Panther Dynasty: Le-Win captures 5th State title in 11 years

High School Football

DEKALB, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF) — The location, Huskie Stadium. Otherwise known as the Lena-Winslow Panthers home away from home. Not just because of their ample success there in the past, but mostly because their fans pack the stands in support.

Early in the Class 1A State Championship Friday morning between the Panthers and the Carrollton Hawks, there was not much for the Panther-faithful to cheer for as their team turned the ball over three times in a quarter and a half.

Trailing 7-6, Le-Win senior running back Marey Roby put the team on his back and broke away for a big gain before getting pushed out at the two-yard line, setting up his first touchdown.

Carrollton’s quarterback, senior Grant Pohlman, kept the Hawks in this game rushing for 171 yards and two touchdowns, along with 111 passing yards and two more touchdowns through the air.

When it seemed like Le-Win was on the ropes, Roby continued to deliver. He rushed for over 200 yards and three touchdowns in the first half alone as Lena-Winslow held on to a 30-19 lead at the midpoint.

The Second half was all about defense. Senior Brody Mahon, an All-State selection this season, was a sophomore on the 2019 State Championship winning team. He didn’t play then, but made the most of his opportunity today picking up a sack at the start of the fourth quarter.

Later, senior quarterback Luke Benson punched it in from a yard out to put it away.

Lena-Winslow hangs on for their fifth title in 11 years with a 38-25 win over Carrolton. A special group for head coach Ric Arand, caps off the 2021 season in the win column.

“This group as a class, they’ve just been tremendous all the way through,” said Arand. “They’ve went about their business, they’re a tight knit group, and I couldn’t be more proud of them. They’ve hung together, they’ve stuck together, they’ve done things the right way.”

“I almost feel a bit relieved just the fact that we finally got it done,” said Benson, now a two-time state champ. “At the same time I’m extremely excited. This group has worked so hard. I’m on top of the world right now.”

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