South Beloit (3-4, 3-4) at Westminster Christian (4-3, 4-3)
When: 1 p.m. Saturday at Warrior Field
Last week: South Beloit 42, Alden-Hebron 22; Hiawatha 24, Westminster Christian 21
Outlook: This is the first meeting between Westminster Christian and South Beloit, a newcomer to the Northeastern Athletic Conference this season. Both teams desperately need the win. The Warriors, coming off last week's heartbreaking loss in the final seconds at Hiawatha, becomes playoff eligible with a victory. South Beloit becomes playoff eligible if it defeats Westminster and takes next week's regular-season finale against winless Rockford Christian Life. The Sobos attack with the double-wing, a run-based offense that generates 31 points per game. Westminster's spread-wing offense averages 30.9. The Warriors have been slightly stingier on defense, limiting opponents to 25 points per game compared to 29.4 for the Sobos. The Warrior defense ran into trouble last week after outside linebacker Jake Miller went down with an injury on the game's first play. "We had to retool on the fly defensively, which we hate to do," Westminster Christian coach John Davis said. "We think we've made some major adjustments in our defensive assignments that have helped us out." Davis said the responsibility of stopping the double-wing offense falls mainly to outside linebackers Miller and Spencer Feerer, middle linebacker John John Davis and the three-man safety rotation of Scott Graziano, Xavier Brown and Tannor Park. "We pretty much have to control all the gaps against this team to be successful," Davis said.
Next week: Rockford Christian Life (0-6) at South Beloit; Westminster Christian at Alden-Hebron (2-5)
Kaneland (3-4) at Geneseo (5-2)
When: 7 p.m. Friday
Quick hit: The challenge for the Knights is clear cut: find a way to beat a winning team on the road in this Northern Illinois Big 12 East crossover or experience playoff elimination for the second time in three seasons. The Maple Leafs have outscored their opponents 234-146.
Burlington Central (1-6, 1-3) at Marengo (5-2, 2-2)
When: 7 p.m. Friday at Rod Poppe Fields
Quick hit: The Rockets have been playing better of late, as demonstrated by a 20-7 win over Woodstock (3-4) two weeks ago and a 22-16 loss at Woodstock North (5-2) last Friday. Marengo, a Class 4A semifinalist a season ago under 10th-year coach Matt Lynch, looks to clinch a second straight playoff berth on the heels of a 10-year drought.