The last week of the regular season, then 8-0 Brother Rice defeated 8-0 Montini Catholic to be crowned Catholic League Blue Division champions. Given the incredible seasons of both teams (Rice coming off a 2-7 season, Montini making their debut in the conference), it seemed there was no better possible ending to the Catholic League season.
The Loyola Ramblers had other ideas.
Having started 3-3, they won their next 11 games capped off by a magical run through the playoffs en route to a 13-3 win over undefeated Brother Rice in the Class 8A State Championship on Saturday night at Memorial Stadium in Champaign.
“This is one of the most special seasons of my life, and I’ve been playing football since I was 7 years old,” said Loyola head coach John Holacek following the game.
As a former University of Illinois and NFL linebacker and winner of the 2015 Class 8A Championship with the Ramblers, that’s quite a statement for Holacek to make.