CHAMPAIGN — The Forreston varsity football team completed its third state championship run in five seasons this past weekend. The Cardinals overwhelmed Camp Point Central throughout the Class 1A Championship, leading 30-0 at halftime and forcing a running clock in the fourth quarter before ending the game with a 44-6 victory. Forreston (12-2) also won state titles in 2016 and 2014.
“This team truly embodies everything that it means to be a team,” head coach Kyle Zick said. “They came together and played with a passion that was amazing to watch and I'm blessed to be along for the ride.”
Forreston outgained Camp Point Central 404-226 in total offense this past Friday, and every single Cardinal yard came from the ground game. Evan Kelsey led Forreston with 148 rushing yards on 17 carries while Garett Badertscher totaled 96 rushing yards on 16 carries.
Forreston took an early lead on Kelsey’s 23-yard rushing touchdown, and the Cardinals build their advantage up with touchdowns by Kelsey (14-yard rush) and Ethan Mulder (1-yard run) and two 2-point conversions. Leading 22-0, Forreston’s Hunter Rogers picked off Camp Point Central quarterback Eric Jones and ran the ball back to the end zone.
“This championship compared with the other two is definitely special due to the doubt outside our locker room and the lack of outside expectation,” Zick said. “The motto all year was ‘earn it’ and the boys really did just that. They earned the respect of everyone around them.”
Touchdowns by Badertscher and Mulder in the second half sealed the deal for Forreston. The Cardinals will bring home the seventh state championship in nine seasons by a team hailing from The Northwest Upstate Illini Conference (NUIC).