The football team suffered a tough 30-29 loss at Winnebago in the opening round of the Class 3A state playoffs Oct. 29.
The Knights (6-4), the No. 6 seed in their half of the bracket, led 21-7 in the first half and had pulled back in front 29-22 before No. 3 Winnebago (8-2) scored on a 2-yard run with 2 1/2 minutes left, went for the lead, and ran in the two-point conversion. IC’s ensuing drive ended with an interception about 30 seconds later.
Under first-year head coach Chris VanDyke, IC made playoff appearances in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1990-92 with coach Jack Lewis.
IC quarterback Demetrius Carr was 7-for-13 passing for 143 yards and two touchdowns, both to Sam Rose (2 catches, 97 yards). Dan Vatch (8 carries, 56 yards) ran for two TDs, including a 22-yarder followed by a two-point conversion pass from Carr to Andrew Vitek that put the Knights ahead 29-22. Carr and Dan D’Angelo rushed for 78 and 75 yards, respectively.
Defensive leaders for the Knights included James Peachey (14 total tackles), Joe Iavarone (12 tackles, fumble recovery), Adam Muellers (interception, fumble recovery), Diego Herrera and Vitek (6 tackles each), Matt Hornstra and Vatch (fumble recoveries) and Patrick Kirby and Riley Ricobene (pass breakups).
Saturday marked only the second time this season that Winnebago won a game while scoring fewer than 35 points. Despite already losing three fumbles, the Indians closed to 21-14 by halftime and took a 22-21 lead late in the third quarter by forcing a fumble, scoring on a 2-yard run and passing for the two-point conversion.
IC Cross Country
The Immaculate Conception girls and boys cross country seasons concluded Oct. 29 at the Class 1A Lisle Sectional.
The IC girls finished 14th (361 points). Sophomore Rachel Hill finished a team-best 45th (22:13 for 3.1 miles), followed by Kelly Kremske (64th, 23:05), Rebeccah Strickland (83rd, 24:02), Megan Sutton (101st, 24:56), Michelle Eguia (118th, 26:46), Brenna Langan (125th, 29:24) and Amy Ridder (126th, 29:26).
This was the first time that IC qualified for sectionals as a team.
“I'm very proud of this team and the work they did this year. They should be proud of themselves,” IC coach Jeff Fredrickson said. “(Hill and Kramske) have turned into a nice 1-2 punch and they are going to be even stronger next year. (Strickland ) has been a strong No. 3 runner all season and was a big reason for us advancing this far.”
Only the top five teams advanced to the state meet. Timothy Christian senior Tessa Bosman (17th, 21:00) was the last individual state qualifier for the top seven finishers not among the advancing teams.
In the boys race, IC’s Brian Anzures competed as an individual qualifier and was 98th (20:30). Luther North’s Tyler Kesner (17th, 17:36) was the sectional’s last individual state qualifier.
“Brian has been our No. 1 runner all season. He went out too fast at the start but had a strong last mile,” Fredrickson said.