RANTOUL — St. Thomas More’s Storm Joop broke the Twin City passing record with 97 yards in Friday’s 36-8 win against Rantoul at Bill Walsh Field as the Sabers clinched a playoff spot.
Joop needed 15 passing yards to pass Urbana’s Cameron Mammen’s mark of 4,613 set last fall. The record-breaking completion went to Joshua Stringer on a 10-yard screen with 20 seconds remaining before the half.
“I didn’t know that I got it,” Joop said. “It’s a team thing. If they couldn’t catch it, I wouldn’t have gotten it. I want to thank my line and everyone.”
The next play, Joop ran 5 yards for a touchdown. In the third, Joop threw a 17-yard touchdown pass to Josh Koerner. In the fourth, he tossed a 16-yard score to Cam Deedrich.
“It’s an honor and a pleasure to coach him,” St. Thomas More coach Dan Hennessey said. “He’s a competitor in every sport he plays. And when you have a competitor at quarterback, everybody follows him.”
The Eagles trailed 7-0 midway through the third, forcing a turnover on downs, two punts and a blocked punt by Donovan Newman.
“Our kids were on a mission,” Rantoul coach Ira Jefferson said. “It just got away from us. That’s on us. We had opportunities and couldn’t get anything going on offense.”
Charles Cargo got the start at quarterback and threw a 37-yard TD pass to Devine Thompson in the fourth.
The Sabers enter postseason play on a roll.
“We won our first three and our last three,” Hennessey said. “I’m proud of the kids how they finished.”
TEAM CONF. OVERALL
Clifton Central 6 0 9 0
St. Joseph-Ogden 5 1 7 2
Momence 4 2 6 3
St. Thomas More 3 3 6 3
Paxton-Buckley-Loda 2 4 4 5
Iroquois West 1 5 2 7
Watseka 0 6 1 8