State Finals Instant Impressions

State Finals Instant Impressions

The Illinois High School 1A-4A state champions were crowned Friday. Check out how some of the top prospects performed and more inside.

Several players weren't going to let anything stop them dominate Friday.

Including from 3A State Champion Aurora Christian running back Brandon Mayes, from 4A State Champion Rochester linebacker Garret Dooley, and 2A runner-up Athloff Catholic defensive lineman Merrick Jackson.

Starting with the 2A battle, between Mercer County and Athloff Catholic, a game that came down to the final seconds. Mercer County pulled out a 14-7 victory.

Two prospects that stood out from this contest, were both from Althoff Catholic's defensive line.

2013 Illinois defensive tackle commitment, Merrick Jackson had a huge day -- and showed what the Illini see in the 6-foot-3, 340 pound prospect.

Jackson tallied eight solo tackles, one assisted tackle, one tackle for loss, one fumble recovery and a pass breakup.

Those stats are even more impressive because Jackson spent most of the day fighting through double teams -- and was surprisingly agile.

Another player that stood out from Athloff Catholic was senior linebacker/defensive end Erik Furmanek who totaled 10 tackles on the game and a fumble recovery.

Moving on to the 3A match-up between Aurora Christian and Tolono Unity, a game that Aurora Christian won 42-12, but was only a 2 point game with 8 minutes left.

Aurora Christian's offense features of trio of players headed to Northern Illinois in the fall -- running back Joel Bouagnon, defensive back Brandon Mayes and wide receiver Chad Beebe.

Mayes and Bouagnon each scored two touchdowns, and rushed for 72 and 95 yards respectively. And although the wind was gusting up to 50-mph Beebe managed to haul in 3 catches for 24 yards.

Mayes and Bouagnon were also the prospects that paced the Aurora Christian defense, Mayes notching a 75-yard pick six, 11 tackles and a tackle for loss. Bouagnon also totaled 11 tackles from the linebacker position and a tackle for loss.

In the last game of the night, the 4A battle -- Rochester topped Alleman 43-18.

Rochester was highlighted on both sides of the ball by Wisconsin commit linebacker Garret Dooley, who recorded 98 yards rushing at running back, 73 yards receiving, an interception, ten tackles from the linebacker slot and one tackle for loss.

Add to Dooley's impressive night, Rochester quarterback Austin Green who is headed to Eastern Illinois, 136 yards rushing and 172 yards passing -- and the outcome was the 4A state title.

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