Monday, January 27, 2020
US flag

Longest rushing touchdown in a title game

NORTHERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY, DeKALB (Nov. 28) — Ivory Kelly-Martin, a 5'11" junior running back at Nazareth Academy in LaGrange Park, Illinois, had four rushing touchdowns in the Class 5A state title game this morning, including a 96-yard run in the second quarter, the longest touchdown run in IHSA state finals history.

Ivory Kelly-Martin of Nazareth Academy in LaGrange Park, Illinois, found a gap over right tackle in the state Class 5A title game & dashed up the right sideline to the end zone
Kelly-Martin found a gap over right tackle & dashed up the right sideline to the end zone. (more Voxitatis pics)

“My line was opening up the holes,” the Chicago Tribune quoted him as saying about how the team played in their 42-21 state championship victory over Lincoln-Way West. “And I know what to do once I get to the second level.”

The run was the first (and only) play from scrimmage on Nazareth’s first drive of the second quarter, which began with 9:44 on the game clock after a Lincoln-Way West punt was downed at the 4-yard line. Quarterback Carson Bartels took the snap and handed off to Kelly-Martin, who found an opening over the right tackle.

Records for longest rushing touchdown, by class, in a state final game:

  • [Class 1A] 81 yards, Kenton Patrick, Carthage vs. Arcola, 1995
  • [Class 2A] 82 yards, Caleb Pratt, Westville vs. Dakota, 2007
  • [Class 3A] 94 yards, Jay Buckner, Anna-Jonesboro vs. Marquette (Ottawa), 1984
  • [Class 4A] 94 yards, Dave Schwabe, Driscoll (Addison) vs. Central Catholic (Bloomington), 2007
  • [Class 5A] 71 yards, Ty Isaac, Joliet Catholic Academy vs. Montini (Lombard), 2011
  • [Class 6A] 91 yards, Brandon Hughes, Bloomington vs. Carmel (Mundelein), 2003
  • [Class 7A] 63 yards, Dominic Sulo, Mt. Carmel (Chicago) vs. Prospect (Mt. Prospect), 2005
  • [Class 8A] 76 yards, Matt Perez, Maine South (Park Ridge) vs. Marist (Chicago), 2009

Kelly-Martin carried the ball 12 additional times in the game, gaining 170 yards total for his Roadrunners in their second consecutive football title, last year’s coming in Class 6A.

State championship game scores

Only the Class 7A game was close during this championship weekend or reasonably expected to be so, based on our mathematical models. However, Crete-Monee held off Montini’s power for at least the first half in Class 6A.

Here are the final scores of the championship games:

Note that Wendell Phillips Academy in Class 4A is a public coed high school with an enrollment of 559. The IHSA doesn’t apply a multiplier to “magnet” or lottery schools but does for “private” high schools, like Althoff Catholic in Class 4A. Phillips Academy has students from more than 70 different ZIP Codes in Chicago and doesn’t use geographical boundaries to restrict enrollment.

In large urban districts like Chicago, which is the third-largest school district in the country, the lines between “public” and “private” get a little blurry. But as far as we know, this is the first IHSA title in football for a school within the Chicago Public Schools district.

Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

Recent posts

Feds boost Bay funding

Restoration efforts in the Chesapeake Bay watershed received a boost in federal funding in the budget Congress passed last month.

Md. & IL bands perform on New Year’s in...

Bands from IL and Md. once again entertained thousands of people who lined the streets of London and Rome on New Year's Day.

Howard Co. sounds an under-staffing alarm

Teachers in a Md. district have filed a grievance over missing planning and lunch periods and, as a result, putting the most vulnerable students at risk.

Top 11 school stories of 2019

We find these 11 stories to have the greatest potential for influencing activity and direction in schools for the near future.

Girls’ volleyball champs in Illinois

We congratulate the Illinois state champions in girls' volleyball: Newark, St Teresa, Sterling, & Benet Academy.

A weekend of ‘band geeks’ across America

The musical Band Geeks was in performance at a MD high school, just as marching bands from across America named a national champion.

2 dead, 3 wounded in Calif. school shooting

Another school shooting has resulted in the death of 2 California high school students. The suspect shot himself and is in custody.

Mercury makes a transit; next in 2032

A transit of Mercury occurred today and was visible from the US, provided you had sunny skies. It was one of longest possible transits.

On the Naperville BWW racist incident

A racist incident at a Naperville, IL, sports bar indicates that the threads of racism are strong, perhaps as strong as ever.

IL bill could excuse absences to vote

A proposed law in IL could give students up to two hours during the school day so they could vote in the upcoming election.

Loan forgiveness gains some bipartisan support

One Republican from GA, who used to work under Betsy DeVos at the US Education Dept, offers a plan to forgive some student loan debt.