Lockport’s Ty Schultz ends career with big night in Class 8A state championship win

DeKALB – Lockport running back Ty Schultz could not have dreamed of a much better finish to his high school career after suffering a torn ACL in February and missing his entire six-game junior season as he made his way back.

Schultz spent the first few weeks on crutches as he rehabbed with the belief he would play in big games again.

Schultz got the perfect ending Saturday as he piled up 231 yards and scored a pair of touchdowns to help lead Lockport to the Class 8A state championship with a 24-6 win over Maine South at Northern Illinois University’s Huskie Stadium.

Lockport won its third state title, joining Porters teams in 2002 and 2003.

“It’s really special,” said Schultz, who had a 11-yard touchdown in the first quarter and added a 7-yarder in the fourth. “I think we’re all going to be looking back and sharing stories. I share it with all the offense. Everybody was doing what they were supposed to. They were doing well up front. That’s the only reason I got those 230 yards.”

Schultz stood out as a runner as a sophomore but was knocked out for all six game during the COVID-19 shortened spring season.

He returned in Week 3 this season but was eased back to action.

Lockport coach George Czart was happy to give his big-time running back the bulk of the carries Saturday. Schultz accounted for 32 of the team’s 45 attempts and averaged 7.2 yards a carry.

“He’s gotten stronger as the year has gone on, and why not give it the guy?” Czart said. “He’s a threat to break it at any point. Ty’s a special runner. Who knows what it would have been like if he didn’t get that surgery. He’d probably have 6,000 yards by now.”

Czart also praised senior running back Andrew LoPresti for stepping up in Schultz’s absence. LoPresti put the finishing touches on the championship victory, scoring from 21 yards out with 2:50 remaining. He finished with 69 yards on eight carries.

“Andrew was a guy that could do the same thing,” Czart said. “And they blocked for each other. When Andrew was getting yardage, this guy [Schultz] was blocking for him. And vice versa.”

Schultz said it was tough watching his teammates play during the spring, but he was encouraged by what he saw from his teammates on the field.

He always believed they had enough talent to win a state championship.

“In the six-game season, we were progressing like rapid pace,” Schultz said. “Even with the seniors gone, we kept getting better and better. This season, we really worked hard in the offseason. That’s what got us here.”