DEKALB (AP) -- A token from the tornado-damaged central Illinois community made its way to the state high school football finals, even though Washington ended its unblemished season with a semifinal loss to Sacred Heart-Griffin.
The State Journal-Register reports the footballs used by Sacred Heart-Griffin during Saturday's Class 5A championship win belonged to the Washington team.
The Cyclones beat the Panthers last month in a game that took place just days after a strong tornado devastated Washington, killing two people and damaging or destroying about 1,000 homes.
Sacred Heart-Griffin's quarterback liked the feel of the football used by the Panthers and asked the school if they could use the footballs in the final.
The team says playing with the Washington football added extra significance to the game.