Monticello, GCMS to play for football state titles

Monticello, GCMS to play for football state titles

Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley football gets a chance to defend its Class 2A state championship.

And Monticello football will have an opportunity to add to its historic season.

Both area programs clinched a date next Friday afternoon at Memorial Stadium in Champaign with wins on Saturday afternoon in their respective state semifinal games.

For Monticello, the host Sages jumped on Carlinville early and never let up, en route to a 40-14 win in a Class 3A state semifinal game on Saturday.

The Sages (13-0) took a 13-0 lead midway through the first quarter and increased their lead to 20-0 at halftime. Cully Welter's program never let Carlinville back in the game in the second half, with quarterback Braden Snyder throwing two touchdown passes to extend Monticello's lead to 34-0 well into the third quarter, sealing the Sages' first-ever trip to a state championship game.

Monticello will face off against Byron (13-0) at 4 p.m. next Friday at Memorial Stadium. It's a rematch of a second-round 3A playoff game from 2017 when Byron edged Monticello 21-20 to end the Sages' season. Byron easily defeated Herscher 42-0 on Saturday afternoon.

For GCMS, it was a tougher test and on the road, but the visiting Falcons prevailed in Lanark, beating host Eastland/Pearl City 14-7.

GCMS (13-0) and Eastland/Pearl City played to a scoreless tie at halftime before GCMS took a 7-0 lead with less than four minutes left in the third quarter on a 4-yard touchdown run by Jared Trantina.

But E/PC answered early in the fourth quarter to tie the game at 7 before GCMS countered with just under five minutes to play. Quarterback Nathan Garard hit Ryland Holt for a 10-yard touchdown catch, the Falcons' defense held the rest of the way and helped secure the program's second straight trip to a state title game.

And GCMS will meet a familiar foe at 1 p.m. next Friday at Memorial Stadium. The Falcons will tangle with Maroa-Forsyth (13-0) in a rematch of last year's classic 2A state title game that GCMS won 38-32 at Huskie Stadium in DeKalb. Maroa-Forsyth clinched its return trip to a state title game with a 16-14 win at St. Teresa on Saturday afternoon. 

Earlier in the day on Saturday, Argenta-Oreana saw its season conclude with a 35-22 loss to Camp Point Central in the Class 1A state semifinals. 

The Bombers, coached by Rantoul graduate Steve Kirk, got off to a strong start and led 14-7 at the end of the first quarter. But Camp Point Central's offense wore down A-O, and the host Bombers couldn't get much going after the first quarter.

A-O finishes the season with a sterling 12-1 record, while Camp Point Central (12-1) advances to play in the 1A state title game at 10 a.m. next Friday at Memorial Stadium in Champaign against Forreston (11-2).




Class 3A

Carlinville 14 FINAL
at Monticello 40  

Class 2A

at Eastland/Pearl City 7  

Class 1A

Camp Point Central 35 FINAL
at Argenta-Oreana 22