Preps Talk

Prairie Ridge tops Sacred Heart-Griffin to win Class 6A

prairieridge.jpg
AP

Prairie Ridge tops Sacred Heart-Griffin to win Class 6A

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) -  Prairie Ridge set a pair of rushing records as the Wolves rolled past Sacred Heart-Griffin, 48-17, to claim the IHSA Class 6A state football title on Saturday.

Junior quarterback Samson Evans rushed for 274 yards to set the individual rushing mark for Class 6A title games, and the Wolves set the team rushing mark with a total of 544 yards on the ground. It came mostly in small chunks.

"Three or four yards is a great play for us," Prairie Ridge coach Chris Schremp said. "I think a lot of schools get away from that with the spread offenses you see out here. We look up and if we are moving the chains with 3-4 yard gains, we are happy with that."

Evans gained his yardage on 24 carries, Emmanuel Ebirim racked up 134 yards on 21 carries, and Zach Gulbransen carried the ball 12 times for 100 yards.

"They are hard to take down, and if you don't wrap up, they aren't going down," Cyclones lineman Josh Pempeck said. "We didn't wrap up."

Prairie Ridge (14-0) wasn't perfect all day. The Wolves fell behind almost immediately after the Cyclones (13-1) kicked a field goal on their opening drive, then Jack Boll recovered an Evans fumble and returned it 66 yards for a touchdown and a 10-0 Sacred Heart-Griffin lead midway through the first quarter.

"I told our guys, 'Play every play, we can rattle off 40 or 50 points pretty easily,'" Schremp said. "Fortunately, we were able to."

The Wolves took the lead with two of Evans' four touchdowns in the next six minutes. Sacred Heart-Griffin's Tremayne Lee gave the Cyclones the lead back again with an 8-yard run with 5:33 left in the first half but from there it was all Prairie Ridge as the Wolves scored the final 34 points.

"I was kind of down about (the fumble),"Evans said. "But I just kept telling myself, 'We can do this' and just tried to push through it. Everyone picked me up."

The loss marked Sacred Heart-Griffin coach Ken Leonard's second runner-up finish in seven title tries. He falls one behind his son, Rochester coach Derek Leonard, in state titles. The younger Leonard won the Class 4A championship for the sixth time on Friday.

Sacred Heart-Griffin quarterback Tim Brenneisen threw for 190 yards. The Cyclones were held to just 124 yards rushing.

73 Days To Kickoff: Fenwick

73 Days To Kickoff: Fenwick

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 Aug. 5, we’ll unveil the @NBCSPrepsTop 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 30.

School: Fenwick

Head coach: Gene Nudo

Assistant coaches: Dick Eufrasio, Titcus Pettigrew, Tim Rooney, Brien Rooney, Craig Schneider, Joe Bauers, Mike Herman and Joe Hajek

How they fared in 2018: 3-6 (2-2 Chicago Catholic League/Green Conference). Fenwick failed to qualify for the IHSA state football playoffs.

2019 regular season schedule:

Aug. 30 vs Curie
Sept. 6 vs Dunbar
Sept. 13 @ Nazareth Academy
Sept. 20 @ Joliet Catholic
Sept. 27 vs. Marist
Oct. 4 vs Marmion Academy
Oct. 11 vs. St. Patrick
Oct. 18 @ Leo  
Oct. 25 @ St. Ignatius

[MORE: 75 Days to Kickoff - St. Ignatius]

Biggest storyline: The new conference. Can the Friars bounce back from last season while playing a new and challenging league?

Names to watch this season: OL/DL Sean Carpenter (Sr.) QB Kaden Cobb (Soph.) and WR Bryce Legan (Sr.)

Biggest holes to fill: The Friars welcome back several starters from last fall but will also need to find six new replacements on the defensive side of the football.

EDGY's Early Take: Fenwick struggled last season. The Friars played several underclassmen starters and they're hoping that experience will pay off come August. The new CCL/ESCC mega conference also brings new challenges. It includes a tough path in the middle of the season with games at Nazareth, at Joliet Catholic and then at home vs. Marist. If the Friars can get out of the gate quickly, they have a good shot at earning a state playoff spot in 2019. 

74 Days To Kickoff: Metea Valley

74 Days To Kickoff: Metea Valley

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 Aug. 5, we’ll unveil the @NBCSPrepsTop 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 30.

School: Metea Valley 

Head coach: John Parpet Jr.

Assistant coaches: Defensive coordinator - Erik Kramer, Asst. coach - Russ Lorenz, Asst. coach - Albert Zika, Asst. coach - Evan Goodman

How they fared in 2018: 1-8 (0-4 DuPage Valley Conference). Metea Valley failed to qualify for the IHSA state football playoffs

2019 regular season schedule:

Aug. 30 vs. Wheaton Warrenville South
Sept. 6 @ Lake Park 
Sept. 13 @ Belleville East
Sept. 20 @ Naperville Central
Sept. 27 vs. De Kalb
Oct. 4 @ Naperville North
Oct. 11 vs. Neuqua Valley
Oct. 18 @ Waubonsie Valley  
Oct. 25 vs. Neuqua Valley

[MORE: 93 Days to Kickoff: Oswego East]

Biggest storyline: Can the Mustangs get off to a good start under first year head coach John Parpet Jr.?

Names to watch this season: TE/DE Austin Frederick (Sr.) and TE/LB John Belskis (Sr.) 

Biggest holes to fill: The Mustangs will need to replace seven graduated starters on the defensive side of the football for the 2019 season.

EDGY's Early Take: Metea Valley and first year head coach John Parpet Jr. will look to get the Mustangs program on the winning side of the slate after posting back-to-back 1-8 seasons. They will rely on an experienced core of senior multi-year starters. If the underclassmen group can develop sooner rather than later, this program has the potential for a breakout. The regular season schedule in the DuPage Valley conference is always stacked; they need to get off to a good early start.