- Associated Press - Sunday, November 27, 2016

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) - Maine South scored 10 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to win the IHSA Class 8A state football championship on Saturday, beating defending Class 8A champ, Loyola Academy, 27-17.

The Hawks (11-3) lost to Loyola by a point, 44-43, in the regular season. This time, the break went the way of Maine South. After a huge 66-yard punt by Sean McNulty early in the fourth quarter, a Loyola fumble was recovered at the Ramblers’ 17, and Nick Leongas scored on the next play.

On its next possession, Maine South maneuvered through a 12-play, 66-yard drive that took up nearly five minutes of the clock. McNulty hit an 18-yard field goal to push the Hawks lead to 10 and wrap up the state title for Maine South.

The regular season loss was the only blueprint the Hawks needed.

“That was it, that’s all we needed. It inspired us,” Maine South coach David Inserra said. “All the motivation, all the homework, all the preparation, we did it to give ourselves a chance to win tonight.”

Fotis Kokosioulis led Maine South in rushing with 106 yards, and Leongas chipped in 76 on the ground. Leongas rushed for two touchdowns and threw for 124 yards and a touchdown.

Loyola running back Kyle Rock ran for 155 yards and a touchdown and quarterback Tommy Herion threw for 159 yards.

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