Illinois High School Football: Class 1A Championship Preview

By Andy Schmidt
Game of the Week

It has all come down to just one game in Class 1A for the Illinois High School state championship in the state’s smallest class, as the 13-0 Stockton Blackhawks face the 12-1 Maroa-Forsyth Trojans on Friday at 10 a.m. at the University of Illinois in Champaign.

Maroa-Forsyth came into this title game after a 40-12 win against Concord Triopia in the semifinals last weekend. The Trojans are led by running back Jordan Bond, who has rushed for 1,043 yards and 19 touchdowns. Quarterback Jack Hockaday also has 878 rushing yards with 18 touchdowns, while completing 180 of his 253 passes for the season. Hockaday has found receiver, Clayton Zilz, the most, as the duo has combined for 674 receiving yards and eight touchdowns this season. The Trojans have scored 568 points this season and haven’t allowed a single point in the first quarter all season.

Stockton is a team built on rushing the ball and rushing it a ton. Stockton comes into this game off a 51-14 win over Toulon Stark County in the semifinal. The Blackhawks are paced by three 1,000 yard rushers including TJ Knutson. Knuston has run for 2,337 yards and 35 touchdowns this season while Logan Staver has 1,105 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns. Colton Broshous has added 1,035 yards and 11 touchdowns. Stockton has rushed for 5,248 yards in 13 games or an average of 403.6 yards per game and have scored 662 points for the season.

This is a game that comes down to if Maroa-Forsyth can slow down the Stockton running game at all, which seems nearly impossible with how the Blackhawks can run. It is obvious both teams can score, but I just think Stockton has too much on the ground and will control the game and the clock.

I’ll take Stockton 42-28.

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