With two weeks remaining in the regular season, six Joliet area teams have clinched playoff berths either with six victories or by having five along with a strong number of playoff points (opponent victories).
Many other area schools could get in, or not. What is unusual is Morris (2-5) will not be in and Providence (4-3) and Lemont (3-4) still have work to do.
Unfortunate, because this is a year Morris might well have slid down to Class 4A. If Providence makes it, the Celtics could be in 6A rather than 7A.
The six that have clinched are Wilmington (7-0) and Seneca (6-1) in 3A, Joliet Catholic (6-1) and Lincoln-Way West (6-1) in 5A, Lincoln-Way East (6-1) in 7A and Bolingbrook (7-0) in 8A. Plainfield South (5-2) may have enough playoff points to be in, but it’s not definite, and the Cougars still have to play at Oswego and at Plainfield East.
The Romeoville at Plainfield East match-up last Friday in the Southwest Prairie had major playoff ramifications. The Bengals (5-2) got their fifth victory 21-6 but playoff points suggest a sixth may be needed, which they could get Friday against winless Plainfield Central.
Romeoville (3-4) is still alive and kicking in its bid to be a playoff team a year after going 0-9. The Spartans, who are solid in playoff points, must win at home against Oswego East and at Minooka to qualify.
Lincoln-Way Central (3-4) will be in with five wins and must win its last two, including a victory in Week 9 over Lincoln-Way West.
Providence (4-3) still needs to beat either Mount Carmel or Brother Rice and Lemont (3-4) may or may not quality if it wins its last two.
Plainfield North (3-4) has this week’s game at Minooka and finishes at Oswego East. The problem is the Tigers may be short on playoff points even if they win five.
The Coal City (3-4) at Peotone (5-2) game last Friday, won by the Blue Devils 33-26, also was huge from a playoff perspective. Peotone probably needs six wins and the Coalers must win out and keep their fingers crossed.
Minooka (2-5) and Joliet West (2-5) were bounced from playoff contention with losses last Friday.
Player of the Week
Javier Montalvo, of Lincoln-Way West, is the Herald-News football Player of the Week.
The senior running back rushed for 227 yards and scored five touchdowns as West held off previously unbeaten Lincoln-Way North to take sole possession of first place in the SouthWest Suburban Red.