CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF)–Make it six state championships now for the Lena-Winslow Panthers in football. Number six came Friday morning at Memorial Stadium. The Panthers defeated another undefeated Panther team Camp Point Central 30-8 for the 1A championship.
Junior fullback Gage Dunker rushed for three short touchdowns against a stingy CPC defense that have posted 7 shutouts this season. Dunker also had an interception on defense in the first quarter.
Quarterback Drew Streckwald scored another Le-Win touchdown on a five-yard keeper late in the game to make the score 30-0. The Panthers came close to a shutout, but CPC scored on a 28-yard touchdown pass with 25 seconds to play.
All six of Lena-Winslow’s state championships have come since 2010. They’ve won the last three 1A state championship games that have been contested.
“I had a great performance today, and that all goes out to my coaches and my teammates that make me look good,” said Dunker.
“It feels great!,” said Le-Win linebacker Jayce Flynn. “I don’t know what to say, but going out like this as a senior, I can’t think of anything else better.”
“Just an emotion, a whole wave of feelings right now,” said Le-Win senior running back/linebacker Gunar Lobdell. “No better feeling than this right now.”
“It’s a storybook ending,” said senior lineman Henry Engel. “It’s the kind of the end of a chapter for me. I’ll never play a game of high school football again, but knowing what my last game was and ending it on this note was, it was amazing.”
“You come ito a state championship game with two teams that are 13-0 you know it’s not going to be easy,” said Le-Win head coach Ric Arand. “I tell you what, they gave us all we wanted and then some.”
Has it sunk in for Arand that he and his coaches and players have won six championships?
“No, not really. Hats off to our coaching staff. We’ve got great staff, a great group of kids. I’m just kind of along for the ride.”
Lena-Winslow finishes the season with a record of 14-0.