Two out of four isn't bad, right?
While Montini and Lake Zurich came up short in their bids for state football championships on Saturday, Batavia and Naperville Central hoisted the heavy hardware, each winning IHSA state football titles at Northern Illinois University's Huskie Stadium in DeKalb.
• Naperville Central brought home the Class 8A championship, capping off the weekend of eight state title games at NIU for the first time with a 13-10 win over Loyola Academy. It was the Redhawks' first state championship in football since 1999. Naperville Central, which finished the season 11-3, came into the playoffs as a No. 7 seed before going on a postseason run that saw it defeat Downers Grove South, Homewood-Flossmoor, Neuqua Valley and Marist on its way to the title game, where the Redhawks' defense was outstanding against Loyola, a No. 1 playoff seed that finished the season 12-2.
• A couple of hours before Naperville Central's win, Batavia won the school's first state football championship with a dominating 34-14 performance against Oak Lawn Richards, the team that in Week 2 had handed Batavia its only loss of the season. For Batavia High School, the state championship is just the second in any sport, the other coming in 1912 from the boys basketball team.
• Montini's Drive For Five hit a brick wall in Saturday's first championship game as Sacred Heart-Griffin of Springfield denied the Broncos their fifth straight Class 5A state title, 38-28. Montini, which had a 28-game playoff winning streak snapped, jumped out to a 21-0 lead but Sacred Heart scored 34 unanswered points to send the Broncos home with second place and a 13-1 record for the season.
• Lake Zurich simply ran into a buzz saw. Coach Frank Lenti's Mt. Carmel Caravan shut down the Bears, 30-0, in the Class 7A title game. For Mt. Carmel, the 2012 champion in Class 8A, it was the program's 12th state title and 11th under Lenti, the all-time winningest football coach in IHSA history. Lake Zurich finished the season 12-2.
• Make sure to check the final Daily Herald Top 20 as football season comes to a close.
• And, don't forget about our redesigned basketball website for all your boys and girls basketball news every day from now through the state tournaments in March.