- Associated Press - Friday, November 25, 2016

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) - Elmhurst IC Catholic Prep scored 29 points in the first quarter and 14 more in the third to start the mercy-rule running clock against Carlinville in a 43-0 win at Friday’s IHSA Class 3A football state finals. It was IC’s eighth shutout of the year.

Jordan Rowell scored four times as part of a 270-yard rushing night and Luke Ricobene threw two touchdown passes, both in the game’s first minute for the Knights (14-0).

Ricobene threw touchdowns to Lazerck Eastman and Matt Sutton. The first was a 37-yarder to Sutton, who made a terrific diving catch in the end zone in the first quarter. The second came just nine seconds later to Eastman after an onside kick was recovered by the Knights

“The lead definitely changed some things for us as far as being comfortable. The line did a great job and gave me all kinds of time to throw,” Ricobene said. “Up a couple of scores really made it easier to work out there.”

IC Catholic didn’t completely shut down Carlinville’s Kyle Dixon, who entered the game with 2,998 yards rushing. Dixon finished with 115 yards but couldn’t find the end zone.

“It was tough out there,’ Dixon said. “I was surprised by how hard they hit. They hit really hard.”

The Knights (14-0) scored 253 points in their five playoff games and gave up just 28. They enjoyed a running clock in all their postseason victories, except for a 48-14 quarterfinals win against Wilmington. IC was just as good in the regular season, surrendering 66 points all year, with 49 coming against Burbank (St. Laurence).

The Cavaliers finish the year at 12-2. It was their first trip to the finals.

The win gives IC (formerly Immaculate Conception) its third state title.

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