[H. Rick Bamman - firstname.lastname@example.org]
1. Prairie Ridge repeats as Class 6A football state champion
Prairie Ridge’s thrilling comeback victory over Cary-Grove in the second round of the Class 6A football playoffs was one of the greatest games in area history. The Trojans nearly had the defending state champions, but quarterback Samson Evans’ 66-yard touchdown run with seven seconds remaining is already legendary.
It gave the Wolves a 17-13 victory and three weeks later they celebrated their second consecutive unbeaten state championship season with a 28-21 win over Nazareth at Northern Illinois University’s Huskie Stadium in DeKalb.
The Wolves not only repeated as state champions, they repeat as No. 1 on the Northwest Herald Top 10 Local Sports Stories for 2017 list, voted on by the sports staff.
Evans delivered another standout performance in the championship game, returning a first-half punt 78 yards for a touchdown, and carrying 35 times for 155 yards and three touchdowns.
Evans was one of five fourth-year varsity starters, along with tackle Jeff Jenkins, running back Zach Gulbransen, and linebackers Jacob Ommen and Joe Perhats. The Wolves attracted even more attention than last year, but Schremp lauded his players for the way they handled everything, including the weekly segments with NBC Chicago’s “The Drive.”
Throughout the playoffs, Prairie Ridge’s players talked about just “getting another week together.”
They got all the weeks (and victories) they could.