THREE THINGS WE KNOW
1. Joliet-area teams are clutch. Coal City, Plainfield South, Romeoville, Providence and Lincoln-Way Central went into Week 9 needing to win to secure a playoff berth. Four of the teams won and will play opening-round games this week. Only Lincoln-Way Central lost, and the Knights fell victim to one of this area’s top teams, playoff-bound Lincoln-Way West, which played as well as it had all year. The final tally for the area is 12 qualifiers.
2. Plainfield South can win with defense. For the most part this season, the Cougars’ explosive offense has been their key. And last week at Plainfield East, Josh Harris did rush 33 times for 307 yards and four touchdowns. However, the defense, which has had its ups and downs, stepped forward to pitch its first shutout at the ideal time as South prevailed 38-0. The Cougars earlier beat Oswego East 34-3 but overall are allowing 23.6 points per game
3. Joliet Catholic’s defense is getting better all the time. Perfect time with the playoffs here. Granted, Benet (6-3) struggled down the stretch, losing its last three games. But the Redwings were averaging 31 points and had not been held below 18 before being blanked by the Hilltoppers 36-0. Joliet Catholic forced six turnovers and held Benet and touted quarterback Jack Beneventi to 80 passing yards and fewer than 100 total yards.