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Crete-Monee's LaQuon Treadwell (6) runs in for a touchdown during Saturday's IHSA State Championship game between Crete-Monee and Cary-Grove high schools, hosted at the University of Illinois in Champaign, IL. | Paul Bergstrom ~ For Sun-Times Media
CHAMPAIGN -- If there was any doubt that Crete-Monee senior Laquon Treadwell should be in the conversation as one of the best all-time players in Illinois history, it was put to rest Saturday afternoon in Champaign.
Treadwell, who has narrowed his college choices down to Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Michigan, Michigan State, and Ole Miss, looked like a men amongst boys during his team’s 33-26 Class 6A state title win over Cary-Grove.
“It’s my preparation,” said Treadwill, who had two touchdowns--one on a 69-yard run, the other a 57-yard pass from Marcus Terrell. “The way I train helps this game become very instinctive to me.”
The wide receiver/safety/kicker had 178 all-purpose yards, including six catches for 85 yards and six rushes for 93 yards. His biggest play, however, occurred on defense in the third quarter when he intercepted a pass following a fumble recovery by the Trojans on the Warriors 26-yard line.
The Trojans had just pulled to within four at 20-16, but the Warriors scored one play later on a 52-yard pass to Lance Lenoir from Terrell.
All of that accomplished with the Trojans knowing Treadwell, who tied two of his teammates for a game-high 12 tackles, was the player they needed to stop if they wanted to win the school’s second-ever state title.
“He made some plays we’ve never seen people make before,” Cary-Grove second-year coach Brad Seaburg said. “The interception that he made in the third quarter was unbelievable. He was up at the line of scrimmage and jumped underneath our out route and made the play. He’s unbelievable.”
Treadwell wasn’t done. On the ensuing kickoff he was the first gunner down and made a solo tackle for no gain, garnering an overwhelming cheer from the crowd, leaving them to wonder, “What else can he do?”
There was still more left for Treadwell to do, and he again obliged.
After the Trojans pulled within the final score with 3-minutes left, Treadwell stepped up and recovered the onside kick. His final contribution was a pair of bone-crushing hits on two incomplete passes on the Trojans final drive.
“He’s been making big plays since he was a sophomore,” Crete-Monee coach Jerry Verde said. “That’s what kind of kid he is.”
The Warriors sniffed playoff success in 2009 and 2010 when they advanced to the state quarterfinals. The aroma of being a state champion now wafts through the hallways of Crete-Monee for the first time in school history.
This state title will be forever remembered as the one that was brought to them by Treadwell, clearly the best player in school history who provided one of the best overall individual performances in state championship history.