The fall sports season provided fans with tons of "ooh" and "ahh" moments, from thrilling three-set matches in volleyball to close games under the Friday night lights.
Although the winter sports season is in full swing now, let's take a stroll down memory lane and review some of the best games the fall season had to offer.
10). Central at Momence, football
Let's start on the gridiron with the most meaningful regular season finale of the football season. Central, already having clinched a playoff spot, traveled to Momence, which sat at 4-4 and needed a win to see Week 10. Central started on fire, jumping out to a 30-6 lead before the Redskins began to make their rally behind Kobey Mazur's 459 passing yards. But Kollin Krumwiede proved too much to handle down the stretch, and the Comets ousted Momence 50-47.
9). Cissna Park vs. Watseka at Iroquois West, volleyball
I had the privilege of covering this game, and I had no idea what I was about to witness. Inside a packed Iroquois West gymnasium for the Sangamon Valley Conference tournament championship, the two titans did battle in an unbelievable three-set game. Cissna Park took the first set 25-22, Watseka stormed back 26-24 for the tie and owned a lead in the third set until Anna Jennings and Cissna Park rallied for an 8-0 run down the stretch to seal the victory.
8). Peotone at Herscher, football
Another fantastic football game in Week 9. This one wasn't about playoffs; this was about making history. Herscher was riding an 18-game regular season winning streak, and Peotone was aiming to finish with the best record in school history. After Peotone took a 14-0 lead, Herscher countered back with 21 unanswered points before Peotone tied the game at the half with a Hail Mary. The Blue Devils put the dagger in on a 15-yard touchdown run by Chandler Gartner late in the fourth quarter.
7). Manteno vs. Champaign Central, volleyball
The Class 3A Regional finals are no strangers to the Panthers, but sectionals are a different animal, and they learned that lesson quickly. In their sectional semifinal match, Manteno found itself trailing 21-15 in the third and final set when head coach Cheryl Davis called timeout in hope of one last gasp. And it worked, as the Panthers rallied and finished the game on a 12-4 run for a 27-25 third-set victory to continue their season.
6). Manteno vs. Peotone, soccer
Two teams extremely familiar with one another met for a third time, except this was to advance to a Class 1A Sectional Final. Both teams competed in a highly physical contest, and Manteno exacted its revenge with a 2-1 victory after Jack Trepanier netted two goals off assists from Matthew Schaeffer.
5). Bradley-Bourbonnais vs. Normal Community, soccer
The Boilers were on a mission all season to get back to state and hope for a state championship. However, they ran into trouble in the Class 3A Super-Sectional against Normal. Trailing 2-1 with a few minutes left, Nick Markanich collected a goal to tie the game. Playing with only nine players for both overtimes, the Boilers pushed the game to penalty kicks, seized the moment and made their way back to the state semifinals.
4). Bradley-Bourbonnais at Bishop McNamara, volleyball
When it comes to crosstown rivalry games, throw out the record books. Emotions were running high, school pride was on the line, and both teams brought it. After taking the first set 25-13 against Bishop McNamara, the Boilers found themselves in trouble, as the Irish showed how scrappy they were by coming from behind for a 25-23 victory. But Liz Schriner's serving and Allie Scheiwiller's net play were too much to handle in the third set, and the Boilers walked away victorious.
3). Manteno vs. Herscher, soccer
The Iroquois West Class 1A Sectional Final had a heartbreaking finish. With a trip to a Super-Sectional on the line, both teams battled to a scoreless game at the half, and just two minutes into the second half, a minor mistake resulted in an own-goal on Herscher, putting Manteno up 1-0. The Panthers' defense turned up the pressure and kept the score that way to claim a Sectional Title.
2). Manteno at Herscher, football
Manteno was just two games into the Shane Warren era at quarterback, but it looked as dangerous as ever. Rolling into Herscher, who was 6-0 at the time, was a tough, but not impossible, task. Warren hit Caleb Bourdeau to tie the game at 27 with a little more than three minutes left. That was too much time for Herscher. Using its time wisely, it melted the clock a little before Anthony Koranda found pay dirt from 25 yards out to seal the 34-27 victory.
1). Bradley-Bourbonnais at Kankakee, football
Everyone had this game marked as "must see". Once again, crosstown rivals mean a battle for bragging rights for the next 365 days. Kankakee had some extra juices flowing, it as it was the dedication night for its new turf football field. Both teams brought it for 48 minutes, and when it was all said and done, the Kays ended their losing streak to the Boilers 35-32 without completing a single pass.