John Shannon started to realize a state championship was within his grasp at halftime.
By then he and his Loyola Academy teammates had already built a 27-0 lead on Marist in the Illinois Class 8A title game. Shannon, a future Notre Dame long snapper, also plays linebacker for Loyola and his defense was on its way to a third playoff shutout.
All of it came together nicely for Loyola in a 41-0 victory, which sealed a perfect end to the season. Loyola finished 14-0.
“We were feeling pretty good heading into the locker room,” Shannon said. “Obviously, a 27-point lead. They weren’t moving the ball on us really well and our offense was really clicking. We had them kind of on the plank, if you wanna put it like that. We knew if we got a couple more scores then they’d be out.”
Loyola did just that, tacking on a couple more touchdowns in the third quarter.
Marist managed just nine first downs and 174 total yards on 47 plays. Quarterback Brendan Skalitzky, focal point of the offense, rushed 13 times for 17 yards. His 176 passing yards proved a lone bright point, but finding a way into the end zone proved impossible.
“I think we were playing really well,” Shannon said. “Our coaches had a really good game plan. I think we just went out there and played together, communicated and really executed.”
Shannon now transitions to the offseason, which will begin with his official visit to Notre Dame in a couple weeks for the postseason awards show (Dec. 11). Shannon only visited South Bend for one game because of Loyola’s Saturday schedules.
He’ll also participate in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl next month as one of its long snappers.
But the reality is Shannon still can’t quite believe his high school football career came to a close with a state title. Perhaps it will set in soon.
“I think it’s gonna take a little while,” Shannon said. “I’ve been doing it for four years. Me and my friends were joking, we were texting and say, ‘This doesn’t even feel real yet.’ I think in a few weeks it’ll start to set in.”
Jones Exits With MVP
Jamir Jones hoped to win a state title on Sunday. Being named defensive MVP of the state championship game was icing on the cake.
Jones and his Aquinas Institute teammates defeated Saratoga Springs 44-19 to win the New York Class AA state championship.
“It feels great to end your career out on top,” Jones said. “There’s no better feeling in the world than achieving the goal you worked for.”
Jones had a sack, several tackles for loss and forced a fumble teammate Earnest Edwards recovered for a touchdown.
“I blitzed the A-gap and hit the running back as he was getting the ball,” Jones said. “All I saw was Earnest crawling for the ball in the end zone.”
For his efforts, Jones took home a little personal recognition.
“It’s a great feeling,” he said. “I played my heart out. It felt great to be recognized for it.”
Book's prep career came to an end in the California state playoffs as Oak Ridge lost 30-18 to undefeated Elk Grove in the semifinals. Brian Kelly and Mike Sanford will have an in-home visit with Book today.
Bishop Moore (11-1) moved on in the Florida Class 5A playoffs by defeating Hallandale 51-46 in the regional final. Bishop Moore had 500 rushing yards and Boudreaux had 12 “pancake” blocks. It takes on Tampa (Fla.) Jesuit (13-0) this week in the state semifinal.
Abbotsford, B.C. defeated Langley, B.C. 50-29 in the provincial semifinal. Claypool had four touchdowns and one interception. Abbotsford will play Carson Graham in the AA provincial final this week.
Earnest Edwards scored four first half touchdowns and quarterback Jake Zembiec, a Penn State recruit, set a record for career touchdown passes in a 44-19 win for Aquinas Institute (13-0) over Saratoga Springs in the AA state championship. Saratoga Springs scored all 19 points in the fourth quarter when the game had been decided.
Love had nine carries for 53 yards as Nazareth Academy capped its run through the Illinois Class 5A playoffs with a state championship, beating Lincoln-Way West 42-21. It's the second straight title for Nazareth. Love added three catches for seven yards and four tackles on defense.
St. John Bosco moved to 13-0 on Friday with a 63-10 win over Bishop Amat in a Pac-5 semifinal. Bosco, which plays Corona Centennial for the championship next Friday, shut down a team that had averaged 45 points per game this season.
Shannon goes out a state champion as Loyola Academy bullied its way to a 41-0 win over Marist in the Illinois Class 8A state title game. Loyola finished the season 14-0 with three shutouts in the playoffs.
Vaughn ended his high school career with a 20-13 loss as Whitehaven lost to Ravenwood in a Tennessee Division I Class 6A semifinal. Vaughn subbed in for Whitehaven’s injured quarterback on the Tigers’ final offensive play from scrimmage. His passed was tipped and intercepted.
Season Complete: Robert Beal ’17, Liam Eichenberg, Jalen Elliott, Dillan Gibbons ’17, Tony Jones, Khalid Kareem, Cole Kmet ’17, Tommy Kraemer, Josh Lugg ’17, Deon McIntosh, Ade Ogundeji, Julian Okwara, Spencer Perry, Kevin Stepherson, Brock Wright ‘17