PEORIA, Illinois (WMBD) – The Washington Panthers prepping for the 6A state semifinals this week against East St. Louis.

Coach Darrell Crouch in his final season hoping to compete for a state championship. This year they’re at Hancock Stadium, an arena coach crouch knows well from his high school and college days. So he issued a challenge for his last senior class.

“Like when that came out last year I sent a picture to our four captains and was like Hey this is where I’d like to end up at. This has been my home for 19 years. That was my home. Through college I played in that stadium. Played in that stadium in high school with the intercity game at Normal Community like right across the strewet from there. It would be a huge finish.”

Darrell Crouch

“Us captains just got a text from him and was just like “This is my home.” And we all kinda looked at each other and was like we gotta do what we gotta do to get him back there. Like that’s our goal. We gotta get coach back there. It’s his last time, it’s his last opportunity. Why not end it out there where he started.”

Kainon McQueary

“He would love to finish there and I know the past couple years it’s been at NIU but when they got that bid this year it just feels like it’s coming full circle now and it’s really cool to us. Really took that to heart and we’re going to play with that on our shoulders this week.”

Garrett Cox

Normal Community battling against Downers Grove North in the 7A semifinals.

They needed a come from behind win last week and it was sparked by a defensive touchdown. The Ironmen defense and special teams have been known this year to put up a lot of points along with their offense.

“Cause like if the offense can’t score, we can. And you know you don’t really see many defensive touchdowns, so when you can it’s fun. Get into the end zone and don’t get caught.”

Brady Augstin

Really it’s just you have to take pride in all facets of whatever you’re called to do. If it’s playing defense or punt return or playing offense, you have to dominate your role. And it’s always a big deal when you can get turnovers on defense and can find ways to score on special teams.”

Jason Drengwitz, Normal Community Head Coach