State Quarterfinal Football Capsule Previews
November 8, 2012 7:52PM
Lavonte Blackful, of Lincoln-Way West, is swarmed by teammates after scoring on a wildcat play against Kaneland for the playoff game at Lincoln-Way West, Saturday, November 3rd, 2012 in New Lenox, IL | Gary Middendorf~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 10, 2012 6:11AM
NO. 2 EDWARDSVILLE (10-1) at NO. 1 LINCOLN-WAY EAST (11-0)
Kickoff: 6 p.m. Saturday
Last week: Edwardsville 21, East St. Louis 18; Lincoln-Way East 24, Providence 14
Next week: Lincoln-Way East would travel to Benet or to Downers Grove North.
The breakdown: Edwardsville finished 6-1 in the Southwestern Conference, losing only to East St. Louis 14-7 in Week 3. The Tigers gained their revenge last week. RB Bennett Gray rushed for 90 yards on 19 carries and has totaled 1,006 yards. Before this season, he had not played football for a few years. He’s a track star, finishing third in the 100 in the Class 3A state meet last spring. QB Will Collins is 87-of-162 passing for 1,380 yards. East counters with QB Tom Fuessel, who has rushed for 1,126 yards and passed for 895, and RB Nick Colangelo (110, 793), who gained 164 vs. Providence. East opened the 2010 and ’11 seasons with wins over Edwardsville of 37-14 and 45-14, respectively, but this is a better Tigers team.
NO. 3 LEMONT (10-1) at NO. 1 OAK FOREST (10-1)
Kickoff: 7 p.m. Saturday
Last week: Lemont 23, Richards 19; Oak Forest 69, Shepard 29
Next week: Lemont would host Ottawa or Crete-Monee.
The breakdown: The two South Suburban Blue adversaries joined T.F. South in a three-way tie for the conference championship. Lemont beat Oak Forest 17-14 in Week 5 on Joe Hehir’s last-second 27-yard field goal, his third field goal of the night. Indians RB Chris Giatras, the area rushing leader, gained 149 yards on 27 carries. For the season, he has 1,345 yards on 190 carries. The Indians are in the quarterfinals for a sixth straight year. To get there, they had to rally from a 13-0 first-quarter deficit to overcome Richards last week. Oak Forest piled up 362 rushing yards in the first 24 minutes against Shepard and finished with 602 total yards.
NO. 12 JOLIET CATHOLIC (7-4) at NO. 9 LINCOLN-WAY WEST (8-3)
Kickoff: 1 p.m. Saturday
Last week: Joliet Catholic 42, Tinley Park 21; Lincoln-Way West 31, Kaneland 15
Next week: Joliet Catholic would host Montini or Marian Central. Lincoln-Way West would host Marian Central or travel to Montini.
The breakdown: Joliet Catholic’s balanced, potent offense will present the most difficult challenge yet for a West defense that has not allowed any opponent to score as many as 20 points. The oft-injured Hilltoppers, healthy during the playoffs, feature RBs Ty Isaac (122, 1,043), Mike Ivlow (123, 808) and Tyler Reitz (120, 805), QB Craig Slowik (73-of-150 passing, area-leading 1,403 yards), and two of the area receiving leaders in Chris Tschida (27, 522) and Jordan Jones (23, 449). West QB Justin Keuch (89-of-180, 1,079 yards) and WR Adam Slattery (35-466) are an effective combination, and RB Javier Montalvo has rushed for 901 yards, a majority during the Warriors’ five-game winning streak. West is in the quarterfinals for the first time.
NO. 2 MORRIS (10-1) at NO. 5 WASHINGTON (9-3)
Kickoff: 3 p.m. Saturday
Last week: Morris 65, Urbana 20; Washington 30, Normal University 6
Next week: Morris would host Sacred Heart-Griffin or travel to Chatham Glenwood.
The breakdown: Morris RB Reese Sobol gained 321 yards on 22 carries and scored four TDs against Urbana. The Redskins rushed for 419 yards, and Indiana-bound DE Danny Friend keyed the defensive effort, returning an interception 37 yards for a score and recording one of Morris’ seven sacks. Washington is led by LB/FB Chris Friend and QB/S Luke Ludolph. Chris Friend is the tackle leader and Ludolph is a threat throwing and running. WR Brent Brown moved to running back in midseason and has been productive. The Panthers lost to Pekin 20-14 in Week 5 and to Metamora 40-0 in a mistake-filled Week 8 match-up, when they were without five starters. Washington beat Metamora 19-14 in Round 1.
NO. 1 ALLEMAN (10-1) at NO. 2 COAL CITY (10-1)
Kickoff: 2 p.m. Saturday
Last week: Alleman 42, Stillman Valley 7; Coal City 12, Geneseo 10
Next week: Coal City would travel to Brooks or to Evergreen Park.
The breakdown: All signs point to a defensive struggle. Alleman, which lost only to Rock Island 10-7 in Week 6 and is accustomed to playing larger schools as a member of the Western Big 6, allows 8.7 points per game. Coal City yields 9.1. Coalers special teams did the trick against Geneseo as Ryland Tondini returned one punt 46 yards for a touchdown and another 41 yards to set up Lane Cowherd’s second field goal, the game-winner. Alleman RB Adam Hoogerwerf rushed 20 times for 132 yards and led the way defensively with six tackles, two for loss, and an interception vs. Stillman Valley. The Pioneers led 14-7 at halftime and dominated the second half. Alleman beat Manteno 49-26 in Round 1 and Coal City edged Manteno 9-6 in Week 3.
NO. 2 STERLING NEWMAN (11-0) at NO. 11 WILMINGTON (9-2)
Kickoff: 5 p.m. Saturday
Last week: Newman 26, Monmouth-Roseville 14; Wilmington 48, St. Joseph-Ogden 8
Next week: Wilmington would travel to Aurora Christian or to Winnebago.
The breakdown: Newman was champion of the Big Rivers Conference and has been highly regarded all season. But the Comets generally have not faced the size of competition Wilmington has. In addition, the Wildcats are coming off a thrashing of visiting St. Joseph-Ogden in which they led 41-0 at halftime, prompting coach Jeff Reents to comment, “That’s as good of a half of playoff football as I’ve seen.” RBs Mike Wolfe and Chris Tworek combined for 259 yards and six TDs, and the defense allowed 13 yards in the first half. Newman’s Nick Rude rushed for 179 yards on 29 carries and Brian Bahrs contributed some tough yardage as the Comets ground out a physical victory over Monmouth-Roseville.
Compiled by Dick Goss