Class 8A playoff preview: Oak Park-River Forest at Barrington

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Sixth-seeded Barrington (8-1) will play host to 11th-seeded Oak Park-River Forest (7-2) at 7:30 p.m. on Friday in the first round of the Class 8A playoffs. Here’s what you should expect this weekend:

DIFFERENCE MAKERS

Barrington

Johnny Davidson, quarterback, jr. — Davidson is the leader of an explosive offense that can put up points in a hurry. The junior threw for over 2,000 yards with 17 touchdowns and just four interceptions this season. He helped lead Barrington to an 8-1 record and a second-place finish in the Mid-Suburban West.

Scotty Miller, wide receiver/defensive back, sr. — Miller might be the fastest player in the MSL West and it showed all season. The junior plays on both sides of the ball and is a big-play threat in the receiving game. Miller’s versatility played a big role in the Broncos’ success this year as he finished with 11 total touchdowns.

Oak Park-River Forest

Lloyd Yates, quarterback, sr. — The Northwestern-bound quarterback can beat you with his legs or his arm. Against Hinsdale Central in Week 8, Yates ran for 111 yards and a touchdown and passed for 144 and another score. And that was one of the Huskies’ worst offensive games of the season.

Kamal Bey, linebacker/wide receiver, jr. — Bey, an IHSA state champion in wrestling, rarely leaves the field and is especially dangerous on punt returns. He can affect the game in many ways and is always one of the most athletic players on the field.

THREE THINGS TO WATCH

When Barrington is on offense…

The Broncos have a potent rushing attack that can wear defenses down early in the game and set up their lethal passing game. Leading the attack is senior running back Dumaso Mkwananzi, who finished with four rushing touchdowns on the season and is complemented by senior J.T. Henderson and junior Nate King. A solid run game will help open up the passing game, which features playmakers like Mitchell Pfeiffer and Miller.

When Barrington is on defense…

Senior linebacker Travis Cysewski leads a talented defense that allows just 11.8 points per game. The defense has pitched two shutouts but has allowed more than points in its past two games. The defensive line is anchored by seniors David Danhauer and Jason Harris, who combined for three sacks last week against Fremd. It’s a defense that likes to get after the quarterback and feeds off of big plays.

When Barrington’s special teams take the field…

Miller is the team’s primary kickoff and punt return man and is someone to keep an eye on. The senior had two returns for touchdowns this season (one punt, one kickoff) and has helped give the Broncos’ offense good field position. If Miller is on top of his game, the Broncos’ offense could start in positive field position a lot.

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