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Local

High school football: Blackhawks rally from 20 down, but fall in 1A title game

Momentum swings

CHAMPAIGN –  It looked like all the good work Maroa-Forsyth put into the first half of its 48-24 Class 1A state football championship victory against Stockton on Friday would go for naught at Memorial Stadium.

The Trojans had built a 20-0 lead at halftime behind two rushing touchdowns from quarterback Jack Hockaday. Stockton, though, had other ideas, and as quickly as the momentum switched from the Trojans (13-1) to the Blackhawks after halftime, it swung back Maroa's way in the fourth quarter and the Trojans poured it on to win their second state title in 7 years.

After halftime, the Blackhawks (13-1) quickly forced a three-and-out from Maroa, then went 54 yards in 10 plays to cut the lead to 20-8. Another quick three-and-out and the Blackhawks had the ball back again. Nine plays later and the score was 20-16.

Maroa regained control when Hockaday hit wide receiver Drew Aschermann with a seven-yard scoring pass to put the Troajns back on top, 28-24, with just less than nine minutes to go. Then Hockaday scored the third of his four rushing touchdowns 6 minutes later.

Mercer County 14, Belleville Althoff 7: Mercer County coach Nat Zunkel rewards his players for takeaways when the team practices stripping the ball.

The rewards – usually fewer sprints for the recipients – paid for themselves when the Golden Eagles (14-0) forced six Althoff Catholic turnovers in a 14-7 win in the Class 2A title game.

Devin Morford returned a turnover 95 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter. Morford also pounced on a loose ball after a fumble return by the Crusaders (10-4).

Aurora Christian 42, Tolono Unity 12: Joel Bouagnon rushed for 95 yards, including a 60-yard touchdown run, to lead Aurora Christian to a victory over Tolono Unity for the Class 3A state football championship.

Tolono Unity's Mitch Negangard had touchdown runs of 18 and 1 yards to give the Rockets a 12-0 first-quarter lead. However, Aurora Christian battled back, scoring 42 unanswered points for the Eagles second-consecutive state football title.

Brandon Mayes led the Eagle comeback with a 16 yard run and Cory Windle caught a 28-yard pass from Ryan McQuade, and the Eagles (13-1) were up 14-12 at the break.

Rochester 43, Alleman 18: uarterback Austin Green ran for 130 yards and threw for 172 more in leading Rochester past Alleman for the 4A title.

Green scored twice on the ground and hooked up twice with receivers as the Rockets (13-1) won their third-consecutive state title. Green scored on runs of 17 and 22, as Rochester powered its way to a 28-12 lead.

John Tracey brought Alleman (12-2) to within one score with a one-yard run with 90 seconds left in the first half. But Green struck again with a 16-yard pass to Blake Pasley before the break.

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