LINCOLN — It's been a long road for Sutton to get to the Class C-2 state championship for the first time in 23 years. The Mustangs had their best regular season, going 8-0, in several years — the last time they came close to that was 2004 when they went 7-1 — and tallied more wins this season than the last three combined.
But it's hard to think of the good that came out of a season when the final game is a loss, especially when it's in the state championship.
Sutton fell in the Class C-2 title game 35-20 to Aquinas Catholic (13-0), which won its second straight championship and 26th straight game, Tuesday at Memorial Stadium.
The two teams, which are very similar on paper, combined for 593 yards on the ground — Sutton with 288 and Aquinas Catholic with 305. But in the end, it was the Monarchs' size and rushing attack that were too much for the Mustangs (12-1).
"(Aquinas Catholic) just wore us down. They're a big, physical team and the plain and simple fact is they just wore us down," Sutton head coach Steve Ramer said. "We were fine with their size in the first half. We were moving it and moving it, and then it was a little bit of a warm day and their size just kind of wore on us. I think they consistently do what they do, and they do it well. It just wore on us."