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  • Writer's picturetgardner1167

Chiefs Shutout The State Champs

Last year the Iroquois Chiefs’ season ended at the hands of the Sparks, who went on to become State Champions, in the Class A semifinals at All-High Stadium. On Friday night, it was the Chiefs however who came out on top with a 9-0 win over the South Park Sparks in Class A South action on the very same field, likely ending the Sparks State Title defense.

The defenses shined in the first half, as the offenses were held scoreless until the very end when Iroquois hit a 37-yard field goal with 16 seconds left in the half to take a 3-0 lead.

The Iroquois lineman began to take control of the game in the second half. Running Back Brandon Yax had huge holes to run through for most of the half.

Yax had 113 yards on 28 carries in the win.

The Chiefs even decided to go for a fake punt on 4th down and 5 from midfield but a holding call wiped out a big play.

Still the South Park offense had trouble moving the ball and it seemed like whenever they did, the Sparks would take a penalty.

As the third quarter was winding down the Chiefs offense was driving down the field into the red zone and it looked as if Iroquois was going to go up by two scores, but South Park senior Shakur Harris had other ideas, picking off Iroquois QB Jack Edwards.

Harris gave the Sparks life heading into the fourth quarter. The South Park offense finally got into a rhythm. The momentum began to shift as the Sparks dug deep into the playbook with the hook and ladder play. Dylan Lang caught the pass and tossed it to Latrell London who took it to the South Park 41 and an illegal contact penalty gave the Sparks the ball at midfield. South Park QB Nick Schaefer then found Devonte Fountain for 30 yards to give the Sparks 1st and goal.

However, two plays later Schaefer was being pressured and threw a floater that was picked off by Iroquois junior Parker Valvo who returned it 95 yards for the touchdown.

Still there was no quit in the Sparks who quickly got the ball to the Iroquois 25-yard line. The Chiefs defense stepped up and stopped South Park for the last time, sealing the win and earning the shutout against a team who has outscored opponents 160-68 this season.

South Park Head Coach Tim Delaney thought his team hurt themselves Friday night, but he also gave credit to Iroquois for the way they played, “They’re a good football team. We haven’t played our best football down the stretch here” said Delaney, “When we were moving it in the second half we would make a mistake.”

All Parker Valvo could think about after the game was about all of the work his team has put in this year, “We worked hard all year for this and we just wanted it” said Valvo, “We want to go to the stadium”.

Iroquois Head Coach Keith Marshall was proud of his team at the end of the game, “I’m just happy for kids, especially the seniors” said Marshall, “To shut out the defending state champions is impressive”.

With the result of this game and a few others, the Class A South playoff picture becomes a bit clearer. Iroquois clinches a spot in the playoffs. South Park needs a McKinley loss and to hope they will have a high enough point differential in order to make the playoffs.

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