State Finals: Lena-Winslow vs Carrollton
DeKalb - Making their 5th trip to state since 2010, the Lena-Winslow Panthers entered the Class 1A title game as the huge favorite. They also were the defending state champs entering the game
Carrollton opened up with the ball, but after picking up 22 yards on a 3rd down conversion, they failed to keep things going and failed on a 4th down conversion.
Le-Win's drive on their first possession went to the Carrollton 14 yard line, but a give to Ethan Fye resulted in a fumble that Max Arnett would recover to turn the Panthers away.
Harley Angel would get a 14 yard run, but the Panther defense would hold them there and force the punt.
On Le-Win's first play of their 2nd possession Jake Zeal would burst up the middle for 60 yards and a score. The 2 point try would fail, as Le-Win was up 6-0 with 6:21 to play in the first quarter.
Carrollton would be forced to punt again and Le-Win went on the charge, but at the 13 yard line they would throw an interception as Gus Coonrod picked off Luke Benson to thwart the drive.
The Hawks would be forced to punt again, but a muffed punt by Zeal was recovered by Matt Beiermann. A few plays later Grant Pohlman would connect with Kyle Leonard for an 18 yard TD run. Leonard added the extra point to give Carrollton a 7-6 lead with 9:51 to play in the 2nd quarter.
Le-Win would answer right back, as Marey Roby would run for 47 yards before coming down at the 2 yard line. He would pick those final 2 yards, plus the 2 point try to put Le-Win back out in front 14-7.
On the very next play Grant Pohlman would take a QB keeper up the middle for 63 yards and the score. The 2 point try failed, but Carrollton closed the scoring to 14-13 with 7:41 still to play in the 2nd quarter.
The Panthers would respond once again, as Roby would break free from 45 yards out for the score. The 2 point try by Roby was good to give Le-Win a 22-13 lead with 2:18 left in the half.
Coming right back the Hawks would go over top as Pohlman would connect with Coonrod for 47 yards. The 2 point try would fail, but once again they closed the gap, this time 22-19 with 1:54 to play.
Once again the Panthers would go on the attack as Roby would break loose again, this time from 47 yards out. He would add the 2 point try to push Le-Win further ahead 30-19 with 0:49 left in the half.
On the ensuing play Roby would intercept the pass from Pohlman to take this game to the half.
Le-Win opened up the second half with the ball, but were forced to punt to give Carrollton the ball at the Panther 42 yard line. Facing 3rd and 10, Pohlman would rush the ball down to the 5 yard line to give Carrollton a 1st down. Pohlman would go the final 2 yards for the score to make it 30-25 with 4:51 to play in the 3rd quarter.
The Panthers would take a 62 yard drive over 14 plays as Benson would cap it off with a 1 yard plunge for the score. Roby added the 2 point conversion to extend the Le-Win lead to 38-25 with 10:39 to play in the game.
After that final score by Le-Win both teams would exchange possessions before Carrollton made their final drive. Driving down to the Le-Win 9 yard line the Panther defense would hold. A first down later, and Carrollton using their last timeout, the Panthers were able to take the knee and cap off their fifth state championship.
Marey Roby was named game MVP with 241 yards rushing, 3 TD's, and an INT on defense. Jake Zeal chipped in with 115 yards and a score, while Gage Dunker added another 52 yards on the day to lead a rushing attack that picked up 452 yards.
Defensively for the Panthers Brody Mahon led the charge with 8 tackles on the day. Gage Dunker picked up 6 tackles, while Ethan Fye, Jace Flynn, and Ross Stabenow added 5 each.
Carrollton was led by Grant Pohlman, who had 156 yards and 2 TD's on the ground with another 111 yards through the air with 2 more TD's. Gus Coonrod added 60 yards receiving with a TD, and Kyle Leonard picked up 42 yards through the air with a score.
For the Hawks, Travis Evans led the way with 15 tackles, while Ethan Harrelson had 12 tackles and Pohlman picked up 9 tackles.
Lena-Winslow picks up their 5th state title since 2010, and become the 1st school in Class 1A to win 5 titles in IHSA history. Coach Arand also becomes the only coach in Class 1A to win 5 titles.