Fred Kroner's Insider
Each Saturday, prep sports coordinator Fred Kroner will review Friday's playoff action:
Easy as 1-2-3
Friday's first three state championship games didn't produce closely contested matchups. The average final score for Galena (1A), Dakota (2A) and Plano (3A) was 39-9.
Dakota coach Jerry Lano said it's difficult to compare his 14-0 team which won the 2005 state title to the 14-0 team which annexed a crown on Friday. "That team had a lot of wrestlers and this year, we have most of the basketball team," Lano said.
When will it end?
Class 4A champion Addison Driscoll hasn't just been winning state titles (the streak is now at a state-record seven), but the team has been dominating its class. Before Friday's 48-24 conquest of Bloomington Central Catholic, Driscoll's winning margin in the previous five title games was 30.2.
Spartans take solace
St. Joseph-Ogden was beaten in the 3A quarterfinals by Plano (26-22), but was the only one of the Reapers' five postseason opponents to come closer than a touchdown against the team. Plano topped Columbia in the finals, 32-7.
Gavin Kaiser, Galena
Quarterback passed for a game-high 145 yards, rushed for a game-high 96, returned kicks for a game-high 124 yards. Oh yes, he had a 40-yard punt and collected six tackles.
Tim Franken, Addison Driscoll
The senior running back, who had scored 31 touchdowns, added five more in the Highlanders' 4A title-game triumph.
Caleb Pratt, Westville
The senior finished with a 1,000-yard playoff run (1,077 yards rushing in five postseason games this year), but coach Guy Goodlove will have to wait until 2008 to fully appreciate his exploits. "I won't know what he meant until next year when I don't have him," Goodlove said.
Shane Albert and Kyle Bowles, Tuscola
Underclassmen thrust into starting role for a short-handed defense met the challenge. They had nine tackles apiece, the Warriors' second- and third-best totals.
Top five rushers
DAVE SCHWABE, Driscoll: 18 carries, 238 yards, one touchdown
TIM FRANKEN, Driscoll: 17 carries, 159 yards, five touchdowns
CALEB PRATT, Westville: 29 carries, 158 yards, one touchdown
CURTIS DAUGHENBAUGH, Dakota: 15 carries, 143 yards, two touchdowns
LUIS ALVARADO, Plano: 22 carries, 138 yards, no touchdowns
Top five passers
DEREK SCHURCH, Dakota: 9 of 14, 209 yards, three touchdowns
ADAM REBHOLZ, Bloomington CC: 13 of 22, 191 yards, two touchdowns
DUSTIN BILLINGS, Westville: 8 of 17, 169 yards, one touchdown
GAVIN KAISER, Galena: 10 of 15, 145 yards, one touchdown
JOHN WIENKE, Tuscola: 13 of 29, 139 yards, no touchdowns
Top five receivers
SPENCER MEINERT, Dakota: four receptions, 120 yards, two touchdowns
JAVIER SAFFORD, Bloomington CC: seven receptions, 107 yards, two touchdowns
MATT HILLARD, Galena: five receptions, 101 yards, one touchdown
JORDAN BARNEY, Westville: five receptions, 85 yards, no touchdowns
CLAYTON MEYER, Tuscola: four receptions, 83 yards, no touchdowns
The school with a state-record seven successive state championships has win 93 of its last 100 games, finishing unbeaten (14-0) this year for the third time in the past five seasons.
The Tigers were the fourth team in the 34-year history of 2A to suffer consecutive championship-game losses. "It didn't look too good at the end (50-12 loss to Dakota), but it feels good to have been here two years in a row," Westville senior cornerback Aaron Johnson said. Also losing at least twice in a row in 2A were Carthage (2002-04), Central A&M (1995-96) and Amboy (1979-80).