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Staunton vs. Newman Central Catholic championship capsule

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Staunton Bulldogs (9-4) vs. Newman Central Catholic (12-1)

When: 1 p.m. Friday

Coaches: Staunton, Mike Parmentier, 93-69, including 53-40 in nine years at Staunton; Newman Central Catholic, Michael Papoccia, 286-92, 34 years all at NCC

Enrollments: Staunton 412; Newman Central Catholic 228 (private multiplier to 376)

Rankings: Staunton was the No. 8 seed in its quadrant; Newman Central Catholic was the No. 5 seed in its quadrant.

Championship history: This is Staunton's first time in the state championship; Newman Central Catholic has four state titles (1990 and 1994 in 1A and 2004 and 2010 in 2A) and finished second twice.

Common opponents: None

About the schools, towns: The current Staunton High was built in 1925. The town was incorporated in 1859 and has a current population of just over 5,000. A man named Stanton bought land there in the early 1800s, but decided to move on and gave the land to the town for a square. It was suggested to name the town Stanton after this man as a thank you. The grant to name the town was botched by a clerk in Washington D.C. and came back spelled Staunton, which was the same name of a town in Virginia. The name stuck. The 1923 Bulldogs football team beat rival Gillespie 223-0, still a state record. The school's only state title came in boys basketball in 1993. ... Newman Central Catholic is in Sterling in Whiteside County. It's just over 100 miles west of Chicago and 60 miles northeast of the Quad Cities. It was founded as St. Mary's High School in 1915. It adopted its present name when it moved to its current facilities in 1960. In addition to Sterling, the school draws students from twin city Rock Falls and Dixon. Sterling has a little more than 15,000 residents and nearly 25,000 live in Sterling and Rock Falls combined. The Comets' football team is known as the Blue Machine.

About the teams: Staunton is the only four-loss team still around and the first four-loss team to make a state championship since 2009 when Lombard Montini did it in Class 5A. Staunton has had to make late-game comebacks in most of its playoff victories and its usually quarterback Jake Bruhn (5-10, 160, sr.) and running back Marcus Sitko (6-1, 165, jr.) who have combined to end other teams' dreams. Bruhn has completed 85 of 146 for 1,137 yards. He's also rushed for almost 300 yards. Sitko has 34 catches for 592 yards and has carried the ball 102 times for 646 yards. Fullback Dustin Scheller (5-9, 225, sr.) has rushed for a team-high 811 yards. Scheller also leads the team with 136 tackles. A pair of important players, because of Newman Central Catholic's size, will be two-way lineman Quinten Brown (6-0, 290, sr.) at right guard and nose tackle and Jack Jones (6-2, 200, sr.) at right tackle. ... The Comets like to run, run, run. The team only passes about six times a game. Jake Snow (5-5, 155, sr.) is Newman Central Catholic's top rushing threat with 1,584 yards on 168 carries with 28 touchdowns. Two others, Brady Rude (5-8, 170, so.) and Dillen Heffelfinger (5-10, 185, jr.), have accumulated over 600 yards apiece. Rude also plays outside linebacker and is the team's leading tackler with 105 to go with six sacks. Linebacker Mac Olson (5-10, 205, sr.) is next with 103 tackles and three sacks. Another player to watch is powerful two-way lineman Jacob Barnes (6-3, 265, jr.).

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