By Mike Carpinelli
Listed below are some of the top high school football game standouts and performers in the entire state of Lincoln:
Alexander Angulo, RB, Nazareth Academy
Angulo, a second running back for the Roadrunners, led their offense with 21 carries for 87 yards and two touchdowns on Saturday as Nazareth beat second-seeded 5A-seeded Morgan Park 29-0.
Robert Battle, QB, East St Louis
The fight could not be stopped in the Flyers 6A Quarterfinals match against Crete-Monee. He completed 11 passes from 16 attempts for 257 yards and a touchdown and 69 yards and two touchdowns on the ground as he helped East St. Louis to a 45-0 win.
Jimmy Curtin, WR, Lincoln-Way East
Curtin notched touchdowns from 13 and 80 yards (the first two scores of the game) and finished the game for 111 yards in five catches to help Lincoln-Way East to a 35-14 win over Warren in their 8A Quarterfinals matchup .
Blainey Dowling, QB, Mount Carmel
As a senior leading a dominant offensive performance for the caravan, Dowling completed 15 of his 27 passes for 313 yards and five touchdowns (all in the first half) during Mount Carmel’s 48-12 win over CCL Blue rivals Brother Rice.
Julius Ellens, RB, Glenbard West
Ellens was hard to stop on Saturday as he rushed for 135 yards with 24 carries and a touchdown to help Glenbard West advance to the semifinals in a 37-34 win over Maine South.
Tyler Erkman, WR/DB, Lake Zurich
Erkman influenced all three stages of Saturday’s game as he returned a kickoff 72 yards for a touchdown, caught three passes for 54 yards and a touchdown, and sealed the Bears’ victory by stopping Pekin’s game and attempting a 2-point conversion the goal line tied in Lake Zurich’s 29-27 win.
Joey Gliatta, RB, IC Catholic Preparation
After falling 20-7 behind, Gliatta led IC Catholic’s comeback with 21 carries for 181 yards and three touchdowns, including his game-winning 10-yard touchdown run in overtime to lead Princeton 27-20 defeat.
Ashton Gondeck, QB, Lake Zurich
Gondeck threw two touchdown passes for the Bears to speed up their comeback against the previously undefeated Pekin. Lake Zurich won the competition with a score of 29-27 and reached the 7A semifinals.
Matt Kingsbury, LB, St Rita
Kingsbury led an impressive save from St. Rita, blocked a field goal and returned a blocked punt for a touchdown as the Mustangs drove to a 28-7 win over St. Charles North.
Ryan Leyden, QB, Maine South
Leyden finished with an impressive stat line in a narrow loss to Glenbard West. He completed 19 of 24 passes for 426 yards and three touchdowns and one rushing touchdown while leading a 34-point Maine South offense.
Tyaire Lott, QB, Sacred Heart Griffin
SHG star senior quarterback Lott led an impressive offensive performance for the Cyclones with four total touchdowns (two passing and two rushing) in the first half of their 51-13 4A Quarterfinals win over Murphysboro.
TaRyan Martin, RB, East St.Louis
As a sophomore running back, Martin surpassed 1,000 yards for the season with his 87 yards in 17 carries against Crete-Monee. His two touchdowns in the third quarter helped seal the win as the Flyers advanced to the 6A semifinals with a 45-0 win.
Brady Piper, RB, St Francis (Wheaton)
After falling 8-6 to Rochelle in the first quarter, Piper rushed for three touchdowns and finished for 78 yards to help St. Francis win 35-16 to earn a matchup in the 4A semifinals next weekend back up with Providence Catholic.
Lucas Proudfoot, QB, Catholic Providence
Proudfoot, a senior quarterback for Providence, threw three touchdown passes in the Celtics’ 31-14 win over Richmond-Burton on Saturday to continue their playoff run and advance to the next round of the Class 4A playoffs.
Vinny Rugai, RB, Saint Ignatius
Rugai was a tough one to beat on Saturday as he threw for 215 yards and three touchdowns 23 times in Wolfpack’s 31-6 win over Notre Dame (Niles) to reach the semifinals for the first time in school history.
Braden Tischer, QB, Lincoln-Way East
As a junior quarterback, Tischer was successful in the air against a solid Warren defense as he completed 12 of his 16 passes for 152 yards and three touchdowns during the Griffins’ 35-14 8A Quarterfinals win.
Tyler Vasey, QB, Prairie Ridge
Vasey was unstoppable during the playoffs for Prairie Ridge as he put on a historic performance for 481 yards and eight touchdowns on the ground in Wolves’ 69-28 win. Vasey became the state’s all-time rushing leader in a single season, and his 481-yard rush set a new single-game state record.
Matt Vezza, QB, York
Vezza, a senior quarterback, was effective on the ground Saturday as he rushed 28 times for 153 yards and two touchdowns to lead York to a 24-10 win over Palatine. With the win, York kept their unbeaten season alive and will play their third semi-final in school history next weekend.
Check out Illinois High School’s football playoff brackets here: Class 8A | Class 7A | Class 6A | Class 5A | Class 4A | Class 3A | Class 2A | Class 1A
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