Playoff preview: Maine South at Oak Park-River Forest

SHARE Playoff preview: Maine South at Oak Park-River Forest
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Class 8A: No. 5 Maine South (8-2) at No. 4 Oak Park-River Forest (9-1) 1:30 p.m. Saturday

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Andre Lee, Oak Park-River Forest — The senior defensive lineman has the ability to put pressure on the quarterback while shutting down the run game.

Lloyd Yates, Oak Park-River Forest — The junior quarterback was spectacular in the Huskies’ 35-13 win Friday over Dundee-Crown in the first round. He completed 11 of 16 passes for 252 yards and four touchdowns while rushing for 81 yards and a score on nine carries.

Clay Burdelik, Maine South — The senior running back had a strong performance in Saturday’s 56-20 playoff win over Niles West, rushing for 120 yards on 15 carries in his first game back from a separated shoulder.

Brian Collis, Maine South — Starting his first playoff game, the sophomore quarterback showed a lot of poise by completing 15 of 27 passes for 199 yards and four touchdowns.

KEY MATCHUP

Maine South’s secondary will need to figure out how to slow down Huskies wide receiver Simmie Cobbs. The 6-foot-4 senior has verbally committed to Purdue and had six catches for 146 yards and three touchdowns against Dundee-Crown.

ON THE MAINE SOUTH SIDELINE

After starting out 0-2, Maine South has won eight straight games by an average of 31 points. The Hawks have played just two teams this year with losing records.

ON THE OAK PARK-RIVER FORESTSIDELINE

The Huskies’ running game shouldn’t be overlooked. In addition to Yates, OPRF senior Jamal Baggett rushed for 104 yards and a touchdown on just eight carries in the first round of the playoffs.

HISTORY

Maine South knocked OPRF out in the first round of the 2009 playoffs with a 28-14 win en route to the Class 8A state title. The Huskies beat the Hawks 20-14 in the second round of the Class 6A playoffs in 1985, but lost in the next round to Gordon Tech.

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