Pedi to Taylor pass for 23 yards would give the Highlanders an insurmountable 35-0 lead with 11:51 left in the game.
The Highlanders had one of their most dominent games defensively of the season and Knight's head coach Ray Kauling made mention of it in his post game interview. "I don't think [Driscoll's] coaching staff get's enough credit. Those kids hitting on every play. They were just execuiting on every play."
Driscoll's coach Mike Burzawa responded when asked about Kauling's coment by crediting every one on the team that didn't quit and stayed with the program waiting for their turn. "We had 5 guys with 30 catches or more. We emphisize the team."
And now as a team Driscoll has won a record 6th straight state title.
by Vincent Johnson
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