The Catholic Memorial Crusaders scored three times in the first quarter but had to hold on in the end to defeat Ellsworth 21-12 to win the Division 4 State Football Championship, their third straight football title.
The Crusaders would score early on a 41-yard touchdown run by Corey Smith just 1:38 into the game. Catholic Memorial would recover a pooch kick and march right down the field again, capping off the drive with a 5-yard touchdown run by Rory Fox to take a 14-0 lead.
On Catholic Memorial would score again after Ellsworth turned the ball over on downs, scoring on a 27-yard pass from Fox to Obacoso Allen, giving Catholic Memorial a 21-0 lead.
Ellsworth would throw a pick on their next possession, setting Catholic Memorial up at mid-field to end the quarter. The Crusaders would outgain Ellesworth 197 yards to 26 in the first quarter.
The second quarter would belong to Ellsworth though, after forcing a turnover on downs, Ellsworth would go down the field in 5 plays capped off by an Ashten Quade 13 yard touchdown run, the two-point conversion would be no good, Ellsworth cut the lead to 21-6.
The Pathers would intercept Fox on the next Crusaders’ possession and march down the field again, this time scoring on a QB keeper from Jack Janke from 1 yard out with 1:10 remaining in the half, again they would miss on the two-point conversion.
The third quarter would see no scoring as Catholic Memorial punted on their possession before each team traded interceptions on long drives.
The fourth quarter would see Ellesworth go on a long drive before turning the ball over on downs that would take over 11 minutes. Neither team really threatened after that.
The loss by Ellsworth snaps the longest winning streak in the state going back to the beginning of the 2020 season.
Rory Fox led all passers going 9-15 for 80 yards a TD and 2 INTs, leading rusher on the game goes to Ellsworths Ashten Quade 14 carries for 94 yards and a TD.