CHICAGO – Thanksgiving weekend is a time to celebrate for a number of reasons, and that includes the crowning of football champions in Illinois and Indiana.

That’s what happened this weekend in Champaign and Indianapolis as a number of teams the pinnacle of the sport in their respective sport.

The champions included a few teams in the Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana areas that are in the WGN viewing area. This “Random Hawlight” on WGN News Now salutes those teams for their achievements this past weekend.

IHSA Class 3A – IC Catholic (Elmhurst) – The Knights capped off a 13-1 season by beating Williamsville 48-17 at Memorial Stadium in Champaign thanks to a huge run after falling behind 10-0. IC Catholic would run off 48 unanswered points as they racked up 496 yards of offense. This is the sixth state football championship in school history.

IHSA Class 5A – Nazareth (LaGrange Park) – The Roadrunners captured their fourth football state championship in school history in an entertaining 45-44 win over Peoria on Saturday in Champaign. Nazareth finished the season with a 10-4 record, winning their final eight games of the season.

IHSA Class 7A – Mount Carmel (Chicago) – The Caravan added another chapter to their proud football history on Saturday with a 44-20 win over Batavia for the Class 7A championship. Mount Carmel finished their season with a perfect 14-0 record to win their first championship since 2019 and their 14th in school history.

IHSA Class 8A – Loyola Academy (Wilmette) – Defense has been a big key for the Ramblers all season long and it showed up in their Class 8A championship game once again. Loyola defeated Lincoln-Way East 13-3 in Champaign to win their fourth state championship in school history. It was the sixth time that the Ramblers had allowed seven points or less in a game.

IHSAA Class 5A – Valparaiso – Northwest Indiana had a state champion in 2022 in the Indiana High School Athletic Association. Valparaiso High School defeated Whiteland 35-31 to win the Class 5A state championship to finish their season 11-3. It’s the Vikings’ first state football championship since 1975. Justin Clark threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to Rocco Micciche for the winning score with 19 seconds left.

Larry Hawley has more on these teams in his “Random Hawlight” from WGN News Now in the video above.