GCMS edges Maroa-Forsyth for first-ever state football championship

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Senior linebacker Luke Freehill helped Gibson CIty-Melvin-Sibley win the rushing battle with Maroa-Forsyth 302 yards to 236. Senior linebacker Luke Freehill helped Gibson CIty-Melvin-Sibley win the rushing battle with Maroa-Forsyth 302 yards to 236.

DEKALB -- It felt like multiple games all rolled into one -- there were just that many plot twists.

It ended in a 38-32 win for Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley, a Class 2A state championship that is the school's first-ever in football.

The acts of the play? First Maroa-Forsyth receiver Aaron Inda took a screen pass 55 yards for a touchdown in the early first quarter to make it 6-0. Then GCMS' star running back Mitch McNutt finished a drive with a 2-yard touchdown to grab the lead at 7-6 in the mid first quarter. Finally in that action-packed period, sophomore quarterback Ian Benner hit Max Davenport in the corner of the end zone for a 12-7 Trojan lead.

In the second quarter, the teams traded another round of Inda and McNutt touchdowns and Maroa-Forsyth took a 19-15 lead over GCMS into the half. The Falcons had averaged 6.2 points per game leading up to Friday's game.

The second half began with another Trojan touchdown, a 36-yard touchdown scamper from senior All-State pick Deondre Gregory. That's when the Trojans suddenly lost the 26-15 lead. McNutt and Brooks Schmitt reeled off a pair of touchdown runs to make it 30-26.

It looked as if Maroa-Forsyth might gain back the lead for good when Aaron Inda broke off another long run, this one 52 yards for the touchdown.

But the final act of the play had an even more dramatic ending in store, as GCMS' Isaiah Chatman caught a 23-yard pass from Nathan Garard with just 1:08 left in the game. The result was a 38-32 score and the first state title in Falcons history.

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