CHAMPAIGN — Rochester’s Wes Lunt threw for 506 yards in leading his team to a 42-39 win over Richmond-Burton for its second consecutive IHSA Class 4A football title at Memorial Stadium.
Richmond-Burton made a furious charge at Rochester after intercepting Lunt at the goal line with little over a minute to go. Relying on the legs of running back Jack Dechow, R-B marched into Rochester territory before being stopped. Rochester took a knee on the final play of the game.
Dechow finished with 244 yards on 31 carries.
Rochester receiver Zach Grant finished with 13 catches for 259 yards, both all-time marks in a title game.
Richmond-Burton ran for 514 yards, another all-time mark, and did not have a pass completion.
Morrison 23, Casey-Westfield 14: Danny Dennehey threw for a score to Danny Willis, and Willis and Mark McDonnell both ran for touchdowns to lead Morrison to its second state title in three years with a 23-14 win over Casey-Westfield.
The Mustangs (13-1) accumulated most of their 285 yards against the Warriors on the ground.
“That kind of surprised us as a coaching staff that we could run between the tackles like we could,” Morrison coach Cory Bielema said. “The line proved me wrong. We thought we would have to throw the ball a little more, but those five or six guys on the line drove the defense off the line and gave our guys some room to run.”
Andy Schaver ran for 100 yards for Morrison and McDonnell added 91 yards on the ground. Dennehey added 52 yards rushing and completed 6 of 8 passes for 94 yards, including a 20-yard throw to Willis in the third quarter that gave the Mustangs the lead for good. Schaver also booted a 27-yard field goal in the fourth quarter that capped the scoring.
Late in the third quarter, Casey had a man open on a deep pass pattern with a chance to take the lead but the ball bounced off the shoulder pads of Colin Carver. Morrison intercepted Dennehey on the next play and the ensuing possession ended with Schaver’s field goal.
“Sometimes you get a little luck, and sometimes you don’t,” Sinclair said. “We didn’t get much luck today.”
Casey running back Ajaye Meeks, who ran for 928 yards and 10 touchdowns while missing a considerable portion of the season, left with an injury in the first quarter and did not return.
“While not making excuses, because that is a very good football team we lost to, losing Meeks that early certainly hurt,” Casey-Westfield coach Keith Sinclair said. “They did a good job of moving the line of scrimmage. We had some success, they had a little more.”
Chase Elder and Heath Huisinga scored on short runs for Casey, but the Mustangs defense held the Warriors (12-2) to just more than 100 yards of total offense.
Dakota 41, Tuscola 27: Dakota’s Jake Apple scored 4 touchdowns as part of a 373-yard rushing day, leading the Indians to a 41-27 win against Tuscola.
Apple set the all-time state finals record for rushing in a state title game. He scored Friday on runs of 74, 64, 49 and 10 yards, helping Dakota (12-2) overcome a 14-0 first-half deficit for the school’s third state title since 2005.
Indians quarterback Drew Gieseman completed 2 of his 6 passes. One was a 15-yard touchdown to Lance McCauley. Gieseman also scored on a 32-yard keeper.
Tuscola quarterback Philip Meyer threw for 222 yards and 2 scores and ran for 52 yards and another touchdown for the Warriors (11-3). The runner-up finish is Tuscola’s third since 2006.Copyright © 2013 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.