The 26th time was the charm for Stevenson. The Patriots, who made their 26th consecutive playoff appearance in 2014, captured their first-ever state title with a 31-25 win over Homewood-Flossmoor (11-3) in the 8A title game Saturday night.
Stevenson, which finishes the year a perfect 14-0, needed to dodge a bullet at the end. The Patriots led 31-16 with 2:21, but gave up a safety and a H-F touchdown that cut the lead to 31-25 with 1:55 to go in the game. After the Vikings recovered an on-sides kick, they began to drive, but the game ended when Stevenson recovered a fumble to seal the victory.