Preps Talk

Jared Reese scores three touchdowns to lead Deer Creek-Mackinaw to Class 2A title

Jared Reese scores three touchdowns to lead Deer Creek-Mackinaw to Class 2A title

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Jared Reese rushed for 139 yards and three touchdowns as Deer Creek-Mackinaw rolled past Maroa-Forsyth 35-7 in the Class 2A state football title game on Friday.

Reese scored from 2 yards out twice and again from 1 yard away as the Chiefs (13-1) led the entire game.

"Jared is a very good football player, I think one of the best in the state of Illinois," coach Job Linboom said. "He made plays today, on both sides of that ball. And I was very proud of the way our guys played a very good Maroa team."

Reese, who also plays linebacker, made four tackles and one may have been the biggest of the game. With Maroa-Forsyth facing fourth-and-2 from the Chiefs' 4 to begin the fourth quarter, Reese stepped into a gap and stopped the Trojans Deondre Gregory for no gain. Deer Creek led 21-7 at the time.

"We had some opportunities, we just couldn't get it in the end zone and that's on me," said Maroa coach Josh Jostes, who doubles as the offensive coordinator. "If we can punch that in the end zone there, it's a different ball game."

[MORE STATE FINALS: Forreston defeats Decatur St. Teresa for Class 1A title]

The Chiefs jumped to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter before the Trojans made a first down, one on a Reese score and one on a Derrick Baker to Alex Kerner 4-yard passing play.

"Scoring early gave us some momentum that we carried the rest of the game," Reese said. "Everyone, I think, felt comfortable as soon as we took the lead."

Linboom said his team is especially tough with the lead.

"We grind. We wear people down," he said. "We had a punt return that we muffed but our defense makes a stop and gets us the ball right back. We have done that all season."

Jaxson Nelson ran for 107 yards and made 14 tackles for the Trojans (12-2).

96 Days to Kickoff: Jacobs

96 Days to Kickoff: Jacobs

NBCSportsChicago.com preps reporter "Edgy" Tim O'Halloran spotlights 100 high school football teams in 100 days. The first 75 team profiles will focus on teams making strides across Chicagoland and elsewhere in the state. Starting July 30, we'll unveil the @NBCSPrepsTop 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 24.

School: Jacobs

Head coach: Bill Mitz

Assistant coaches: Bubba Smith, Mike Warren, Brian Zimmerman, JM Foote, Ryan Arndt and Bob Mackey

How they fared in 2017: 6-4 (5-3 Fox Valley Conference). Jacobs made the Class 7A playoff field. The Golden Eagles lost to Lincoln-Way West in opening round action. 

2018 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 24 Hampshire 

Aug. 31 @ Huntley 

Sept. 7 Dundee-Crown 

Sept. 14 @ McHenry 

Sept. 21 Neuqua Valley 

Sept. 28 Prairie Ridge 

Oct. 5 @ Cary-Grove 

Oct. 12 Crystal Lake South 

Oct. 19 @ Crystal Lake Central

Biggest storyline: Can the Golden Eagles move up in the Fox Valley Conference pecking order in 2018?

Names to watch this season: OT Joacheim Price and OL Nick Zonta

Biggest holes to fill: The Golden Eagles will need to replace its entire starting linebacker group from a season ago.

EDGY's Early Take: Year in and year out, Jacobs is always a factor in the rugged Fox Valley Conference (seven playoff appearances in the last eight years). The Golden Eagles return some starters in several key spots. If the underclassmen group can step up this summer, look for Jacobs to challenge for the FVC conference title and a higher seed in 7A come IHSA playoff time. 
 

97 Days to Kickoff: Back of the Yards

97 Days to Kickoff: Back of the Yards

NBCSportsChicago.com preps reporter "Edgy" Tim O’Halloran spotlights 100 high school football teams in 100 days. The first 75 team profiles will focus on teams making strides across Chicagoland and elsewhere in the state. Starting July 30, we’ll unveil the @NBCSPreps Top 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 24.

School: Back of the Yards

Head coach: Sheamus Murphy

Assistant Coaches: Will Johnson, Marty McNamara, Tim McNamara and Nick Teich

How they fared in 2017: 8-2 (6-0 CPL Great Lakes Conference). Back of the Yards made the Class 5A state playoff field. They lost to Solorio in opening round action. 

2018 Regular Season Schedule:

Week 1: @ Kelly

Week 2: vs. Goode

Week 3: @ Brooks

Week 4: vs. Schurz

Week 5: vs. Kenwood

Week 6: vs. North Lawndale

Week 7: @ Steinmetz

Week 8: vs. Payton Prep

Week 9: @ Clark

Biggest storyline: The Bobcats were a true feel-good story last season. Can the Bobcats build on its momentum and success going into the 2018 campaign?

Names to watch this season: OL/Dl Kevin Pacheco, WR/DB Carl McNickles, OL Armando Resendiz

Biggest holes to fill: The Bobcats bring back several returning starters from last season; however, can they find a new signal caller to replace the graduation loss of 2017 standout QB Jeremiah Harris (McKendree College)? 

EDGY's Early Take: One of the top stories from the 2017 season was the rise of this young program. The Bobcats made the IHSA state playoff field in just their third season of varsity football. As for 2018? The expectations have risen for this South Side school. A move to the CPL Illini Prairie State conference ramps up the overall competition level. If the Bobcats can find a steady signal caller, they have solid chance at competing for a potential IHSA state playoff spot come October.