Covering High School Sports in America
File photo by Chris Cecere

Julian Reinhart, Hornell

Three of the nation's longest football winning streaks were broken during the weekend as state playoffs became more challenging.

The longest streak to fall was 39 in a row by Boylan (Rockford, Ill.), which bowed to twice-beaten Lake Zurich (Ill.) 21-6 during the Class 7A state quarterfinals. The winners stifled Boylan on defense and had a pair of runners who rushed for over 100 yards - Connor Schrader with 126 and Sean Lynch with 118.

*West De Pere (De Pere, Wis.) had mowed down 39 consecutive opponents before being nipped by Waupaca (Wis.) 16-14 in the Division 3 state semifinals. Senior Beau Ash kicked the winning 22-yard field goal with 1:09 left - his first attempt during his four-year career - to send the unbeaten Comets into the state-title game. The 5-foot-10, 200-pound Ash also carried 11 times for 155 yards, including a 92-yard touchdown gallop in the first quarter.

*Cheverus (Portland, Maine) had stretched its winning streak to 34 before Thornton Academy (Saco, Maine) reversed an earlier 28-14 loss with a 20-13 triumph in the Class A state semifinals. Junior Andrew Libby did the bulk of the damage by running 28 times for 130 yards and scoring three touchdowns, in addition to delivering some big hits on defense.

*On the more predictable side, Hornell (N.Y.) raced to its 50th consecutive victory with a 27-6 decision against Cleveland Hill (Cheektowaga, N.Y.) during the Class C state quarterfinals. Julian Reinhart, a 5-11, 175-pound senior, made three interceptions and scored three touchdowns in the second half.

*Waunakee (Wis.) tied the state record by nipping Dominican (Whitefish Bay, Wis.) 35-28 in overtime during the Division 2 state semifinals for its 48th consecutive victory. The Warriors won on a 14-yard touchdown pass from Will Decorah to Ryan Kruser, but still needed an interception by Jack Dedrick to end the game.

*In a battle of unbeatens, Webb City (Mo.) made it 43 in a row with a 35-6 victory over Sullivan (Mo.) in the Class 4 state quarterfinals. Nate Brown set the table by blocking a field goal attempt - which was returned by Phoenix Johnson for a 77-yard touchdown - and blocking a punt, which also led to a touchdown.

*The win streak reached 42 for Regina (Iowa City, Iowa) following a 42-21 victory over Dike-New Hartford (Dike, Iowa) in the Class A state semifinals. Mark Ward completed 12 of 14 passes for 199 yards and two touchdowns and scored twice on short runs.

*Maryville (Tenn.) had a strong finish to beat Oak Ridge (Tenn.) 39-25 in the second round of the Class 6A state playoffs and extend its winning streak to 41 games. Shawn Prevo rushed for 180 yards and two important fourth-quarter touchdowns, while Nick Myers completed 12 of 18 passes, two for touchdowns.

*The Ithaca (IMich.) Yellowjackets posted their seventh shutout of the year and boosted their winning streak to an even 40 games with a 31-0 victory over Hill-McCloy (Montrose, Mich.) during the Division 6 state quarterfinals. Travis Smith completed 12 of 19 passes for 236 yards and ran 10 times for another 52 yards. Jordan Hessbrook led the defense with a pair of interceptions.

*Also moving up the ladder are Bellevue (Wash.), which reached 37 straight with a 28-0 shutout of Ferndale (Wash.) in the first round of the Class 3A state playoffs; Duxbury (Mass.), which raised its streak to 36 with a 35-0 blanking of Whitman-Hanson Regional (Whitman, Mass.); and Greenwood (Ark.), which won its 35th game in a row with a 56-14 victory over Fair (Little Rock, Ark.).