Lincoln-Way East’s Justin Corbett felt like he left it all on the field.
“No regrets,” was how he summed up his final high school football game.
Corbett, a 6-foot-2, 205-pound senior wide receiver and running back, came up big in the second half of Lincoln-Way East’s 10-8 loss to Glenbard West in Saturday’s Class 7A state championship football game at Memorial Stadium in Champaign.
He scored East’s only touchdown on a 35-yard run. Two plays earlier, he snared a 22-yard sideline pass from Tom Fuessel that pumped life into a Griffins’ offense that was bottled up by Glenbard West up to that point.
Corbett finished with 82 yards rushing on 15 carries and 104 yards total offense.
“We all put in our best effort,” he said. “We left it all on the field. We came out on the short end. But I have no regrets. And the team has no regrets.”
Few expected Lincoln-Way East (13-1) to be playing on the final day of the season. The Griffins returned only five starters from a squad that went 10-1 in 2011. And, yet, there they were battling the Hilltoppers right to the finish.
East’s Tom Fuessel was stopped short on a fourth-and-10 run after he scrambled out of the pocket on a play that started at Glenbard West’s 13. The Hilltoppers’ Hayden Carlson flipped him head-over-heels at the 6 with 3:35 left.
“We were trying to go in the air, to get the ball into one of our receivers’ hands,” Corbett said. “But Tommy—being the great player that he is—rode out, got out of it and just came up a little bit short. I saw the hit. It wasn’t too nice. But we knew it was going to be physical, that it was going to be a hard-fought game.
“That was the best team we’ve played all year. You can’t ask for anything more than that in a state championship game.”
Corbett said he wants to play on the next level next season. He is being recruited by Northern Illinois, Illinois State, Eastern Illinois and Ball State.
“I’ll take some visits and figure it out,” he said.
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