No. 2 Sterling (10-0) at No. 10 Kaneland (7-3)
Game time: 6 p.m. Saturday
Last week: Sterling 48, St. Viator 0; Kaneland 47, Lindblom 0
Outlook: The Kanleand offense is running on full power. Quarterback Jack Douglas rushed for 2 touchdowns last week and threw for 2 more in a blowout at Lindblom. Despite missing time at midseason with an injury, the senior has thrown for 1,448 yards and 18 touchdowns on 83-of-133 passing (62.4 percent). He has been intercepted twice. His top receiver is 6-foot-2, 175-pound senior Josh Marczuk, who has 41 catches for 742 yards (18.1 avg.) and 12 touchdowns. A strong offensive line has allowed junior Jonathan Alstott to rush for 867 yards and 8 touchdowns in 128 attempts (6.8 avg), while senior Trevor Jones has carried 95 times for 538 yards (5.7 avg.) and 8 touchdowns. "We're peaking right now and playing our best football," Kaneland first-year coach Pat Ryan said. "Everyone starts the playoffs 0-0 so you can throw the records out the door. We're healthy and playing football as good as anybody. If we just continue doing what we do, we'll be successful." Kaneland's defense holds opponents to 17.1 ppg, led by senior defensive end Jacob Brown (8 sacks), junior defensive back Kyle Angelotti (5 interceptions), junior free safety Zach Denning (87 total tackles), junior middle linebacker Bryce Cohoon (72 tackles, 2 sacks) and junior linebacker Chaz Shaw (68 tackles)
These teams played five common opponents. Both blew out Geneseo, Yorkville and Ottawa. Kaneland defeated Sycamore 28-14 while Sterling beat Sycamore 21-0. The difference was DeKalb. The Golden Warriors defeated DeKalb 31-3 in Week 9. Kaneland lost to the Barbs 31-13 in Week 5, though Douglas missed that game with an injury. "There's been a lot of talk about who beat who, but it all about matchups as far as size and skill," Ryan said. "We're two pretty good football teams. We both have good running backs, and defensively we're very similar teams. We both play fast."
Advancement: The winner advances to a quarterfinal against the winner between No. 14 Marian Central (6-4) at No. 11 Glenbard South (6-4)