Sophomore sensation Jacardia Wright has led St. Teresa to the state championship game for the first time since 1986.
If there was any doubt that this is among the very best years ever for high school football in the WAND viewing area, they were put to rest last week when five teams punched their tickets to the state championship games in the six levels represented in the coverage zone.
Join sports director Gordon Voit as WAND previews the four games on tap for Memorial Stadium on Friday, including a dip into the archives for Carlinville's appearance in the 1993 state championship game.
For complete highlights and interviews from Friday's games, tune in to WAND News at 6 and 10.
1A: St. Teresa (12-1) vs. Forreston (13-0) at 10:00 am Storylines: St. Teresa is in the state championship for the first time since 1986. The Bulldogs last won a state title in 1979, under head coach Ralph McQuiggan.
2A: Maroa-Forsyth (12-1) vs. Mackinaw-Deer Creek (12-1), 1:00 pm Storylines: Maroa-Forsyth is making its sixth state championship appearance since 2006 and is going for its third title under head coach Josh Jostes. Dee-Mack hasn't appeared in the finals since 1987.
3A: Carlinville (12-1) vs. IC Catholic (Elmhurst) (13-0), 4:00 pm Storylines: Carlinville has just two state championship appearances since the program started in 1913: 1978 and 1993, both of which were losses. It's been the Cavies' best season in years, but the matchup is difficult, with an IC Catholic squad that boasts three-star recruit and Northern Illinois commit Jordan Rowell, who also had an offer from Iowa.
4A: Rochester (12-1) vs. Johnsburg (13-0), 7:00 pm Storylines: Rochester is back at it in 4A, nearly completing a perfect regular season in the Central State 8 -- with the only loss coming in the fourth quarter to 6A power Sacred Heart-Griffin. The Rockets won five straight titles from 2010-14, while Johnsburg has had a dominant season and equally impressive run in the playoffs with 56, 49 and 42 points scored in their three postseason games. However, Johnsburg hasn't made a state title game since the program began in 1978.