Lena-Winslow senior Tyler Barthel and his teammates acknowledge the fans after winning the Class 1A state football championship over Central A&M Friday at Northern Illinois University.
Lena-Winslow senior Tyler Barthel and his teammates acknowledge the fans after winning the Class 1A state football championship over Central A&M Friday at Northern Illinois University. — Mark Busch - mbusch@shawmedia.com

If you're fortunate enough to play 14 games in an Illinois high school football season, that amounts to 840 total minutes of game time.

Lena-Winslow trailed for less than a minute its entire season.

839 minutes of dominance culminated in the Panthers smashing records on their way to a 58-20 Class 1A state title victory against a really good Central A&M team on Friday at Huskie Stadium.

"If you'd ask me, they could probably win in 1A, 2A, 3A or potentially 4A," Central A&M coach Brent Weakly said. "I think you could probably say that."

The Panthers scored the most points in the history of the 1A state title game, and running back Sean Ormiston's six total touchdowns (five rushing, one interception return) set the new 1A title game record for touchdowns in a game.

On a team with two Iowa recruits, Ormiston (listed at 6-foot, 206 pounds) doesn't have a college offer. He might look pretty good playing on this same Huskie Stadium turf next fall, especially given the recent run of Huskies to the NCAA's transfer portal.

Lena-Winslow scored more than 500 points more than its opponents, scored fewer than 40 points in a game just once (a 30-0 shutout of Stockton in Week 5), and had the largest margin of victory in the 1A state title game since 1976.

All of it adds up to one argument: This version of Lena-Winslow might be the best ever in Class 1A.

While acknowledging that it's difficult to compare teams across eras, let alone his other three teams that have won state titles this decade, Lena-Winslow coach Ric Arand didn't shy away from how he felt about his most recent state champs.

"I'll take these guys against anybody," Arand said, later adding that he would pick his defensive front four "over anybody."

The 1A champs were so dominant it sparked a press box discussion not about whether or not the Panthers would win the state title in the next class up, but about another team that played for a state title on Friday, one just about 50 miles down the road, Class 3A's Byron?

"That will never happen," Lena-Winslow senior Isaiah Bruce said after the win, flashing a smile, "but we'll give anybody a shot."