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Red Devils Football: Making History in southern Illinois Through thick and thin, the 2019 Murphysboro Red Devils made school history with their first IHSA Class 4A Football Championship appearance in school history

Photos by Brian Munoz for The Southern Illinoisan

The 2019 Murphysboro Red Devils football team captured the hearts of their community while earning this year's IHSA Class 4A Football Championship runner-up trophy by doing what no other Murphysboro football team has ever done – making it to the state championship. Building community through football, the Red Devils' resiliency and grit brought a community together - rallying until the very end.

Will Stephens, Murphysboro mayor, takes a ticket from Emily Hanhn, a local elementary school secretary, while boarding a fan bus to the IHSA Class 4A State Championship on Friday, Nov. 29, 2019, in Murphysboro, Ill. "As a former Red Devil cheerleader, I'm just ecstatic we've made it this far," Hahn said.
LEFT: Murphysboro Red Devils fans anxiously await their arrival to Huskie Stadium before the IHSA Class 4A State Football Championship against the Richmond-Burton Rockets in Dekalb, Ill. RIGHT: Murphysboro residents wait outside of a fan tent before the start of the game.
Members of the Murphysboro Red Devils football team get into the zone before the IHSA Class 4A Championship against the Richmond-Burton Rockets.
LEFT: Murphysboro head coach Gary Carter takes a moment to himself before the 2019 IHSA Class 4A State Football Championship game in Dekalb, Ill. RIGHT: Murphysboro Red Devils freshman Thomas Wilkins prays on Friday, Nov. 29, 2019, before the IHSA Class 4A State Football Championship against the Richmond-Burton Rockets in Dekalb, Ill.
Murphysboro Red Devils senior Jameirr Frazier (52) applies eye-black on senior Darius Campbell (50) on Friday, Nov. 29, 2019, before the IHSA Class 4A State Football Championship game.
LEFT: Murphysboro Red Devils senior Michael Shearer (61) waits to run into warmups. RIGHT: Dylan Powell, a senior snare player for the Murphysboro Crimson Express, cheers on the team on.
Murphysboro Red Devils head coach Gary Carter walks out with his team on Friday, Nov. 29, 2019, before the IHSA Class 4A State Football Championship against the Richmond-Burton Rockets in Dekalb, Ill.
Jason LeGrand, Murphysboro Red Devils assistant coach, talks to head coach Gary Carter during warmups.
The Murphysboro Red Devils kneel and pray on Friday, Nov. 29, 2019, before the IHSA Class 4A State Football Championship against the Richmond-Burton Rockets in Dekalb, Ill.
Jason LeGrand, Murphysboro Red Devils assistant coach, cheers the team on as they enter the field on Friday, Nov. 29, 2019, during the IHSA Class 4A State Football Championship against the Richmond-Burton Rockets.
LEFT: Murphysboro Red Devils senior Jake Hoppenstedt (24) is tackled by Richmond-Burton Rockets senior Tyler Anderson (10) during the IHSA Class 4A State Football Championship in Dekalb, Ill. RIGHT: Murphysboro's senior Kevin Kirkwood (3) receives the handoff from senior Jamarr McZeke (1).
Murphysboro Red Devils cheerleaders hype up the crowd on Friday, Nov. 29, 2019, during the IHSA Class 4A State Football Championship against the Richmond-Burton Rockets in Dekalb, Ill.
TOP LEFT:A Murphysboro Red Devils fan watches the IHSA Class 4A State Football Championship against the Richmond-Burton Rockets. TOP RIGHT: Rick Sherrill, of Murphysboro, cheers on the Red Devils during the second quarter of the IHSA Class 4A State Football Championship. BOTTOM:Murphysboro Red Devils cheerleaders pump up the crowd.
Murphysboro Red Devils head coach Gary Carter talks to the team on Friday, Nov. 29, 2019, during halftime of the IHSA Class 4A State Football Championship against the Richmond-Burton Rockets.
Jason LeGrand, Murphysboro Red Devils assistant coach, talks to the team on Friday, Nov. 29, 2019, during halftime at the IHSA Class 4A State Football Championship against the Richmond-Burton Rockets in Dekalb, Ill.
TOP: Murphysboro Red Devils senior Lataveon Caves (20) listens in to coaching staff at halftime. BOTTOM LEFT: Murphysboro Red Devils head coach Gary Carter sketches out a play. BOTTOM RIGHT: Jason LeGrand, Murphysboro Red Devils assistant coach, talks to senior Zane Caraway (47) at the half.
Murphysboro Red Devils senior Aiden Mcnitt (33) watches his teammates during the IHSA Class 4A State Football Championship against the Richmond-Burton Rockets.
LEFT: Richmond-Burton Rockets senior Dalton Wood (43) gets tackled by Murphysboro Red Devils junior Gavin Kuba (2). RIGHT: Murphysboro Red Devils senior Jamarr McZeke (1) hands the ball off to Jaquan Jackson (23).
Murphysboro Red Devils junior Preston Scott (56) and junior David Penrod (12) keep warm on Friday, Nov. 29, 2019, during the IHSA Class 4A State Football Championship against the Richmond-Burton Rockets in Dekalb, Ill.
Murphysboro's Nic Blaise (55) speaks to Jeff Green, team statistician, on Friday, Nov. 29, 2019, during a game against the Richmond-Burton Rockets at the IHSA Class 4A State Football Championship in Dekalb, Ill.
LEFT: Murphysboro Red Devils fans cheer on the team. RIGHT: Murphysboro head coach Gary Carter smiles to the bench. 
Murphysboro Red Devils senior Dezmond Clark (8) comforts junior Gavin Kuba (2) as the game clock runs down on Friday, Nov. 29, 2019, during the fourth quarter of the IHSA Class 4A State Football Championship in Dekalb, Ill.
TOP LEFT: Murphysboro Red Devils junior Gavin Kuba (2) holds his head in his hands as the game clock runs down. BOTTOM LEFT: Murphysboro Red Devils sophomore Justin Hunter (22) tears up in the fourth period. RIGHT: Murphysboro Red Devils senior Jake Hoppenstedt (24) and junior Gavin Kuba (2) embrace after falling to the Richmond-Burton Rockets at the 2019 IHSA Class 4A State Football Championship.
Murphysboro Red Devils senior Baden Dorsey (6) hugs a Red Devil cheerleader on Friday, Nov. 29, 2019, after their loss against the Richmond-Burton Rockets at the IHSA Class 4A State Football Championship in Dekalb, Ill.
TOP: Murphysboro Red Devils junior Gavin Kuba (2), left, and junior Trenton Shepard (75), right, weep after their loss of the IHSA Class 4A State Football Championship to the Richmond-Burton Rockets. BOTTOM: Murphysboro Red Devils junior Jaquan Jackson (23) hugs fellow students after winning the state runner-up trophy in Dekalb, Ill.
Murphysboro Red Devils senior Hunter Meade (5) raises his hands towards Murphysboro fans on Friday, Nov. 29, 2019, during a game against the Richmond-Burton Rockets at the IHSA Class 4A State Football Championship.
The Murphysboro Red Devils celebrate after winning the IHSA Class 4A State Football runner-up trophy on Friday, Nov. 29, 2019, after a game against the Richmond-Burton Rockets in Dekalb, Ill.
TOP LEFT: A firetruck from the Elkville Fire Department participates in a police/firetruck escort as the Murphysboro Red Devils arrive from the IHSA Class 4A State Championship on Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019, in downtown Murphysboro, Ill. TOP RIGHT: Nancy McNitt, of Murphysboro holds up a cutout of her son Aidan McNitt, a senior on the football team. BOTTOM: Murphysboro Red Devils fans line the streets of downtown Murphysboro.

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© Brian Munoz 2019 | www.brianmmunoz.com