Amboy gears up for second straight state championship game

The Clippers take on Ridgewood for the 8-player title
Published: Nov. 16, 2023 at 10:59 PM CST
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MENDOTA, Ill. (WIFR) - This time last year the Amboy Clippers found themselves in a similar situation to the one they are in, prepping for their biggest game of the year...the state championship.

Last season their year came to an end in the state championship game with a heartbreaking loss 44-36. “That hurt a lot, honestly you dream of that moment since you’re a kid,” Senior tight end Vincent Zembruski said.

This feeling has stayed fresh in their minds. From day one of training camp the final score has been written on the mirrors of their weight room to serve as a reminder. The team says they’ve used it as motivation from the day last season ended. “It definitely motivated us all season”, Senior Brennan Blaine said.

Senior running back Quinn Leddlernan added on how last season’s devastating loss was a motivator for their season. “Our mentality was to handle it the best we can and go pay-by-play and our motto this year has always been 1-0, and that same as this week, 1-0.

The Clippers are the undefeated two-seed, having dominated on both sides of the ball. Averaging over 50 points per game and only allowing more than one touchdown in a game three times this season.

Their toughest test of the season came against Ridgewood in a 48-42 win in week five and the teams will face off once again on Friday, this time with a title on the line. “They had a really good trap play that kept working us and they ran that really heavily and we couldn’t really get the hang of it. We have a good game plan in place and we’ll be able to get the hang of that play,” said Zembruski.

Come Friday, they’re eager to make sure the story ends differently this year.

“Couldn’t get it done last year, but we got it this year. We got a second chance at it and most people don’t get to say that,” Zembruski said.

“This year we want to make sure to finish,” Blaine said.

“Hopefully we get to come out on top this time,” Leddlernan said.