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7A Football: L-W East's Corbett Shines in Title-Game Setback

Lincoln-Way East senior wide receiver and running back Justin Corbett made big plays in the second half as the Griffins rallied in a 10-8 loss to Glenbard West on Saturday night in the Class 7A state championship game.

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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john bruno November 25, 2012 at 03:18 AM
Congrats to Coach Zvonar and the Griffins. Go get 'em next year. n.b. Coach...you didn't really expect a kid who barely played all year to make a play for you in a Championship Game with 1 second left, did you? Every game during the season when you were leading by 21 or more points in the 4th quarter during the season, you should have substituted for your quarterback. In this game, even though F was playing lousy (and you have to admit that), you had no one to back him up as an option.
Eric B. November 25, 2012 at 03:52 AM
Play calling hurt us today and it hurt us last year against WWS. Hindsight is always 20/20, but we abandoned the running game that got us here in the first half. After Tommy got hurt, we played simple smash-mouth football and we were able to move the ball in the 2nd half.
Randy Rhinesmith November 25, 2012 at 05:17 PM
As a Glenbard West fan, I have to say how impressed I was with what a great opponent your team was. The heart that your team played with was really amazing. Fuessel, Langenderfer (spelling?) and the whole team showed a lot of class and heart. They made the outcome uncertain until the very end and never gave up. Your whole community should be proud and treat them like the champions they really are. Congratulations to the players and coaches. You have a first class program as shown by your record. We hope to see you next year again in the finals.

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