Class 8A: No. 14 Hinsdale Central (8-2) at No. 5 Loyola (9-1), 1 Sat.
A huge test for two teams that regularly make deep playoff runs. Both had early season losses that clearly built character. Senior running back Hamid Bullie and junior receiver Rory Boos helped the Ramblers finish big in the regular season. Loyola scored 28 points or more in each game from week three on. Hinsdale Central running backs Luke Skokna and Garrett Oakey paired up for big numbers in the Red Devils first round win against Stevenson.
Class 8A: No. 20 Minooka (8-2) at No. 10 Barrington (10-0), 7 Fri.
Barrington has blown through opponents this season, thanks to senior quarterback Ray Niro who is an explosive, smart signal caller. The unbeaten Mid-Suburban West champions take on Minooka, which is coming off a thrilling overtime win against Notre Dame in the first round. This is an extra intriguing game due the showdown between Barrington’s high octane offense and Minooka’s defense, which has turned heads all season. The Indians’ defense limited Notre Dame to 149 yards last week and has been staunch all season, recording three shutouts.
Class 8A: No. 7 Glenbard West (9-1) vs. No. 18 Oswego (9-1) at Glenbard East, 1 Sat.
Glenbard West is on a roll. The Hilltoppers lost to No. 3 Maine South Week 1, but haven’t looked back since. They beat Bloom 42-12 last week in the first round of the playoffs. Running back Dre Thomas scored for three touchdowns. Although the offense has led the way, Glenbard West’s defense is as staunch as ever. Oswego running back Charles Coleman ran for three touchdowns and more than 300 yards in the first round win agains Naperville North. The Panthers only loss was Week 2 against Plainfield North.
Class 7A: No. 22 Wheaton North (8-2) at No. 13 Batavia (9-1), 1 Sat.
Batavia is trying to build momentum after losing to St. Charles North in the last week of the regular season. The Bulldogs rebounded with a win against Glenbard North in the first round of the playoffs. Quarterback Riley Cooper scored three touchdowns. The Bulldogs defense also came up big, snatching two interceptions. Wheaton North has solidly put itself in the Class 7A title contender conversation by just scrapping out the win after win. The Falcons beat Fenwick 35-7 last week. Running back Sam Singleton came up big and he’ll be a big concern for Batavia.
Class 7A: Plainfield North (8-2) at No. 8 Lake Zurich (10-0), 1 Sat.
Lake Zurich has been unstoppable this season. Quarterback Evan Lewandowski leads the talented offense. Wisconsin recruit Jack Sanborn will likely to play linebacker in college, but he also plays running back for the Bears. Lake Zurich’s defense allowed 14 points or less in nine of its ten games. The Plainfield North defense, led by Dillon McCarthy and Nate Curtis, came up big last week in a 41-6 win over Andrew. McCarthy is also a weapon at running back. The Tigers are riding momentum from a five-game winning streak.