CHICAGO — Phillips became the first Chicago Public League football team in 32 years to advance to the IHSA state finals with a dominant 26-6 victory over Coal City in a Class 4A semifinal on Saturday at Gately Stadium.
Simeon rallied from two scores down but lost 35-28 to Homewood-Flossmoor in a Class 8A Final Four matchup at Gately later Saturday night.
Phillips (12-1) will play Rochester, a winner at Herrin, at Champaign's Memorial Stadium on Friday, Nov. 28.
Phillips has won 11 straight games following its only defeat of the season, 20-13 to Mundelein Carmel on Sept. 6. On Saturday, the Wildcats took a 26-6 halftime lead and cruised from there.
Bronzeville-based Phillips, founded in 1904, is the city's first predominantly African-American high school. Famous alumni include entertainer Dinah Washington, historian Timuel Black, baseball star Ted "Double Duty" Radcliffe and Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Gwendolyn Brooks.
In a statement late Saturday celebrating Phillips' win, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said: "This group of young men are the definition of perseverance and determination. I spoke with Coach [Troy] McAllister after Saturday's game and told him that his team has become the pride of Bronzeville and an inspiration to the City of Chicago, and we will be cheering them on as they play for the state title on Friday. Go Wildcats!"
In a Class 7A semifinal, Mount Carmel lost 42-21 to Providence.
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