No. 3 Glenbard West (10-1) at No. 2 Schaumburg (10-1)
When: 1 p.m.
Last week: Glenbard West beat Conant 34-7. Schaumburg beat St. Patrick 42-24.
Outlook: It will be a running battle between two of the top rushing offenses, so figure for a quick game. Defending 7A champion Glenbard West is coming off of a 435-yard rushing performance last week that had them carry the ball 53 times. The Hilltoppers feature a three-headed monster in the backfield of Scott Andrews, Devonte Toney and Jermon Kindle Joyner. With that trio and the play of quarterback Drew Vogg, Glenbard West is averaging 37.4 points. But the real strength comes from its defense, which is fast and athletic. The Hilltoppers are hoping it's enough to contain Schaumburg's explosive run attack led by quarterback Stacey Smith. "We want to play tough on defense," Glenbard West coach Chad Hetlet said. "And take away what they do offensively. In this case, it is containing their quarterback." Smith will need to be in top form for the Saxons, who are making their first quarterfinal appearance since 2008. He has gained 1,770 yards and rushed for 27 touchdowns, and has been the main focus of an offense which is averaging 349 rushing yards per game. The Saxons also have the inside running of Justice Macneal-Smith and the counter-action of Ryan Tuma, who is coming off his best performance of the year. Defensively, Sadarriss Patterson, whose speed will be counted on to contain Glenbard West's running backs and defensive lineman Michael Fan, will anchor the Saxons. "They are as good as advertised," Schaumburg coach Mark Stilling. "Their team effort and both sides is the ball is very good. It is great combination."
No. 6 Stevenson (9-2) at No. 2 Barrington (10-1)
When: 6 p.m. Saturday
Last game: Stevenson beat Glenbard North 20-16. Barrington beat Warren 21-13
Outlook: After losing its first two games of the season, Stevenson regrouped and went on quite a tear. They knocked off highly-touted Lake Zurich in the final week of the season and, for an encore, the Patriots stunned a Glenbard North team that many had penciled in to win a state title. "Our kids are excited about how they are playing," Stevenson coach Bill McNamara said. Both teams have one common opponent in Warren. Stevenson beat the Blue Devils 21-7 six weeks ago and Barrington eliminated Warren last week. The key may be how well both teams recover from key injuries. Stevenson, which has been without standout offensive lineman Zach Novoselsky most of the season, played without two-way starter Matt Morrissey, who had hamstring issues and lost Jimmy Marchese during the game last week. Barrington was without top running back Dylan Abel, who was also sidelined with an injury. All three are game time decisions this week. Barrington has been playing just as well. Nate King excelled in Abel's absence, rushing for 132 yards and a touchdown. Stevenson will also have to try and stop the Daniel Kubiuk-to-Scotty Miller connection that accounted for 3 touchdowns two weeks ago.The Broncos have won six consecutive games to advance to the quarterfinals for the first time since 2008. No lead is safe when playing the Broncos, who rallied to beat Warren and have been a strong second-half team all season. It was Barrington's fifth come-from behind win this season. "Stevenson is very good and they are playing well right now," Barrington coach Joe Sanchez said. "But so are we. Our kids are excited about the opportunity. They have not stopped working hard and have been getting better and better each week."