Loyola repeats as IHSA Class 8A state champs; bests Lincoln-Way East in rematch

NORMAL - Loyola finished the season undefeated and won the Class 8A state title for the second straight season Saturday with a 26-15 win over Lincoln-Way East.

The Ramblers (14-0) won their fifth state title overall and fourth since 2015.

In a rematch of last year's title game, Loyola quickly drove 80 yards down the field on its opening drive and scored when quarterback Ryan Fitzgerald completed a 15-yard pass to Brendan Loftus with 10:48 left in the first quarter. Fitzgerald scored on a 2-yard run toward the end of the quarter and found a wide open Nick Arogundade for a 32-yard pass in the final minute of the second quarter.

Drew MacPherson rushed in for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.

Fitzgerald completed 17-of-21 passes for 203 yards and added 89 on the ground in his first title-game appearance. MacPherson rushed for 117 yards.

The Griffins, who ended their season with a loss to Loyola for the third straight season, also played the Ramblers for a state championship in 2017. They scored on a 2-yard pass from Braden Tischer to Trey Zvonar in the first quarter and then a 7-yard pass to Cade Saruaskis in the fourth quarter.

Tischer completed 18-of-26 attempts for 165 yards while Ryan Usher finished with 61 receiving yards.

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