By Al Zipsie

Forreston won its third State football championship in five years.

The Cardinals (12-2) beat Camp Point Central 44-6 Friday for the 1A State title at the University of Illinois Memorial Stadium. Forreston also won the 1A crown in 2014, 2016 and now 18 under first-year head coach Kyle Zick. Former head coach for the first two state titles Denny Diduch now at Guilford and Zick who was his assistant enjoyed a victory hug after the game.

Forreston is now tied with the most NUIC football championships at three with Lena-Winslow, Dakota, Aquin, and Galena. Those five schools have now produced 15 of the 20 state titles won by the state's best small school football Conference.

Stockton has won two, Eastland/Pearl City, Orangeville and Amboy both have one.

It's the 13th NUIC State title in the last 16 years. Camp Point Central playing in first state title game ran into the buzz saw of the NUIC.

Forreston was 2-2 at one time. After a 34-8 loss to Eastland/Pearl City, the Cardinals finished the season strong with ten straight wins. The only losses were to NUIC schools in Lena-Winslow who they dethroned as defending state champion in the semifinal and Eastland/Pearl City who lost in the 2A semifinal. The Cardinals had close wins over other solid NUIC teams in the second through fourth rounds. Beating Milledgeville and Dakota 22-20 before the 34-28 semifinal win over Lena-Winslow.

Camp Point was down 44-0 before they scored their only touchdown in the fourth quarter. The physical style of the NUIC and Forreston showed early controlling the line of scrimmage.

Forreston took the lead for good after driving 73 yards on the opening possession. Evan Kelsey broke a 23 yard TD run. He then scored his second touchdown and Hunter Rogers added a 26-yard pick six. The Cardinals scored on its first two possessions of the third quarter. Ethan Mulder scored his second touchdown and Garret Baderstscher and his TD triggered the running clock with a 44-0 lead.

Kelsey stepped up big time in the spotlight with 144 yards rushing and two touchdowns.

Forreston now adds to its total state hardware won. For an updated list on NUIC schools and all-time state hardware go to Facebook. NUIC Sports.

Another Stateline team Byron team lost to Monticello 24-20 in the 3A title game.

Here is the Stateline Sports Hub NUIC All-Conference team. Our team is more selective in that it combines both the Northwest and Upstate and has only first team. Next year with realignment the Conference will not be by enrollment but the North and South. Three schools are leaving in Polo and River Ridge to eight-man football and Warren for a Coop with a Wisconsin school.

Stateline. First Team. NUIC.


Quarterback. Jacob Speer. River Ridge.

Running backs. Sean Ormiston Lena-Winslow. Jayden Kempel. E/PC. Colin Dvorak. Stockton.

Ends. Marcus Winn Amboy. Lucas Peterson E/PC.

Center. Mason McKenna. Milledgeville.

Lineman. Mitch Heinz Forreston. Eli Dertz E/PC. Ian Kuehl Lena-Winslow. Corey Anderson Milledgeville.



Lineman. Isaiah Bruce Lena-Winslow. Parker Magee Lena-Winslow. Carter Drake Dakota. Addison Keltner E/PC. Griffin Mulcahy Du/Pec.

Linebackers. Nate Rahn Milledgeville. Garret Baderstcher Forreston. Sean Ormiston Lena-Winslow. Colin Dvorak Stockton.

Backs. Jarod Kempel E/PC. Carter Kleckler Orangeville.


NUIC All Conference Football Teams.


MVP-Isaiah Bruce. Lena-Winslow.

Runner Up-Jayden Kempel. Eastland/Pearl City.

Offense. 1st Team. NUIC Northwest.

Quarterback. Mitchell McLaughlin. Amboy.

Running backs. Jayden Kempel E/PC. Unanimous. Sean Ormiston. Lena-Winslow. Unanimous. Trey Engelbrecht Dakota. Isaiah Bruce. Lena-Winslow.

Tight end. Parker Magee. Lena-Winslow. Unanimous. Carter Drake. Dakota.

End. Marcus Winn Amboy. Lucas Petersen E/PC.

Center. Bryson Sturtevant. E/PC.

Lineman. Eli Dertz E/PC. Unanimous. Mitch Heinz. Forreston. Unanimous. Ian Kuehl. Lena-Winslow. Unanimous. Logan Kipper. East Dubuque. Dalton Coyer West Carroll. Caleb Tichler E/PC. Logan Knutti Du/Pec.

Defense. 1st Team.

Defensive line. Magee Lena-Winslow. Unanimous. Griffin Mulcahy Du/Pec.

Drake Dakota. Bruce. Lena-Winslow. Derek DeVries Forreston.

Linebackers. Ormiston. Lena-Winslow. Unanimous. Garrett Baderstcher Forreston. Jonah Hayes. East Dubuque. Zach King. West Carroll. Braden Heeren. E/PC.

Backs. Jarod Kempel. E/PC. Unanimous. Wyatt Rockey. Dakota. Collin Kuberski E/PC. Evan Kelsey Forreston.

Punter. Layne Boyer. East Dubuque. Nolan Lentz Dakota.

Kicker. Mario Carvaho. Amboy.

Utility Player. Boyer. East Dubuque.


Sportsmanship Award. Lena-Winslow.

Quarterback. 2nd Team. Braden Smargiassi E/PC. Jon Breitbach East Dubuque. Honorable Mention. Case Benson Lena-Winslow.

Running backs. 2nd Team. Kelsey Forreston. Baderstcher Forreston. HM. Jarod Kempel E/PC. Keegan Gyland. Lena-Winslow.

Ends. 2nd Team. Michael Popkin. West Carroll. HM. Connor Einsweiler Galena. Trey Culbertson. East Dubuque.

Tight End. 2nd Team. Hunter Sherman East Dubuque. Jakob Boomgarden Forreston.

Center. 2nd Team. Maverick Lindenmeyer Amboy. HM. Jody Scheider West Carroll.

Lineman. 2nd Team. Luke Schwarze Dakota. Braden Almasy. Lena-Winslow. DeVries Forreston. HM. Brady Becker. Amboy. Ethan Gift. Lena-Winslow. Kris Knautz Galena. Cody Richardson Du/Pec.

Defense. 2nd Team. Defensive line. Kody Sipe. West Carroll. Addison Keltner E/PC. Kuehl Lena-Winslow. Dertz. E/PC. HM. Sherman. East Dubuque. Erik Quinett Dakota. Brady Becker Amboy. Sawyer Wild. Forreston.

Linebackers. 2nd Team. Caden Manning Du/Pec. Petersen E/PC. Ethan Mulder. Forreston. Peyton Bauer Galena. HM. Breitbach East Dubuque. Josh Clark Dakota. Riley Jones Dakota. Zach Lieb. E/PC.

Backs. 2nd Team. Aden Cassidy Dakota. Winn Amboy. McLaughlin Amboy. Jayden Kempel E/PC. Einsweiler Galena. HM. Culberson East Dubuque. Aiden Sullivan West Carroll. Hunter Rogers. Forreston.

Punter. HM. Mulcahy Du/Pec.

Kicker. HM. Lentz Dakota. Declan Schemmel East Dubuque.

Utility Player. 2nd. Manning Du/Pec. HM. Cassidy Dakota. Travis Spong. E/PC.


NUIC Upstate.

MVP. Colin Dvorak Stockton.

Runner Up. Nate Rahn Milledgeville.

1st Team. Offense.

Quarterback. Jacob Speer River Ridge.

Running backs. Colin Dvorak. Stockton. Unanimous. Nate Rahn Milledgeville. Unanimous. Carson Boyer Milledgeville.

Garret Rodebaugh. Orangeville.

Tight end. Patrick Seas Aquin. Kameron Kiley River Ridge. Drake Oppold Stockton.

Ends. Breyton Schofield Orangeville. Unanimous. Drew Kloss River Ridge.

Center. Mason McKenna Milledgeville. Unanimous.

Lineman. Corey Anderson. Milledgeville. Unanimous. Blaine Kappes Milledgeville. Brady Carlisle Aquin. Drew McGovern Stockton. Noah Asche Orangeville.

Defense. 1st Team.

Defensive line. McGovern Stockton. Brandon Raetz Orangeville. Jace Coffey Polo. Anderson Milledgeville. Connor Wood Milledgeville.

Linebackers. Dvorak Stockton Unanimous. Asche Orangeville. Garrett Williams Warren. Rahn Milledgeville. Grayson DeMichele. Aquin.

Backs. Carter Kleckler. Orangeville. Unanimous. Braden Soltow Polo. Buyer Milledgeville. Jack Munz Milledgeville. William Gustafson Aquin.

Punter. Ethan Phillips Polo. Unanimous.

Kicker. Casey Thacker Polo. Unanimous.

Utility Player. Craven Wells. Polo.

Sportsmanship Award. River Ridge.

Quarterback. 2nd Team. Soltow Polo.

Running backs. 2nd Team. Ben Crist River Ridge. Ethan Young. Aquin.

Tight End. 2nd Team. Marcus McKenna. Milledgeville.

Ends. 2nd Team. Phillips Polo.

Center. HM. Zach Cook Stockton.

Offensive Line. 2nd Team. Cody Schultz Stockton. Wells Polo. AJ Williams Polo. Skylar Neff Warren. HM. Bryant Keeffer Stockton.

Punter. HM. Bryton Engle. River Ridge.

Defense. 2nd Team.

Lineman. Schultz Stockton. Josh Lozada Warren. Mason McKenna Milledgeville. HM. Matt Love Stockton. Williams Polo.

Linebackers. 2nd Team. Chase Rowe Stockton. Wells Polo. Cayde Gusloff Milledgeville.  HM. Kiley River Ridge. Tucker Mumford Polo. Marcus Cater A/FC. Caleb McBride A/FC.

Backs. 2nd Team. Nick Parr. River Ridge.

Crist River Ridge. Schofield Orangeville. HM. Ethan Williams. Warren.

Utility Player. 2nd Team. Wyatt Potter River Ridge. HM. Ethan Williams Warren. Rowe Stockton.

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