DEKALB, Ill. (AP) — Heading into Friday’s Illinois high school Class 2A state championship game, Sterling Newman running back Jake Snow had studied up on Staunton and concluded the Bulldogs “looked good, looked quick.”
Snow ultimately found Staunton gave the Comets little resistance.
Snow ran for 172 yards and two touchdowns, leading Newman Central Catholic to a 40-13 win over Staunton for the Comets’ fifth state title in their program’s history.
Dillan Heffelfinger added 155 yards on 19 carries and also scored twice for the Comets (13-1), who averaged 7.7 yards per carry in amassing 425 yards on the ground.
The Comets, who never punted during the game, scored five of its six touchdowns in the first half against Staunton, and none of those drives took longer than about two and a half minutes.
“Being able to do what we did right away, it just was a good feeling that we could do this,” said Snow, whose 51-yard scoring run put Sterling Newman ahead just less than two minutes into the game. The extra-point conversion attempt failed.
“Our offense can be pretty dominating. Today they certainly were,” Comets coach Michael Papoccia said.
Staunton (9-5) took a first-quarter lead of 7-6 on Marcus Sitko’s 1-yard run that capped a 14-play, 71-yard drive that consumed more than eight minutes. But the Comets quickly countered on Snow’s 15-yard touchdown and never trailed again.
Jake Bruhn’s 34-yard touchdown pass to Sitko cut the deficit to 21-13, but the Bulldogs never got closer.
Bruhn finished with 267 yards on 13-of-23 passing and a touchdown.
“We knew coming in we had our hands full,” Staunton coach Mike Parmentier said. “I thought for the first quarter and a half we were able to compete somewhat with those guys. We were very undersized in the game, and I really thought our kids gave an excellent effort.”