DE KALB, Ill. (AP) - It took 42 years, but the Chicago Public League finally has a football state champion.
Unbeaten Wendell Phillips Academy accomplished the feat with a 51-7 victory over Althoff Catholic of Belleville on Friday at Huskie Stadium. The championship came a year after Phillips dropped last year's 4A title game, 49-28, to Rochester.
"Last year, the pressure got to us," Phillips coach Troy McAllister said. "We folded a bit."
Not this year. The Wildcats (14-0) spotted the Crusaders (13-1) a touchdown and scored the last 51 points, with quarterback Quayvon Skanes scoring four rushing touchdowns and passing for another.
"It hasn't sunk in yet," McAllister said. "But 10 years from now, when these kids have a reunion, it'll be a big thing."
Skanes' 41-yard touchdown run midway through the first quarter evened the score at 7-7.
"I was making a big play to set the tone for the team," Skanes said.
He made several. His 31-yard rush up the middle two series later gave the Wildcats a lead they never relinquished.
The Connecticut-committed speedster gained 141 yards on 13 carries and was 3-of-9 passing for 44 yards. He scored 36 rushing touchdowns this season, finding the end zone on 25.9 percent of his carries.
Skanes' third score came four plays after teammate Anthony Davis recovered Malik Easley's fumble of the second half's opening kickoff, one of five Althoff turnovers forced by Phillips' fierce defense.
"They beat us up front on both sides of the ball," Althoff coach Ken Turner said.
Kamari Mosby added a score for Phillips on a 151-yard rushing performance.
Althoff's lone score was a 9-yard pass from Jordan Augustine to C.J. Coldon on the Crusaders' opening drive.
After that, Augustine was pressed often and sacked six times, losing 47 yards.
"The first drive, we did the things we expected to," Augustine said. "As the game went on, we weren't getting the ball away quick enough."
The state playoffs began in 1974, but only two Chicago Public League teams had previously advanced to title games. Aside from Phillips last year, Robeson advanced to the 5A title game in 1982, losing 16-12 to Rockford Guilford.