8A State Finals vs.Frankfort
(Lincoln-Way East) 14-0
Griffins Win 1st Title In OT Thriller
Champaign (Memorial Stadium) - If you saved the best for last on your plate over the Thanksgiving weekend, then we hope you were able to make it to this game.
In what couldn't have been a more perfect game for what might be that last Illinois football state final at U. of I., Northern Illinois & the Chicago Fire have both entered bids to host the 2006 state finals, the Griffins of Lincoln-Way East & the Hawks of Maine South, had to go to overtime to figure out who was going to be the 2005 Class 8A State football champs.
While the game didn't drag on to reach the epic 4 hour mark some had predicted, since both team relied heavily on the passing game, it did have to add 2 extra quarters to crown a champion.
Quarterbacks Anthony Kropp of East & Tyler Knight of South did pass for over 400 yards combined, but surprisingly on 1 touchdown of the night came through the air, a Kropp to Joe Mau hook up that gave East a 14-7 lead going into the half.
Andy Gerritsen, Dan Cebula & Kropp all put up 6 a piece on the ground. Kropp's 1 yard run in the second half of the second overtime, being the clincher.
Kropp went 19 of 38 for 230 yards with a TD & 2 interceptions, as his counterpart Knight was 20 of 36 for 185 yards no TDs no INTs.
Jake Bachmeier, Knight & Anthony Borsellino all scored once on the ground as well for South. Borsellino & Bachmeier's touchdowns both came in the 4th quarter as, Maine South was able to hold East on offense and score twice to tie the game up with 2:31 left to play.
East drove down field off after South tied the game, but after getting stopped at the South 24 yard line, East kicker Tom Lynch, was iced 3 times by the Hawks as the used all their remaining timeouts to frustrate the young kicker. Whether it work or not the 41 yard attempt missed wide left, sending the game into overtime.
Lynch would get to make up for the missed kick as he hit a 21 yarder after South stopped the Griffins in the first OT. Knight kicked a 23 yarder himself, to send the game to the 2nd OT.
Knight would miss a 32 yard field goal, setting up Lynch to possibly have to nail a third field goal attempt to win the game, but after Andy Gerritsen got the Griffins to the 1 yard line on two rushing attempts, Kropp would run it in for a touchdown on the next play to put the 2005 Illinois High School Football Season in the books, with Lincoln-Way East as the 8A Champs
by Vincent Johnson
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