NO. 10 BARTLETT (6-3) at NO. 2 LOYOLA (9-1)
When: 1:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: Millennium Field in Streamwood
Outlook: Ramblers senior QB Peter Pujals and senior WR Richie Wehmann headline a high-powered offense that is averaging 36.6 points per game. Loyola has shut out four of its 10 opponents this year, and its only loss came in a 30-29 setback against Dallas Jesuit in Week 2 in Dublin, Ireland. The Ramblers, who claimed their third straight Chicago Catholic Blue title, lost in the Class 8A championship game last year.
The Hawks kept their season alive with last week’s 14-0 win at Leyden. Senior RB Aaron Everson is the team’s top playmaker and has already set single-season program records with 1,883 rushing yards and 27 total touchdowns. Senior DE Chris Kantzavelos, a Central Michigan recruit, leads the defense for Bartlett, which finished third in the Upstate Eight Valley and lost all three of its games against state-ranked opponents.
NO. 1 NEUQUA VALLEY (10-0) at NO. 9 BOLINGBROOK (8-2)
When: 7 p.m. Friday
Up next: Bolingbrook would travel to Waubonsie Valley or host Oak Park-River Forest.
Outlook: No. 6 Bolingbrook (8-2) beat Sandburg last week minus its Illinois-bound quarterback and its leading rusher, both out with injuries. QB Aaron Bailey (804 total yards, 12 touchdowns), who’s been sidelined since Week 6, told Rivals.com this week he’s “95 percent” and “should be back” vs. No. 7 Neuqua Valley (10-0). If he and RB Omar Stover (1.006 yards, 12 touchdowns) play, the Raiders could be tough to beat. But Neuqua has some weapons of its own in RB Joey Rhattigan, the school’s career rushing leader, and QB Dylan Andrew.
NO. 3 MOUNT CARMEL (9-1) vs. NO. 6 SIMEON (8-1)
When: 7 p.m. Friday at Gately Stadium.
Outlook: This is the sixth meeting since 2009 for the South Side powers, with No. 2 Mount Carmel holding a 4-1 edge during that stretch. Both were challenged in their playoff openers before getting past Brother Rice and Bloom, respectively. Mount Carmel’s defense, led by Enoch Smith (15 tackles for loss) and Steven Richardson (14 TFL) has allowed just 7.3 points and 68.1 rushing yards per game. Caravan RB Matt Domer (990 yards, 15 touchdowns) averages 10.1 yards per carry. No. 18 Simeon counters with QB Elcee Burke and RB Sharoid Roach.
No. 4 WAUBONSIE VALLEY (9-1) at No. 12 OAK PARK-RIVER FOREST (7-3)
When: Saturday, 1 p.m.
Last week: Waubonsie Valley 38, Proviso West 6; Oak Park-River Forest 28, Hinsdale Central 24.
Outlook: The Warriors meet a member of the West Suburban Silver Conference for the second straight week. Sophomore quarterback Lloyd Yates (6-1, 185) leads the Huskies, who rebounded from last year’s 3-6 record and have a running back in Jakari Cannon who has topped 1,500 yards rushing. Waubonsie Valley, of course, counters with senior RB Austin Guido. He powers an offense that averages 40.9 points per game while its defense limits foes to 14.5. OP-RF’s comparable averages are 33.9 and 27.6, respectively. Guido’s 176 rushing yards in last week’s win pushed him to 2,002 for the season.
NO. 8 DOWNERS GROVE NORTH (6-4) AT NO. 5 THORNTON (8-2)
When: 7 p.m., Friday
Up next: Thornton would travel either to No. 3 Oswego or No. 2 Benet.
The breakdown: Downers North took down No. 1 seed Batavia in the first round. DGN runs the veer option, with RB Brandon Salter its biggest threat out of the backfield. QB David Edwards doesn’t throw often, but has the ability to connect. Thornton’s defense, led by Jerome Jenkins and Jason Towns, must limit the big play. Thornton RB Jamal Towns (166-1112, 7) will get chances to rip off a long run. Thornton QB JoWahn Brown (145-of-211, 1,940, 27 touchdowns) will keep DGN’s defense honest, but must be wary of cornerback Stephen Kanis, who registered two picks against Batavia.
NO. 3 OSWEGO (9-1) vs. NO. 2 BENET (9-1)
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday at Benedictine University, HighSchoolCube.com.
Outlook: Both defenses have been stingy this season. No. 14 Benet has four shutouts and has held six opponents to 10 or fewer points, while No. 20 Oswego owns two shutouts and limited five teams to seven or fewer points. Sophomore QB Jack Beneventi (1,923 yards, 17 touchdowns) has helped engineer Benet’s turnaround from a 1-8 finish in 2011. RB Mickeel Stewart (1,201 yards, 15 touchdowns) and QB Brett Wainwright (896 yards, 16 touchdowns) are the players to watch when Oswego has the ball.
NO. 4 PROVIDENCE (8-2) at NO. 1 LINCOLN-WAY EAST (10-0)
When: 7 p.m. Saturday
Last week: Providence 44, Bradley 7; Lincoln-Way East 47, Plainfield Central 22
Outlook: No. 4 Lincoln-Way East (10-0) has reached the second round of the playoffs for the ninth consecutive season and is hoping to end a streak of four straight losses in that round. QB Tommy Fuessel has been brilliant all season for the Griffins, running for 1,042 yards (8.5 per carry) and 15 touchdowns and throwing for 797 yards and six scores. No. 16 Providence (8-2) has lost only to Loyola and Mount Carmel, and has some playmakers of its own in RB Brandon Price (1,031 yards, 19 touchdowns) and receivers Chad Weaver and Miles Boykin.
NO. 1 OAK FOREST (9-1) AT NO. 5 SHEPARD (7-3)
When: 7 p.m., Friday
Up next: Oak Forest would host either No. 2 Richards or No. 3 Lemont.
The breakdown: The two teams squared off in Week 4, with Oak Forest winning easily, 45-21. With fullback Matt Barry out for the season, the Bengals have spread the wealth more among their playmakers. Ben Santiago (94-657, 10), Tyler Usterbowski and Kyle Hullinger are all dangerous. As are QBs Tom Zale and Nick Ciufia (74-678, 11), who pretty much alternate series. Shepard has to find a way to move the ball consistently against a physical Oak Forest defense. QB Jimmy McClinton (1,316 yards passing; 471 rushing) and WR Londell Lee (44, 925, 15) pack a potent punch. The Astros, however, are going to need to run the ball in an attempt to eat clock and wear down the Bengals defense. A big game from RB Devon Landfair (80-507, 7) will be required.
NO. 3 LEMONT (9-1) at NO. 2 RICHARDS (9-1)
When: 6 p.m. Saturday
Last week: Lemont 45, Morgan Park 0; Richards 36, Lincoln-Way North 14
Up next: Lemont would travel to Oak Forest or host Shepard.
The breakdown: Richards, whose only loss was 15-13 to Morris in Week 2, boasts a diverse offense featuring QB Hasan Muhammed-Rogers, RBs Tommy Mister and Ramontay Hill, and WRs Tacari Carpenter and Jimmy Wujcik. For Lemont, Chris Giatras (166-1,261, 7.6 average), the area rushing leader, went for 147 yards against Morgan Park, and QB Zach Brousseau was 6-of-9 passing for 133. The teams last met in Week 3 of 2011, with Lemont winning 28-6. The Indians have reached no less than the quarterfinals the last five seasons and have two runner-up finishes in that span.
NO. 4 RICHWOODS (8-2) AT NO. 1 CRETE-MONEE (10-0)
When: 1 p.m., Saturday
Up next: Crete-Monee would travel to No. 3 Rock Island or host No. 2 Ottawa.
The breakdown: The Warriors are hungry to avenge a second-round defeat to Richwoods last season. No one has been able to stop Crete-Monee QB Marcus Terrell (167-of-237, 2,498, 32) and WR Laquon Treadwell (56, 1,078, 13). But if Richwoods concentrates on negating Treadwell, the Warriors have another explosive option in Lance Lenoir (46, 830, 12). Richwoods made mince-meat out of Crete-Monee’s defense last season, recording a 51-36 win. RB Kendall Foster is Richmond’s top threat, though QB Max Berres and WRs Jeremye Johnson and Nick Parks must be watched through the air.
NO. 13 TINLEY PARK (6-4) at NO. 12 JOLIET CATHOLIC (6-4)
When: 1 p.m. Saturday at ATI Field at Joliet Memorial Stadium
Last week: Tinley Park 27, Westinghouse 23; Joliet Catholic 58, Elmwood Park 0
Up next: Joliet Catholic would travel to Kaneland or to Lincoln-Way West.
The breakdown: Joliet Catholic’s up-and-down defense must contend with FB Preston Thompson and QB Christian Plummer. Tinley Park led Westinghouse 21-0 at halftime, then fell behind 23-21 in the fourth quarter before scoring the decisive touchdown. Of course, Tinley Park’s defense, which has allowed at least three touchdowns to the last five opponent with winning records, must step up against a Hilltoppers offense that has senior WB Ty Isaac back from injury and scored 51 first-half points against Elmwood Park. Isaac has rushed for 892 yards, Tyler Reitz for 740 and Mike Ivlow for 703.
NO. 1 KANELAND (10-0) at NO. 9 LINCOLN-WAY WEST (7-3)
When: 1 p.m. Saturday
Last week: Kaneland 48, Belvidere 0; Lincoln-Way West 35, Rochelle 0
Up next: Lincoln-Way West would host Joliet Catholic or travel to Tinley Park.
The breakdown: Kaneland boasts a potent offense behind QB Drew David and TB Jesse Balluff, but the Knights also play defense. Last week was their fourth shutout as they limited Belvidere to 74 total yards and three first downs. Lincoln-Way West dominated Rochelle in a game most observers predicted would be tight. Junior RB Javier Montalvo rushed for 193 yards and two touchdowns and the Warriors’ defense did the rest. West, with twins Alex and Andrew Gray playing key roles, has not allowed more than 19 points in any game.
NO. 3 URBANA (9-1) at NO. 2 MORRIS (9-1)
When: 4 p.m. Saturday
Last week: Urbana 36, East Peoria 22; Morris 44, Rich East 0
Up next: Morris would travel to Normal University or to Washington.
The breakdown: If history is your thing, this match-up offers a study in contrasts. While Morris has a proud tradtion of playoff success, Urbana won a playoff game for the first time last weekend. The Tigers trailed most of the way but staged a wild finish behind QB Cameron Mammen to pull it out. Urbana also has nine straight victories for the first time in 48 years. After allowing 33 points in a Week 9 loss to Kaneland, Morris’ defense was not happy and took it out on Rich East, limiting the Rockets to 41 rushing yards. RB Reese Sobol (945 yards, 8.2 average) leads the Redskins’ balanced running attack.
NO. 7 EVERGREEN PARK (7-3) AT NO. 6 RICHMOND-BURTON (7-3)
When: 2:30 p.m., Saturday
Up next: Evergreen Park would host either No. 1 VOISE or No. 4 Payton.
The breakdown: A rematch of last season’s Class 4A quarterfinal, won by Richmond-Burton 7-0. Evergreen Park’s offense must elevate its performance after a mediocre performance in Week 1. QB Brandon White (1,135 yards passing; 571 yards rushing) can’t do it alone. Big games from RBs Keyshawn Carpenter (93-595, 4) and T.J. Eames and WRs Mike Reuter (28, 425, 8) and Jaquet McClendon would be beneficial. The Mustangs defense picked off six passes in Round 1, turning two of them into pick-six’s.
NO. 2 COAL CITY (9-1) at NO. 6 GENESEO (6-4)
When: 2 p.m. Saturday
Last week: Coal City 27, Peotone 20; Geneseo 17, Sandwich 0
Up next: Coal City would host Alleman or Stillman Valley.
The breakdown: Geneseo has a rich history of success in the playoffs. If the Maple Leafs can control the ball the way they did last week, Coal City will have a problem. Geneseo ran 55 plays to Sandwich’s 30 and used almost 8 minutes in a drive to a second-half field goal. The Coalers, whose defense has been a staple all season, survived by stopping Interstate Eight Large rival Peotone at the 1-yard line as time expired. Junior QB Brennen Shetina enjoyed a big game passing (8-of-13 passing, 162 yards, 2 touchdowns) and running (25 yards, 1 TD). Ryland Tondini (778 yards, 7.0 average) leads the Coalers’ ground game.
No. 4 AURORA CHRISTIAN at No. 12 IMMACULATE CONCEPTION
When: 1 p.m. at Plunkett Field
Last week: Aurora Christian 49, Raby 12; Immaculate Conception 59, North Boone 34.
Outlook: Here we go again. IC senior quarterback Dimitris Carr threw an interception that was returned 56 yards for a score that tied last week’s game 28-all, but he led his team to 17 points in a two-minute span in a wild affair that featured 987 yards of total offense and 230 yards in penalties. ACS, meanwhile, is back to nearly full strength with the return of Beebe’s son, Chad, to the lineup. He’s the favorite target of QB Ryan McQuade, who has thrown for 2,308 yards and 35 TDs but the Eagles spread it around. The younger Beebe has 43 catches but Cory Windle has 36 for 624 yards and Ryan Suttle (25-334), Brandon Mayes (24-355) and Joel Bouagnon (17-173) are also targeted plenty. Bouagnon, whose carries have been limited in about half the Eagles’ games, lead a ground game that has generated just under 2,000 yards with 921 on just 92 carries.
NO. 3 ST. JOSEPH-OGDEN (9-1) at NO. 11 WILMINGTON (8-2)
When: 6 p.m. Saturday
Last week: St. Joseph-Ogden 42, Aurora Central Catholic 23; Wilmington 31, Byron 14
Up next: Wilmington would host Sterling Newman or travel to Monmouth-Roseville.
The breakdown: Under 25-year coach Dick Duval, St. Joseph-Ogden has four second-place finishes on its resume. The two teams met in the playoffs three straight years, with St. Joseph-Ogden winning 26-7 in 2007 and Wilmington winning 41-6 in 2008 and 57-26 in 2009. Spartans RB Chase Patton has rushed for more than 1,000 yards and is just getting back from a shoulder injury. Junior QB Dalton Walsh has passed for more than 1,000 yards. Wilmington, which will have a size advantage, sports a defense that has shut out five opponents. The Wildcats’ Mike Wolfe rushed for 182 yards and Chris Tworek chipped in 106 against Byron.
No. 6 TOULON STARK COUNTY at No. 3 MOOSEHEART
When: 4 p.m. Saturday
Outlook: Coach Gary Urwiler and the Red Ramblers would like to start that kind of run.They’re in their second straight postseason and fifth in seven years and would like to become the first of Mooseheart’s nine playoff teams to make it to the third round. Stark County Senior QB Justin Kohler, the school’s career leader in total yards (3,529 passing, 1,639 rushing), directs the Rebels’ attack. He’s thrown for 1,416 yards this season and run for 488. RB Danny Berchtold (620 yards) leads the gorund game and 6-2 Bryce Willis has 32 catches for 506 yards. Senior Jon Hart (1,290 yards passing) leads Mooseheart, which has multiple threats in Oumaru Abdulahi (1,061 yards rushing), multi-threat Sahr Mahoney (28-473 receiving, 563 rushing) and WR J.J. Odunsi (42-604).