My thoughts on some 5A-8A games from the 2nd Round of the IHSA playoffs….
Glenbard West 28 Homewood-Flossmoor 21
Very well coached and disciplined and when they’re healthy, I’ve seen them play and this Glenbard West team can be unbeatable at times. While moving up to 8A this year, the Hitters are looking to repeat as state champs. They take on AJ Epenesa and Edwardsville next week. Congrats to Homewood-Flossmoor on a great season.
Maine South 42 Barrington 27
I was very high on this Maine South team coming into the year ranking them the 16th best team in the state (all classes). They did have a few tough losses this year, but Nick Leongas and Fotis Kokosioulis can put up points in a hurry running behind the best OL in the state in Kevin Jarvis (42 points in both playoff games). Lincoln Way East’s offense is just as dynamic. Next week’s matchup will be a shootout where I wouldn’t be surprised to see the combined score getting close to 100 points.
Palatine 20 Lyons Township 17
I expected a few more points to be scored in this one, but it proved to be a good game regardless. While Palatine will be without stud QB Zach Oles the rest of the way, their quest for an undefeated season and a state championship remains in tact. Undefeated St. Charles East is next.
Plainfield North 49 Bradley-Bourbonnais 20
Wow. I did not see this coming. No disrespect to Plainfield North, I was just VERY high on Bradley-Bourbonnais coming into these playoffs. North won this game handedly. Can they do the same next week against Rockford Auburn?
East St. Louis 32 Glenbard North 28
I ranked East St. Louis as the 7th best team in the state preseason while I put Glenbard North at 3. Sure, many things happened during the regular season and that is not where the teams ended up at the end of the season, but that did not deter from this game being great. A friend of mine was at the game and informed me that East St. Louis won on a Hail Mary with 9 seconds left. A great game indeed.
Benet 38 Normal 14
This Benet team is no joke. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing them play twice this year. When they can get Marty Dosen going on the ground big problems are in store for the opposing team. They play Asher O’Hara and a very tough 11-0 Rolling Meadows team next week.
Prairie Ridge 51 Montini 24
I was very high on both these teams coming into this year (ranking them 12th and 6th respectively). While Montini had a rough go early and recovered, Prairie Ridge steam rolled every single one of their opponents including Montini this game. Samson Evans is the real deal and this Wolves team will be tough to beat.
Cary Grove 56 Grayslake North 7
Speaking of Prairie Ridge, rival Cary Grove’s only loss came at the hands of the Wolves in week 1. If Cary Gove can get past DeKalb this week (not an easy task) and Prairie Ridge can edge a no joke Lake Forest squad, we will get our week 1 rematch in the semi-finals.
Sacred Heart Griffin 45 Galesburg 7
Maybe its just me, but I feel like this SHG team isn’t getting enough love this year in 6A. They’re now 11-0 after averaging 51 points of offense and allowing an average of 14 points on defense their first 2 playoff games. The Cyclones will have their hands full next week with Rock Island.
Vernon Hills 10 Nazareth 2
Nazareth’s goal to repeat as state champs comes to an end against an underrated Vernon Hills squad. WR Jonathan McGuire and CB Max Lyle are 2 guys to watch on this Vernon Hills team. They’ll lead them into battle against Marian Central Catholic next week.
Sterling 41 Rich Central 13
Sterling’s quest for a perfect season is still in tact. They now play Sycamore whom they cruised past in week 1 of this season 38-6. Will this time be a different story?
Peoria 96 Decatur Eisenhower 40
Geno Hess, Coran Taylor and the rest of the Peoria offense are video game like at times. While I’m not sure if anyone will be able to take down the Lions, Washington will be their toughest playoff test yet next week.