NOVEMBER 25 – For the sixth time in program history, the Central A&M Football Team will play for a state championship.
The Raiders (12-0) used a late interception by Jacob Paradee, to hold off a charge by Athens, and tacked on a few fourth quarter scores, to defeat the Warriors, 35-21. Paradee would complete a monumental performance with a postgame flip, which included tossing a touchdown, running a touchdown, and flying-around the gridiron to gobble-up 24 tackles.
Lena-Winslow (12-0), the top-ranked team in the state, awaits Central A&M on Friday morning, when the Raiders kickoff at 10 a.m. from Northern Illinois University’s Huskie Stadium in DeKalb. The Raiders return to the championship game for the first time since 2001, and will aim to win their first 14th game since 1997. The 2001 roster included current head coach Brent Weakly, who was playing for 30-year Raiders coach, Mark Ramsey.
Ramsey is now the head coach of the St. Teresa Bulldogs, and it wasn’t quite as good of a Saturday for the Raiders Central Illinois Conference foe. The Bulldogs held a 14-7 lead after the opening quarter of their Class 2A Semifinals battle with Nashville, but the Hornets scored the game’s next four touchdowns and went on to also win, 35-21.
St. Teresa finished the season with an 11-2 record.
NowDecatur.com Team Capsules
CLASS 1A STATE CHAMPIONSHIP
(1) The Central A&M Raiders vs. (2) The Lena-Winslow Panthers
Game Information – Kickoff is scheduled for 10 a.m. at Northern Illinois University’s Huskie Stadium in DeKalb
Records – The Raiders are 12-0, and finished 7-0 as the outright Central Illinois Conference Champions … The Panthers are 12-0, and finished 6-0 as outright Northwest Upstate Illini Conference North Division Champions
Coaches – Brent Weakly (CAM) is in his fifth season as head coach of the Raiders with a 33-20 record … Ric Arand (LW) is in his 23rd season as head coach of the Panthers with a 202-63 record
Scoring – The Raiders have scored 597 points this season and given up 194 … The Panthers have outscored their opponents 620-147
Best Wins – Raiders 35-21 in semifinals at Athens, 42-8 in quarterfinals over Arcola, 69-34 in second round over Fisher, 55-20 in opening round over Havana, 49-14 at Tuscola, and 28-26 at St. Teresa … Panthers 44-30 in semifinals at Kewanee-Wethersfield, 52-20 in quarterfinals over Freeport Aquin, 52-8 in second round at Orangeville, 46-8 in opening round over Aurora Christian, 46-14 at Forreston, 30-0 at Stockton, 46-7 vs. Orangeville, and 52-21 at Durand Du-Pec
Other State Championship Games
CLASS 2A … (4) The Sterling Newman Central Catholic Comets vs. (5) The Nashville Hornets … Friday @ 1 p.m.
CLASS 3A … (2) The Byron Tigers vs. (2) The Williamsville Bullets … Friday @ 4 p.m.
CLASS 4A … (2) The Richmond-Burton Rockets vs. (9) The Murphysboro Red Devils … Friday @ 7 p.m.
CLASS 5A … (8) The Chicago St. Rita Mustangs vs. (2) The Rochester Rockets … Saturday @ 10 a.m.
CLASS 6A … (1) The Crystal Lake Prairie Ridge Wolves vs. (1) The East St. Louis Senior Flyers … Saturday @ 1 p.m.
CLASS 7A … (1) The Chicago Mt. Carmel Caravan vs. (2) The LaGrange Park Nazareth Academy Roadrunners … Saturday @ 4 p.m.
CLASS 8A … (4) The Gurnee Warren Blue Devils vs. (3) The Frankfort Lincoln-Way East Griffins … Saturday @ 7 p.m.