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Byron won the opening coin toss and deferred to the second half. Unity will receive the first-half kickoff and put its offense on the field first.

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The Unity Rockets (13-0) and Byron Tigers (13-0) have taken to Brigham Field inside Huskie Stadium for warmups. A 20-minute countdown has reached around 16 minutes as of this typing.

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Wilmington has defeated Nashville 24-7 in the Class 2A state championship game. Trophies are presented to each team right on the field before they're shuttled off to postgame media availability, so Unity-Byron shouldn't start overwhelmingly late compared to its planned 4 p.m. opening kick.

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Closing in on 3:30 p.m., it's cloudy and 28 degrees in DeKalb with no projection of getting any warmer. Saving grace is it isn't very windy .... flags are fluttering a bit inside the stadium, but nothing too significant.

How will that impact Unity's offensive game plan? Coach Scott Hamilton said during his Monday media availability that he'd like to operate around 65-35 split of run plays versus pass plays, whereas Byron's Jeff Boyer said his program opts for a 90-10 run-to-pass split.

This isn't the most optimal throwing day, but Rockets running back Matt Brown and quarterback Blake Kimball are more than capable of running the ball effectively

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Walking around the visitors' concourse and outside Huskie Stadium, there are plenty of upbeat — if cold — Rockets fans ready to cheer on the program.

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We're roughly one hour from opening kickoff between Unity (13-0) and Byron (13-0) in the IHSA Class 3A football state championship game.

Coach Scott Hamilton's Rockets are seeking their first-ever title in the program's sixth state appearance, while coach Jeff Boyer's Tigers are looking for their first state win since 1999.

Preps coordinator Colin Likas is live at Northern Illinois' Huskie Stadium in DeKalb and will provide updates from the 3A contest.

Before that can occur, we've got plenty of pregame reading for you to enjoy.

— Preview: Starting lineups, storyline to watch and final score prediction

— Zilis: Five consolidated towns act as a single community

— Daniels: One-on-one with 28th-year Unity coach Scott Hamilton

— Daniels: Blake Kimball's road to being Unity's starting quarterback

— Likas: Rebuilt offensive line thriving for Rockets

— Daniels: Defensive line giving Unity a big lift

— Likas: Nobody messing with Nosler brothers on Unity's defense

— Daniels: Odds and ends to know ahead of Class 3A final

— Likas: Hamilton, Boyer weigh in on own programs, opposition

Colin Likas is the preps coordinator at The News-Gazette. He can be reached at clikas@news-gazette.com, or on Twitter at @clikasNG.

College/Prep Sports Reporter

Colin Likas covers Illinois football and high school sports at The News-Gazette. His email is clikas@news-gazette.com, and you can follow him on Twitter (@clikasNG).

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