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Lincoln-Way East vs. Loyola Academy: How to watch Illinois 8A football state championship game

Watch Lincoln-Way East and Loyola Academy battle for Illinois 8A championship

The Lincoln-Way East Griffins and Loyola Academy Ramblers will face off at 7 p.m. CT on Saturday night in the Illinois Class 8A championship game at Hancock Stadium in Normal.

>> Follow live updates from Lincoln-Way East vs. Loyola Academy here <<

The final game of the weekend matches undefeated Lincoln-Way East, the No. 1 team in the SBLive Illinois Power 25 rankings, against undefeated Loyola Academy, ranked second in the Illinois Power 25, in a rematch of last year's 8A championship game won by Loyola Academy 13-3.

Lincoln-Way East is seeking its second championship in four seasons, third in six years and fourth in 19 seasons. 

Loyola Academy has a new head coach in Beau Desherow but the Ramblers are back in the championship game for the eighth time in 12 seasons. Loyola is looking to add to its titles from 2022, 2018 and 2015 under former coach John Holecek.

You can watch Lincoln-Way East vs. Loyola Academy live on the NFHS Network.

What: Illinois Class 8A football championship game

When: 7:00 p.m. Central Time on Saturday, November 25

Where: Hancock Stadium | Normal, Illinois

How to watch the live stream online: You can watch this game live on the NFHS Network

Live score updates: Follow the game on SBLive Sports for live score updates

More coverage: SBLive Sports features coverage of Illinois high school football including previews, team rankings, top player lists and much more. Follow your favorite teams on SBLive's live high school football scoreboard and download the SBLive Sports App.

Lincoln-Way East (13-0)

Coach Rob Zvonar's Griffins have been dominant on defense during their first 13 games this season, limiting opponents to an average of just 5.2 points per game (68 total) while recording five shutouts. 

Lincoln-Way East, which averages 36.1 points per game, has outscored its four playoff opponents by a combined score of 157-6.

Offensively, the Griffins have run for 2,965 yards and passed for 1,818 yards. Running back Nuri Muhammad, a 5-foot-5, 170-pound senior, has run for 1,307 yards and 20 touchdowns. Senior quarterback Braden Tisher has passed for 1,672 yards and 17 touchdowns (with two interceptions) and run for 360 yards and three scores. 

University of Iowa commit Josh Janowski, a 6-3, 275-pound senior, anchors the offensive line from his center spot. The five starting offensive linemen average 255 pounds. 

Senior linebacker Connor Durkin (122 tackles) and senior safety JT Poynton (112 tackles) lead the defense, along with senior safety Kade Fatland (89 tackles, two interceptions).  

Kicker RJ Mensching, a senior, has kicked 12 field goals with a long of 42 yards.

Loyola Academy (13-0)

The Ramblers closed out the regular season with an impressive 23-21 win over 7A finalist Mount Carmel and rolled through their first three playoff opponents before a 23-14 win over York in the semifinals.  

Coach Desherow's squad averages 35.3 points per game and has allowed 8.7 points per contest (with two shutouts). Loyola Academy has a balanced offensive attack, with the Ramblers gaining 2,313 yards passing and 2,262 rushing through 13 games. 

Junior quarterback Ryan Fitzgerald has passed for 1,853 yards and 18 touchdowns (with just one interception) and run for 545 yards and 13 TDs. Junior running back Drew McPherson has rushed for 738 yards and eight touchdowns and has 464 receiving yards and two scores. Nicholas Arogundade, a senior wide receiver, has been Fitzgerald's favorite target with 42 receptions for 671 yards and seven touchdowns.

The Ramblers' defense has been led by senior outside linebacker Quinn Herbert (80 tackles, three interceptions) and senior inside linebacker Colin Scheid (78 tackles, two sacks).  

Kicker Michael Baker, a senior, has made 13 field goals with a long of 47.


Players to watch at the Illinois football state championships

Illinois 1A title game preview: Lena-Winslow vs. Camp Point Central

Illinois 2A title game preview: Athens vs. Wilmington

Illinois 3A title game preview: Byron vs. Mt. Carmel

Illinois 4A title game preview: Rochester vs. St. Laurence

Illinois 5A title game: Joliet Catholic vs. Nazareth Academy

Illinois 6A title game: East St. Louis vs. Cary-Grove

Illinois 7A title game: Mount Carmel vs. Downers Grove North

More coverage: Get live Illinois high school football scores on SBLive Sports. To follow your favorite teams check out the SBLive live high school football scoreboard and download the SBLive Sports App.

- Nate Latsch | | @SBLiveIL