A look back at the first round of the state playoffs and a look ahead at the second round.
First round lesson: The Southwest Prairie may have been overrated. The conference went 1-3 in the first round. Only Oswego won.
Take notice: Homewood-Flossmoor’s vaunted defense lived up to they hype in the first round. The Vikings blanked Fremd 21-0.
First round upset: No. 22 Waubonise Valley handled No. 11 Bolingbrook easily and won 38-21 on the road.
Best second round game: No. 5 Marist at No. 21 Naperville Central. Can the RedHawks handle the Redhawks on the road? Naperville Central has done well against a rugged schedule and has the best player on the field, quarterback Payton Thorne.
Second round upset watch: No. 19 Loyola over No. 3 Oswego. The Ramblers get to play at home and the Southwest Prairie didn’t distinguish itself in round one.
First round lesson: It was a historic weekend. Maine West won its first ever playoff game and Glenbard East won its first since 1999.
Take notice: Simeon, Willowbrook and Mount Carmel each shut out their opponents. The field is lopsided, a lot of the second round games could be blowouts as well.
First round upset: No. 12 Maine West beat No. 21 Benet 20-18. That wasn’t an upset according to seeds but definitely was according to expectations.
Best second round game: No. 1 Simeon has to travel to take on No. 17 Lincoln-Way West in New Lenox. The Warriors should provide a challenge, they played Homewood-Flossmoor well earlier in the season.
Second round upset watch: No. 8 Hersey at No. 9 Nazareth.
First round lesson: The Fox Valley is not overrated. Cary-Grove, Prairie Ridge and Crystal Lake South dominated opponents by a combined score of 132-21.
Take notice: Antioch destroyed Reavis 49-0. The Sequoits are still undefeated and still unranked in the Super 25. Quarterback Athan Kaliakmanis is one of the state’s best players.
First round upset: No. 11 Crete-Monee beat No. 6 Bloomington 41-13.
Best second round game: No. 5. Prairie Ridge at No. 4 Phillips. This one should be fun. It’s a matchup of last season’s Class 6A and Class 5A title winners.
Second round upset watch: No. 11 Crete-Monee could do it again against No. 3 Glenwood.
First round lesson: Five Public League teams lost and none were even competitive.
Take notice: Montini and Hillcrest dominated in the first round and appear destined to meet in the title game.
First round upset: No. 14 Joliet Catholic beat No. 3 Metamora 49-20 on the road.
Best second round game: No. 8 Elmwood Park at No. 16 Evergreen Park. The Tigers picked up their first playoff win since 1985 in the first round.
Second round upset watch: No. 14 Joliet Catholic is at home against No. 6 Marion.
First round lesson: There was an offensive explosion with ten teams scoring more than 40 points.
Take notice: UP-Bronzeville beat St. Edward 24-14 at Gately. The Lions didn’t get much attention this season, but that is a great win.
First round upset: No. 10 Effingham beat No. 7 Breese Mater Dei 21-6.
Best second round game: No. 2 Coal City at No. 10 Johnsburg. Two football towns whose teams each shut out their first round opponents.
Second round upset watch: No. 5 Marengo over No. 4 UP-Bronzeville.
SMALL SCHOOL NOTES
Three local teams survived the first round in Class 3A: Byron, Lisle and Herscher. Hope Academy and Chicago Christian are still alive in Class 2A. Aurora Christian, Orr and Ottawa Marquette were the local winners in Class 1A.
More Sun-Times high school sports stories
- VIDEO: Watch the CST Game Week show for playoff predictions
- PLAYOFF BRACKETS: All eight classes
- Beth Long’s predictions for Class 8A
- Beth Long’s predictions for Class 7A