Playoff preview: Nazareth (7-2) at Brooks (8-1)

SHARE Playoff preview: Nazareth (7-2) at Brooks (8-1)
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Class 5A: No. 10 Nazareth (7-2) at No. 7 Brooks (8-1)

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Luther Lockwood, Brooks — The senior running back had five TDs and 212 yards in a Chicago Public League playoff opening victory against Perspectives-Calumet.

Lamar Demus, Brooks — Demus is a senior linebacker who had two interceptions in Brooks’ 27-14 Week Two upset victory of Oak Forest.

Cyle Tucker, Nazareth — The 5-10, 240-pound senior running back is a bulldozer who rushed for 462 yards and six TDs, while averaging 6.5 yards per carry.

Julian Love, Nazareth — Love, a sophomore running back, is the lightning to Tucker’s thunder. He totaled 482 yards and eight TDs in the regular season.

KEY MATCHUP

The Brooks defense against a crowded, but productive Nazareth backfield. The Eagles defense has pitched five shutouts and has not allowed more than eight points in a game since Week Two. The Roadrunners boast eight different ball carriers who have gained at least 100 yards.

ON THE OTHER SIDELINE

Brooks, the Chicago Public League Illini (Heartland) champions, is entering the postseason on a roll, having won eight straight games. The only setback the Eagles suffered was in a season-opening loss to Class 5A No. 5-seed Kaneland, 27-7.

HISTORY

These teams have never met. Brooks is making its third consecutive trip to the postseason after earning the school’s first two playoff wins last year. Nazareth last qualified for the playoffs in 2011, when the Roadrunners reached the 6A quarterfinals.

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