It took all 40 minutes to determine the 2017 Illinois Valley Youth (IVY) League champions.
The Morris Chiefs were facing an undefeated Momence Jr. Redskins team. An exchange of short-drive possessions early on was followed by a long Morris drive, stalling when the Chiefs missed a 35-yard field goal attempt that sailed left of the uprights during the first quarter. In the second quarter the Chiefs offense was rolling again as they scored the only points of the game on a run by Tyler Dutra, but they missed the extra point.
The Chiefs then had another long drive, which ended with a fumble inside the Momence 20. The remainder of the game saw a defensive slug fest by both teams until the final minutes. Momence connected on a 40-yard pass play to the Morris 35-yard line. Two plays later, Morris' Cameron Hatcher intercepted the ball inside the 5 and returned it 27 yards to the 32-yard line with 35 seconds on the clock. Victory formation followed and the Chiefs became the 2017 IVY League Super Bowl champions.
The Chiefs line consisted of A.J. Gonzalez. Jr., Matt Gonzalez, Tai Ferry, Steven McCaughn, and Trinity Sharp. They kept the Momence offensive line from opening gaps and allowed the linebackers and secondary to minimize Momence's offensive production. The linebackers are Jorge Loza, Josh Loza, Alana Beshoar and Tyler Dutra. They had an outstanding day as they contained the inside running game of Momence. The cornerbacks are Dakota Rogers, Gavin Bensa and Nico Howard. Safeties are Robert Metroz, Jr. and Cameron Hatcher. Together, the secondary kept the outside runs and the passing game to a minimum.
Josh Loza and Nico Howard stepped up from JV to the Varsity level to help out due to the loss of teammates Myles Johnston and Parker Pierce, who were injured in the previous playoff game.
Leading the Chiefs ground attack was Hatcher with 150 yards, Jorge Loza with 90 yards, Dutra with 65 yards and Beshoar with seven. Through the air, Hatcher was 2 for 2 for 33 yards. Receiving was Metroz, Jr. for 18 yards and Dutra for 15.
The Morris Chiefs Varsity team is coached by Kevin Goff, Paul Hatcher, Tony Zullo and Austin Murphy.
Junior Varsity: The Chiefs JV team took on the undefeated Monee Mavericks in the IVY League Super Bowl on a cold and sleet filled day. Although the Chiefs brought home the Super Bowl Runner-up trophy, the score of 33-6 does not depict the effort put forth by the Chiefs. Monee scored first in the first quarter on a touchdown run around the left edge. The Chiefs got their run game going, gashing the Maverick defense for several 20+ yard gains between the tackles, stalling out at the Mavericks 1-yard line by a forced fumble. The Mavericks scored again early in the second quarter for a 14-0 lead. The Chiefs would not quit, and answered back with a 78-yard TD drive lead by Jordan “The Morris Missile” Lazier and capped off with a 26-yard TD run by Nico Howard, taking the Chiefs into halftime trailing 14-6. Monee then got the ball at half and churned out another TD run. Morris then had a 62-yard drive that was thwawrted by a fumble in the fourth quarter. Although the score may look lopsided, the Chiefs tested an undefeated Monee team that had not been scored on all year, except by Morris. Monee had not given up more than 40 yards rushing all year long. The Chiefs brought the fight to Monee and caught a few bad breaks, but had more than 150 yards on the ground and five sacks in the game. Offensive lineman for the Chiefs were Thomas Dochterman, Caden Erickson at tight end, Donovan Revels, Josh Loza, Patrick Stroup, Kye Suarez, Ethan Fleming, Gabriella Calderon, Cody Gillespie, and Tyler Murphy. Offensive backs were Nico Howard, Johnny Clower, Jordan Lazier, Matthew Stark, and QB Dimitri Lindemuth. The defensive line consisted of Thomas Dochterman, Josh Loza, Caden Erickson, Mason Hulbert, Kye Suarez, and Alex Lopez. Linebackers were Nico Howard, Matthew Stark, Donovan Revels, Johnny Clower, and Jordan Lazier. Defensive backs were Dimitri Lindemuth, Jacob Kuder, Caden Erickson, Tony Elkin, Antonio Gomez, Zach Berman and Alex Grieff. The Chiefs JV team was led by head coach Brett Snyder, and assistant coaches Michael Calderon and Aaron Revels.