Countdown to high school football kickoff

Chicago Tribune's 100-day countdown to the 2014 football season.

1. Game away from 400 as a head coach for Mount Carmel’s Frank Lenti, who is second all-time in wins (339) and first in state titles (11).

2. Heisman Trophy winners who played high school football in Illinois. Evanston’s Clint Frank and Fenwick’s Johnny Lattner.

3. Number worn by Steinmetz grad Tony Canadeo. The Pro Football Hall of Famer is one of five Packers to have his number retired.

4. Straight Super Bowls coached for South Shore grad and Pro Football HOF coach Marv Levy with the Bills.

5. NFC championship games reached by Mount Carmel graduate Donovan McNabb, the second overall pick in the 1999 NFL draft by the Eagles. Holds many team records, including victories.

6. Fewest points scored in an IHSA title game or the Prep Bowl. Four Prep Bowls have ended 6-0, most recently in 1957. Two state title games ended by that score: the 1980 6A game (Gordon beat Reavis) and the 1981 1A game (Aquin beat Maroa-Forsyth).

7. Number worn by Crane grad, Bears founder and football HOF member George Halas, who led team to six NFL titles in 40 seasons.

8. State titles won by Addison Driscoll, including a state record seven in a row from 2001-07.

9. State record for fewest wins by a team playing for an IHSA title. Four teams entered the title game with nine wins: East St. Louis (1979, 5A), Immaculate Conception (2008, 2A) and Montini (2009, 5A) won. Glenbard North (2007, 8A) lost to Naperville North to become the only team to play for a championship, yet finish the year with single-digit wins.

10. Pro Bowls played in by Crane grad Leo Nomellini, a Pro Football Hall of Famer and the 49ers’ first-ever draft pick.

11. Shutouts by Monmouth Yorkwood in 1983, a single-season record.

12. Touchdowns scored in one game by Westville’s Caleb Pratt, in 2007 against Hoopeston, a state record.

13. Number worn by Oak Park grad, former Bear George Trafton, a Pro Football HOF who is credited as being the first center to snap the ball with one hand.

14. Jersey number worn by Waukegan product, Pro Football HOF QB Otto Graham.

15. Consecutive shutouts by Pittsfield (1969-71), a state record.

16. Former high school players from Illinois in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

17. State championship appearances by Joliet Catholic, which has won 13, a state record. Tied for appearances record with Mount Carmel (12 titles). 

18. Birth year of Mooseheart grad and former Marmion football coach Nick Kerasiotis, who played 10 games with the Bears in the 1940s. Kerasiotis played with Jackie Robinson in the 1941 college all-star football game against the Bears.

19. Field goals made by Lincoln-Way Central's Jake Wieclaw in 2006, a state record. Wieclaw, who also holds the career record (48), graduated in 2008.

20. Most catches in the single game. Shared by St. Patrick's Guy DiBalsamo (Oct. 22, 2010) and Carbondale's Shamarc Bursey (Sept. 20, 2013).

(19)21. Year Lane grad and Pro Football HOF Fritz Pollard became the first black coach in NFL history (Akron Pros). He was one of the first two black players in the league the year before for the Pros.

22. Career collegiate wins for quarterback Brett Basanez, a Northwestern record. The St. Viator alum accounted for 11,576 yards of total offense, another Wildcat record, and was named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year in 2005. Finished career with 32 Northwestern records, most notably career passing yards, total offense, completions and passing TDs. 

23. TD catches by Kyle Prater, a 5-star recruit from Proviso West, in his senior season (2009).

24. Most tackles by an individual in a state final, Rock Island Alleman's Tom Kearney (15 solo, 9 assists) against Belleville Althoff in 1990.

25. Number Garrett Wolfe wore with the Bears. Wolfe, a 5-foot-7 running back who attended Fenwick and Holy Cross before Northern Illinois, was the 93rd pick in the 2007 NFL Draft. He ran for 5,722 yards with 57 touchdownsin three years with the Huskies, where he was named an All-American. He also owns six Huskie all-time records.

26. State record for most sacks in one season, by Schaumburg’s Adam Sesso in 1999. That season alone puts Sesso fifth on the state’s all-time sacks list.

27. Points scored in one NFL game in 1923 by Evanston product John “Paddy” Driscoll, a Pro Football Hall of Famer and former Chicago Cardinal and Bear.

28. Passes intercepted by Tolono Unity’s Jason Henry from 1996-97, a state record. Henry is the only player in IHSA history to pick off at least 12 passes in two different seasons. He was named second-team All-State by the Tribune in 1997.

(19)29. First year Loyola graduate Bert Metzger won a national championship as an offensive guard at Notre Dame. The College Football HOFer weighed 152 pounds, diminutive enough to earn the nickname ‘watch-charm guard.’ He was named an All-American in 1930 — Knute Rockne’s last season — as the Irish won another national title.

30. Number of playoff appearances for Simeon, more than any other Public League team. The Wolverines have never played for a state title. Thirty playoff trips without a title-game appearance is a state record.

31. Playoff games in each class of the IHSA state tournament. There are 16 first-round games, 8 second-round games, 4 quarterfinals, 2 semifinals and 1 state title game. That format has been used since 1985, when the playoffs expanded from 16 teams to 32 per class.

32. IHSA record for most years between state titles for one team. Metamora won Class 3A in 1975, then lost six title games before its next crown in 2007 (5A).

33. Touchdowns scored by Staunton in a 233-0 win over Gillespie in 1923, both state records.

34. Number worn by Niles West, Illinois product Rashard Mendenhall in 5 seasons with the Steelers. First-round pick ran for 4,236 yards in 6 NFL seasons.

35. Number worn by Austin grad Pete Pihos, a Pro Football Hall of Famer for the Eagles who caught the winning TD pass in the 1949 NFL championship game.

36. Most single-game rushing attempts by Northern Illinois' Jordan Lynch (MAC Championship, Nov. 30, 2012). The Mount Carmel alum and 2013 Heisman finalist scored 100 touchdowns – 51 passing, 48 rushing, 1 receiving – in his Huskie career. Lynch ranks second on NIU's career total offense list.

(19)37. Year Austin High and Northwestern grad Bill DeCorrevont scored nine TDs on 10 carries against McKinley. He also kicked 3 PATs in the game for 57 points. His nine TDs are a Public League record. DeCorrevont had 3 TDs and 10 interceptions in five pro seasons with the Redskins, Lions, Chicago Cardinals and Chicago Bears.

38. Touchdowns scored by Glenbard North’s Justin Jackson in his senior season. The Northwestern-bound Jackson was named the 2013 Tribune Player of the Year. He amassed 6,584 yards and 84 touchdowns in his three-year varsity career.

39. Career sacks by Leyden’s Jon Kowalyshen, a state record.

40. Number worn by Joliet Catholic grad in high school and the NFL. Alstott played in 6 Pro Bowls with the Buccaneers and scored the first Super Bowl TD in Tampa Bay history in 2002, a 48-21 win over the Raiders.

41. IHSA state title games played before a team with two losses won a championship. Brother Rice (11-2) beat Reavis 14-0 for the 1981 Class 6A crown.

42. (to 3) Touchdown-to-interception ratio for 2010 Tribune Player of the Year, Wheaton South’s Reilly O’Toole.

43. Most passes completed by an individual in a playoff game. Greenville's Tyler Hutchinson (43-87, 645 yards, 6 TDs) against Mount Carmel (Ill.) on Nov. 12, 2013.

44. Total prep touchdown catches by Johnsburg product C.J. Fiedorowicz. He had 44 catches, 921 yards, 15 TDs as a prep senior, was an All-Big Ten tight end at Iowa, and drafted in the third round by the Houston Texans in 2014. He also wore No. 44 on the Johnsburg basketball team.

45. Career NFL TDs by Pro Football HOF tight end Kellen Winslow, an East St. Louis graduate who played 9 seasons with the Chargers.

(19)46. Year Illinois great and Evanston grad Alex Agase won the Tribune’s Silver Football as Big Ten MVP. Agase left Illinois during World War II, played at Purdue while in training, earned a Purple Heart in Japan and returned to Champaign in 1946 to lead the Illini to a Rose Bowl win. He later played for the Chicago Rockets and coached at Northwestern.

(19)47. Year St. Ignatius grad, former Chicago Cardinals owner Charles Bidwill, a Pro Footbal HOF, died. The franchise won the NFL championship later that year.

48. Years since Highland Park native Hugh “Shorty” Ray was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The 5-foot-6 Illinois grad served as the NFL’s officials supervisor from 1938-52, helped standardize rules that promoted safety and faster play.

49. Length (in yards) of Martin Calkins’ fumble return for a touchdown for Gordon Tech in the 1980 Class 6A final against Reavis. The Rams won 6-0 for their only football championship in the lowest-scoring title game in IHSA history.

50. Years coached by Ron Holtman, Illinois’ overall all-time high school wins leader. Holtman won 381 games at Alton Marquette (11 years) and Mary Institute-Country Day School (39 years) in St. Louis, Mo.

51. Jersey number worn by Chicago Vocational grad and Bears Hall of Famer Dick Butkus.

52. Touchdowns scored by Morris’ John Dergo during the 2005 season, a state record.

(19)53. Year Fenwick grad Johnny Lattner won the Heisman Trophy while playing for Notre Dame. First-round pick by the Steelers played one season in the NFL and was a Pro Bowl pick before joining Air Force, where an injury ended his career.

54. Losses, against 222 wins, including 5 state titles in 27 seasons for Hall of Fame coach Gordie Gillespie at Joliet Catholic. 

19(55). Year Pro Football HOF Mike McCormack, a Chicago native, was traded to the Browns. Made 6 Pro Bowls in 8 seasons for Cleveland while blocking for Jim Brown and Otto Graham.

56. Career touchdown passes by Isiah “Juice” Williams at Illinois, second on the school’s all-time list. Williams graduated from Vocational in 2006 and led the Illini to the Rose Bowl in 2007. 

57. Number of 4- and 5-star players from Illinois since 2006, as rated by Rivals. Includes four 5-star players -- Simeon’s Martez Wilson (2007), Proviso West’s Kyle Prater (2010), Crete-Monee’s Laquon Treadwell and Joliet Catholic’s Ty Isaac (2013).

58. State championship games played between two undefeated teams. The last battle of unbeatens was the 2013 Class 5A title game, in which Sacred Heart-Griffin beat Montini 38-28. The feat occured eight times in the first 13 IHSA title games.

59. Longest field goal made in a game, by Lockport’s Nick Setta, in 1996 against Bloom. Setta went on to play for Notre Dame.

60. Passing touchdowns for Wheaton South’s Jon Beutjer in 1998, a state record. Beutjer went on to play for Illinois. 

(19(61. Year Archbishop Weber High School won its first of two Prep Bowls. The undefeated Red Horde beat Lane 14-12 in front of 83, 750 fans at Soldier Field. Weber won 242 games from 1929 until its final season in 1998.

62. Most single-season team passing touchdowns in state history, by Riverside-Brookfield in 2001. R-B also tallied a state-record 5,056 yards on 345 completions and 546 attempts that year.

63. Season high in receptions accomplished twice by Phillips grad Mike Pruitt, 7th overall pick by the Browns in 1976. Ran for 7,378 yards and had 1.860 yards receiving in 11 seasons.

64. (-64) Fewest yards allowed in a single game, Aurora Christian to DuSable on Aug. 28, 2009. DuSable tallied 26 passing yards and -90 rushing.

65. Career rushing touchdowns for Hubbard’s Charles Frazier, a 1998 Tribune first-team All-State selection. He starred in the 65th Prep Bowl, a 28-16 victory against Joliet Catholic in which he had 172 rushing yards and 3 TDs.

66. Jersey number worn by Proviso (now Proviso East) grad, Illinois great, former Packer and Pro Football Hall of Famer Ray Nitschke. 

67. Jersey number worn by Young grad Russell Maryland, the No. 1 overall pick in the 1991 NFL draft.

68. Career receiving touchdowns by Montini’s Jordan Westerkamp from 2008-11, a state record.

(19)69. Year Pittsfield began its state-record shutout streak of 15. Pittsfield won 64 consecutive games from 1966-73, another state record.

70. Points scored by Montini in 2011 Class 5A final against Joliet Catholic, the most in a title game.

71. Number worn by De La Salle grad, Bears great George Connor. Pro Football HOF was All-NFL five times at three positions.

72. Longest fumble return for a touchdown in a state final. Metamora's Doug Neff took one back against Geneseo Darnall in 1976.

(19)73. Year Gordon Tech and Purdue grad Gregg Bingham was drafted in the fourth round by the Houston Oilers. Bingham played his entire 12-year career with Houston and owns the Oilers/Titans record for most career tackles (1,970).

(19)74. Year the IHSA football playoffs were first held. Flanagan (1A), Decatur St. Teresa (2A), West Chicago (3A) and Rockford East (4A) won titles that year.

75. Catches by Crete-Monee junior Laquon Treadwell in 2011. The Ole Miss receiver was the 2012 Tribune Player of the Year and was named SEC Freshman of the Year in 2013.

76. Years since Englewood High School, Notre Dame grad, College Football HOF Charlie Bachman coached Michigan State in the Orange Bowl, his only bowl appearance as a coach. Once held world record for discus throw.

77. Jersey number worn by Wheaton graduate, Illinois star and Pro Football Hall of Famer Red Grange, who played 8 seasons in the NFL, mostly with the Bears.

78. Points scored by victorious Freeport Aquin in the highest-scoring game in state history (152 points) in which the loser was not shut out. Freeport beat Eastland-Pearl City 78-74 on Sept. 6, 2002. Seven teams scored more than 152 points in shutout wins, all during the first half of the 20th century.

79. Career rushing attempts by Thornton grad Antwaan Randle El, who played 9 NFL seasons as a WR. First receiver to throw TD pass in Super Bowl history when Steelers beat the Seahawks 21-10 in 2006.

(19)80: Year Mount Carmel won the first of its 12 state championships. Was the lone title under coach Bill Barz; remaining 11 under Frank Lenti.

81. NFL games played by Marian Catholic graduate, Loyola coach John Holecek in 7 seasons.

(19(82. Year Robeson played in Class 5A state final. Rockford Guilford defeated Robeson 16-12. No other Public League school has played for state title.

83. Most pass attempts in state title game. Maine South, Lockport set the record in 2003. Aledo and Tuscola matched it in 2006.

84. Years since death of Hyde Park grad, College Football HOF Walter Eckersall, a former Tribune sportswriter for whom CPS stadium was named in 1949.

(18)85. Year of the first known high school football game between Illinois schools. Lake View beat South Division.

86. Last year of Batavia grad Ken Anderson’s 17-year NFL career as QB for the Bengals. He was a 4-time Pro Bowler who passed for 32.838 yards and was NFL MVP in 1981. Twice he led league in passing yards and four times in passer rating.

87. Years since the first Prep Bowl was played in 1927. The game drew 50,000 fans. Mount Carmel defeated Schurz 6-0 in what became the annual postseason meeting between the Catholic League and the Chicago Public League.

88. Points scored by Salem’s Don Wile, a state record, in a 184-0 win over Fairfield in 1943.

89. Year Kaneland grad and former Aurora Christian coach Don Beebe was drafted by the Bills (82nd overall). Beebe played in 4 Super Bowls in 9 seasons and won 2 state titles at AC.

90. Dollars per week earned in his first season by Collinsville grad, Pro Football HOF George Musso, who played 12 years with the Bears and lined up against future presidents Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford.

91. Years since Staunton beat Gillespie 233-0, the most lopsided score in the history of IHSA football.

92. Longest punt in state history, by T.F. North’s Dennis Grabarek vs. Tinley Park in 1984.

93. Year four schools won their only football state titles: Loyola (6A), Marian Catholic (4A), Pontiac (3A) and Coal City (2A).

94. NFL games played by Saints running back Pierre Thomas, a T.F. South and Illinois product. Scored a TD in a 31-17 Super Bowl XLIV victory against the Colts.

95. Number worn by Martez Wilson after being drafted by the Saints (72nd overall) in 2011.Former Simeon, Illinois linebacker was a prep All-American (2006) and All-Big Ten first-team pick (2010).

96. Year former Mount Carmel and Illinois defensive lineman Simeon Rice was drafted. Rice was a 2-time All-American, 3-time Pro Bowler, won Super Bowl XXXVII and has career 122 sacks.

97. Touchdowns scored by Maroa-Forsyth in 2006 -- the year it won its first state title -- a state record.

98. Record for most rush attempts in a Class 4A title game. Joliet Catholic (54 rushes) beat Metamora (44) 27-14 for the 2000 4A championship. The teams combined for 514 rushing yards and 9 yards passing.

99: Years since Chicago North West Division High grad, Notre Dame coaching legend Knute Rockne last played professionally in Ohio. He won four national titles with the Fighting Irish.

100: Career rushing TDs by Dunbar's Rausell "Rocky" Harvey, second all-time behind Westville's Caleb Pratt (112).

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