A week after loss in the IHSA 8A state championship game, ESPN has tabbed the football team as the best in the state.
ESPN released its final Illinois rankings Monday and the Raiders, fresh off a to claim their first-ever state title, are at the top of the list.
After a playoff run that saw the top two teams lose in the early rounds, Bolingbrook emerged as the undisputed No. 1 football team in Illinois. The Raiders used one of the best defenses in recent memory, along with star quarterback Aaron Bailey, to go 13-1 and win the Class 8A championship with a 21-17 victory over Loyola.
Bailey, a candidate for Gatorade State Player of the Year, is just a junior, so he should return next year to make Bolingbrook a favorite again in 2012.
Loyola (13-1) and Montini (13-1) came in at No. 2 and No. 3, respectively.
Bolingbrook secured its first state crown with a stout defensive performance against Loyola. The Raider defense forced two turnovers, had three sacks and held Loyola to 182 yards of total offense, a new IHSA 8A record. This despite .
Raider , meanwhile, did just enough to help the Raiders win, finishing the game with 149 rushing yards, two rushing touchdowns while passing for 140 yards.
To watch a replay of the Raiders championship victory, CLICK HERE.