Football Saints in state semifinals

BLOOMINGTON — A surge into the state football playoff semifinals would be an emotional time for any high school, but it is especially so for Central Catholic this year.

The Saints’ 21-17 win over Quincy Notre Dame last Saturday came just four days after the school was shocked by the sudden death of Chuck Schanaberger, the longtime director of development known as “Mr. CCHS.” Central Catholic hosted a luncheon on Tuesday following Schanaberger’s funeral at Epiphany Church in Normal.

Earlier this year, Gary Dylan, the father of senior receiver Dylan Johnson, also died suddenly.

The Saints are giving the grieving school community a chance to exchange tears for cheers. Central Catholic, top-ranked in the state with a record of 12-0, hosts a Class 4A semifinal game this Saturday at 2 p.m. against Breese Mater Dei, which is also undefeated.

To make it to the semifinals, Central Catholic had to overcome an early 17-0 deficit, finally taking the lead on a screen pass from quarterback Adam Rebholz to fullback David Murray that resulted in a 50-yard touchdown. Rebholz also ran for a score and tossed a 10-yard touchdown pass to Johnson.

The Saints are coached by Bobby Moews who, noting the real-life losses the school community has endured, told The Pantagraph in Bloomington after Saturday’s win: “I guarantee you, everyone in heaven knows who won this game today.”

If the Saints win Saturday, it will mark their second consecutive trip to the state championship game.

Photo coverage of the semifinal game will appear in next week’s issue of The Catholic Post.

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