Illinois High School Football: Class 4A Championship Preview

By Andy Schmidt
Game of the Week

It is the time of year for the 2012 high school football season in Illinois to come to a close as the Class 4A title game happens Friday at 7 p.m. at the University of Illinois between the 12-1 Rock Island Alleman Pioneers and the 12-1 and two-time defending Class 4A champion Rochester Rockets.

Rock Island Alleman comes into this title game off a 23-7 win against Evergreen Park in last weekend’s semifinals. There are some seniors who have been here before as the Pioneers lost the title game in 2010. Alleman depends a lot on the rushing game but has seen passing became bigger this year with John Tracey completing 36 of his 72 passes for 663 yards. Tracey found Adam Hoogerwerf for 26 of those completions. Alleman has scored 439 points this season and has allowed only 116 points in losing just once all year so far.

Rochester is looking for their third straight Class 4A state title and reached this game after a 49-22 win against Harrisburg last week. The Rockets are very balanced with 1,358 yard rusher Garret Dooley and 2,622 yard passer Austin Green. Dooley has rushed for 30 touchdowns this year while Green has passed for 13 scores including five to Dooley. Green has also rushed for 13 touchdowns. When Green doesn’t find Dooley, it is Blake Pasley usually. Pasley has 73 catches for 1,074 yards and eight touchdowns this year. Rochester has scored 590 points on the year coming into the title game.

This will be a great battle between two teams that deserve to be in this title game. Rochester though knows the drill and beat Alleman 24-7 two years ago in the title game. I think that experience will help propel Rochester to their third straight Class 4A championship and deny Alleman again. I’ll take Rochester 31-24.

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