DECATUR (WCIA) — St. Teresa has had the day after Thanksgiving circled on the calendar since this time last year and now the moment has come full circle. The Bulldogs (13-0) lost in the semifinals to Nashville 37-35 on a last second field goal last season, coming up one win short of a trip to the state championship game. Now with the team’s ticket punched to Friday’s title game at Memorial Stadium, the Bulldogs say they’re ready for their moment on the biggest stage.

“In the past years we’ve gotten so close but this year we finally actually made it to the final game and the state championship so we’re excited that we made it this far but we’ve got to realize our job’s not done,” St. Teresa senior linebacker Matthew Brummer said.

“We lost a heartbreaker last year in the semis and I can’t wait for them to be able to compete on that level on that stage,” St. Teresa head coach Mark Ramsey said.

“It’s the U of I so I’m shaking almost just thinking about the excitement that I’m going through,” St. Teresa senior lineman Noah Hayes said. “I’m also a little nervous too cause it’s a big place to be but I know I’m going to go out there and give it my best shot.”

St. Teresa faces Tri-Valley for the Class 2A state championship on Friday at 1 p.m. inside Memorial Stadium. The Vikings (11-2) play in the Heart of Illinois Conference and knocked off Maroa-Forsyth 36-6 in the semifinals to advance.

Watch all eight state title games on our air, with our sister station WCIX 49 broadcasting every game Friday and Saturday.