Football’s Super 25 — the latest playoff edition

SHARE Football’s Super 25 — the latest playoff edition

Now there are 32 teams left, the 32 that proved to be semi-tough.

Four teams in each of the Illinois High School Association’s eight classes will battle in semifinals this weekend for berths in the state finals Thanksgiving weekend at Memorial Stadium in Champaign.

I promise no one will make a living — or more than likely not break even — using my predictions, but all four the teams that I picked to win the four largest classes — Maine South, East St. Louis, Lemont and Metamora — are still alive.

There was no shortage of drama in the quarterfinals. In Class 7A, East Louis Louis rallied from a 28-7 deficit to knock off St. Rita and unbeaten Cary-Grove fell in overtime to a Crystal Lake South team it defeated 24-7 in a Fox Valley Valley game.

In Class 6A, Antioch eliminated Glenbard South 28-27 in overtime when an extra point went wide left. The shocker in Class 5A saw St. Francis, which lost to Montini 41-21 in the regular season, end the Broncos unbeaten campaign with a 28-14 upset to put the Spartans into the state semifinals for the first time.

But there probably wasn’t a game around the state that sent out the shock waves that Aurora Christian did. The Eagles ended the season for seven-time reigning state champion Driscoll. The Highlanders, who have eight state titles including seven in a row, had a state-record playoff winning streak of 37 snapped on Saturday night.

Three area conferences sent two teams to the state semifinals — the Catholic League Blue (Mount Carmel and Providence), the Suburban Catholic (St. Francis and Immaculate Conception) and the West Suburban Silver (Glenbard West and Hinsdale Central).

Here’s a look at this week’s Super 25:

1 Maine South (12-0) 1

Bartlett at Streamwood

Charlie Goro and coach Dave Inserra have talked about one game at a time since the season opener. Another one game and the Hawks will be back in Champaign. Goro has been like a surgeon in the playoffs as he dissects defenses.

2 Glenbard West (12-0) 2

Hosts East St. Louis on Saturday

The Hilltoppers defense prides itself on speed. It will need it against an East St. Louis team that would like nothing better than a track meet. The Flyers line play isn’t what it was in the glory days, but the speed of the skill position players is sensational.

3 Geneva (12-0) 3

Hosts Crystal Lake South

Vikings and RB Michael Ratay have their eye on a first trip to the state finals. Geneva has scored 27 or more in every game except one — a 14-7 Week 4 win against state quarterfinalist Glenbard South.

4 Bartlett (12-0) 4

Maine South at Streamwood

Can a defense that allowed 35 points to Schaumburg hold down Charlie Goro & Co? Can the offense do enough against a defense that shut out Barrington? It’s going to take the Hawks best game to get to Champaign.

5 Mount Carmel (10-2) 6

At Hindale Central

The decision making of QB Jordan Lynch is what makes this team so good, according to coach Frank Lenti. Lynch’s line has grown into a strength. The semifinal at Hinsdale figures to be a shootout.

6 Hinsdale Central (10-2) 10

Hosts Mount Carmel

Out of the frying pan … Red Devils junior QB John Whitelaw said that a 9-0 loss to Glenbard West in a driving rain (complete with a lightening delay) was a wake-up call. A matchup of the best senior and the best junior option QB should be a dandy in the semifinals.

7 Lemont (12-0) 11

Hosts Antioch

The Indians, who reached the title game in 2007, are versatile have a lot of weapons on both sides of the line. Their defense has been the difference all season.

8 Antioch (12-0) 13

At Lemont

No surprises from the Sequoits, they run and run and run. Not many have been able to catch RB-KR Cameron White, who also showed he can throw the ball in a win at Glenbard South.

9 Providence (8-4) 14

Hosts Sacred-Heart Griffin

Providence winning a playoff game against previously unbeaten Rock Island was not as big a surprise as the 38-0 margin. The Celtics were once 2-4, not they are two wins from a 10th state title.

10 Crystal Lake South (10-2) 24

At Geneva

A lot of demons were removed with the Gators overtime win against Cary-Grove. Can a defense that limited the Trojans to seven points slow down the Geneva juggernaut.

11 St. Francis (11-1) 25

Hosts Kankakee

Spartans avenged their only loss at Montini and now get to play a semifinal at home. After a stunning upset over Driscoll and a loss to Montini, the team regrouped but has flown under the radar.

12 Aurora Christian (12-0) NR

At Richmond-Burton

In ending Driscoll’s 37-game playoff winning streak, coach Don Beebe’s Eagles have answered a lot of questions about a weak schedule and a weak conference. Remember, the eye-popping stats are for 11 games since Luther North forfeited in Week 8.

13 Kankakee (9-3) NR

At St. Francis

Who are these guys? After knocking off 2007 state finalist Morris, a trip to Wheaton puts the Kays 48 minutes from a trip to Champaign.

14 St. Rita (10-2) 5

Season is over

Heartbreaking loss at East St. Louis for the overachieving Catholic League Blue champions, who had a 21-point second-half lead.

15 Brother Rice (9-3) 7

Season is over

Crusaders were opportunistic all night, but in the end, Hinsdale Central and junior QB John White were in the red zone one time too many.

16 Naperville North (10-1) 18

Season is over

17 Wheaton Warrenville South (8-2) 19

Season is over

18 Bolingbrook (10-1) 20

Season is over

19 Lincoln-Way East (9-2) 21

Season is over

20 Loyola (10-2) 22

Hosts De La Salle Saturday for Prep Bowl

Ramblers have been untouchable at home and that’s bad news for De La Salle who head to Wilmette Saturday for the Catholic League championship game and a Prep Bowl berth.

21 Cary-Grove (11-1) 9

Season is over

Trojans offense never put many points up in the playoffs and this time, there was no game-winning field goal.

22 Carmel (10-2) 8

Season is over

Like 11 other teams, the Corsairs couldn’t match Geneva’s offensive output.

23 Marist (9-3) 15

Season is over

RedHawks owned the first 10 minutes against Mount Carmel but the Caravan’s offense was too quick for the Marist defense.

24 Montini (11-1) 12

Season is over

No answers for St. Francis is the second half as surprising season ends.

25 Immaculate Conception (8-4) NR

At Clifton Central

The Knights are one game from a second trip to the championship game. Playing a steady diet of Class 5A and 4A teams has this squad well prepared for Class 2A.

On the bubble: Barrington, Schaumburg, Downers Grove North, Glenbard South, De La Salle, Morgan Park, Hubbard, Lane, Simeon

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