Class 6A: Crete-Monee captures first-ever title
By Pat Disabato email@example.com November 24, 2012 6:42PM
Crete-Monee accepts the championship trophy after defeating Cary-Grove during Saturday's IHSA State Championship game between Crete-Monee and Cary-Grove high schools, hosted at the University of Illinois in Champaign, IL. | Paul Bergstrom ~ For Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 26, 2012 6:33AM
CHAMPAIGN — Laquon Treadwell may not play his college ball at Illinois, but he left his fingerprints all over its stadium.
The 6-foot-3, 198-pound senior made his presence known at receiver, running back, defensive back and kicker, carrying Crete-Monee to a 33-26 win over relentless Cary-Grove to claim the Class 6A state championship at Memorial Stadium.
“In any big game, especially in the playoffs, your playmakers make plays,” Crete-Monee coach Jerry Verde said. “That’s why they’re big-time guys. Laquon has been making big plays since he was a sophomore.”
Treadwell, who has whittled his potential college destinations to Michigan, Michigan State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Mississippi, had six catches for 85 yards, including a 57-yard touchdown that extended the Warriors lead to 21-10 in the third quarter.
He gained 93 yards on six carries, highlighted by a 69-yard touchdown on the Warriors second play from their opening series that made it 6-0.
He averaged 41.5 yards on kickoffs.
Treadwell had 12 tackles and also a game-changing interception after the Trojans had recovered a fumble at the Crete 26.
Cary-Grove trailed 21-16 at that point.
The pick not only prevented Cary-Grove (13-1) from possibly taking the lead, it allowed the Warriors (14-0) to regain momentum and tack on consecutive touchdowns that stretched their advantage to 33-16.
For good measure, Treadwell added a 2-point conversion, an extra-point kick and a handful of crunching tackles from free safety.
“Playing against him (Treadwell) in person, he made plays we don’t see people make,” Cary-Grove coach Brad Seaburg said. “His interception in the third quarter was pretty unbelievable. He’s unbelievable.”
Crete-Monee needed just 27 seconds to go 79 yards on its opening drive of the game.
Scratch that. It took Treadwell 27 seconds to go 79 yards. He caught a 10-yard pass from Marcus Terrell on the Warriors first play from scrimmage.
On the next play, Treadwell lined up in the backfield and took a pitch from Terrell 69 yards for the touchdown and 6-0 lead at 9:37 of the first quarter.
Treadwell did, however, miss the extra-point kick.
Cary-Grove cut the lead to 6-3 on a 32-yard field goal by Garrett Glueck with 3:25 left in the first quarter.
The Warriors responded with a 14-play, 78-yard drive that culminated with a 9-yard TD pass from Terrell to DeShawn Duncan with 3:26 remaining in the half. Treadwell added the 2-point conversion run for a 14-3 advantage. Terrell (19-of-23, 220 yards) spread the wealth during the drive, connecting with Raphael Vallot on a 13-yard pass and Lance Lenoir on a 7-yard strike.
The Trojans eventually trimmed the deficit to 14-10 just before the half on a 1-yard run by Kyle Norberg (30 carries, 121 yards) with 11 seconds remaining before intermission and Glueck’s PAT.
The Trojans offense proved to be its best defense in the first half, consistently eating clock by way of a productive ground game that kept the Warriors offense on the sideline.
Cary-Grove ran 36 plays to Crete-Monee’s 18 over the opening 24 minutes.
“We had to go to other gimmicks on defense that worked for a while,” Verde said. “We tried to throw them off a little bit.”
On the fourth play of the second half, Treadwell hauled in a 57-yard TD pass from Terrell to make it 21-10 at 10:55 of the third quarter.
A persistent Cary-Grove team would cut the gap to 21-16 on a 24-yard pass from quarterback Quinn Baker to Ryan Mahoney at 5:34 of the second. The 2-point conversion attempt was stuffed.
Treadwell would come up with the decisive interception moments later.
That was followed by a Terrell to Lenoir TD pass that covered 52 yards and a 5-yard fumble recovery for a score by Deon Benton that stretched the Warriors lead to 33-16 at 2:51 of the third quarter.
“That was a big momentum shift,” Seaburg said. “Even though we turned the ball over there, we never felt like we were out of it.”
A 2-yard run by Baker (25 carries, 113 yards) and a 30-yard field goal by Glueck brought the Trojans to within 33-26 with 3:02 to go.
Cary-Grove had one last chance, but faced with a fourth-and-8 from its own 22, Treadwell crushed receiver Zach Marszal on a pass that would fall incomplete, sealing Crete-Monee’s first state championship.
“We just came out and battled,” Treadwell said. “This is a great feeling. I just went out and did the best I could.”
The Warriors offensive line of Jim Walsh, Joshua McCaskel, Anthony Cephus, Austin Rosenfeldt and Justin Bowswell helped the offense pile up 330 yards.