By no means was it a banner weekend for the 13 football teams in the Courier-News coverage area the past few days.
As the high school season officially entered crunch time, wins proved hard to come by for the local squads, which combined to go 3-10 in Week 7.
Of those three wins, two came in head-to-head matchups between area teams as Bartlett topped Larkin and St. Charles East outlasted Streamwood. The Hawks and Saints both became playoff eligible with their victories, but neither team looked particularly sharp in doing so.
On the flip side of the equation, St. Edward, Larkin and Streamwood all suffered their fifth losses, thus ending their chances of reaching the postseason. For the Royals, a hard-nosed effort against Bartlett wasn’t enough to avoid a 24-7 defeat that assured the longest playoff drought in program history would hit six years.
Speaking of playoff droughts, Dundee-Crown’s chances of getting back to the postseason for the first time since 1994 took a big hit with a 36-22 defeat at Crystal Lake South. The outcome leaves the Chargers with a 3-4 record, meaning they’ll have to win their remaining two games to reach five victories and become playoff eligible.
South Elgin, Hampshire and St. Charles North find themselves in the exact same situation after all three teams lost over the weekend to slip to 3-4. As is the case with Dundee-Crown, none of these teams have state-ranked juggernauts remaining on the schedule, but their final two opponents of the regular season are just tough enough to make it seem doubtful any of these 3-4 squads will be able to run the table.
Jacobs perhaps looked better than any local team this weekend while pulling away for a 34-16 victory at Prairie Ridge. The triumph puts the Golden Eagles at 4-3, and a third straight trip to the postseason could become reality if they can knock off either Crystal Lake South or Dundee-Crown.
Huntley also owns a 4-3 record after losing badly at Cary-Grove on Saturday. While the defeat likely ends the Red Raiders’ chances of winning the Fox Valley Valley title, they should have no trouble clinching a playoff berth with two winnable games left on the schedule.
Burlington Central joins Bartlett and St. Charles East in the group of local teams that are already playoff eligible with 5-2 records. They all need one more victory to officially clinch a postseason berth, a task that appears managable for all three.
The banged-up Rockets were humbled in a 28-0 loss against Richmond-Burton on Friday, putting them in the club of local squads licking their wounds after the weekend.
The lack of collective success in Week 7 only underscores the point that whichever local teams manage to reach the postseason will face an uphill battle once the playoffs arrive. Simply put, none of the area’s squads have proven they can compete against top-tier opponents this season.
Four teams from the Courier-News coverage area made it to the playoffs a year ago, and all four lost in the first round. Unless something drastically changes, we could be looking at a similar result in 2012.