The Forreston Cardinals won the 1-A state championship in 2014, finishing their gold medal season with a 13-1 record. The 2016 edition of the Cardinals has already matched that win total, and will bring a perfect 13-0 record back to Champaign next week to play for the 1-A crown.
Forreston defeated Marquette 35-7 in Ottawa in the 2016 1-A semifinals, continuing a trend of dominant performances for the NUIC powerhouse. Fresh off beating their conference rivals from Lena-Winslow in a 44-7 quarterfinal decision, the Cardinals scored early and often against the Crusaders to book their trip back to Illinois' Memorial Stadium, the site of their last state title triumph.
Forreston and St. Teresa (Decatur) kick off in the 1-A state championship matchup the day after Thanksgiving at 10 AM.
The Northern Illinois Big 12 was well represented in the state semifinals as Sycamore, DeKalb, and Morris all played for spots in their respective title games. However, all three lost on Saturday - the Spartans fell to Vernon Hills, DeKalb lost to Prairie Ridge, and Morris bowed out against Peoria.
Here are the eight IHSA state championship games to be played in Champaign on Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving:
1-A: Forreston vs St. Teresa
2-A: Deer Creek-Mackinaw vs Maroa-Forsyth
3-A: IC Catholic vs Carlinville
4-A: Johnsburg vs Rochester
5-A: Peoria vs Vernon Hills
6-A: Prairie Ridge vs Sacred Heart-Griffin
7-A: Plainfield North vs East St. Louis Sr.
8-A: Maine South vs Loyola Academy