CLASS 8A#15 Minooka (8-2) at #2 Barrington (10-0)When: Friday, 7 p.m.
How they got here: Minooka beat Notre Dame 22-19 in OT. Barrington beat Glenbrook South 48-3
Advancement: Winner plays winner of Palatine-Edwardsville.
Outlook: Barrington continues to roll over its opponents, as the Broncos advanced to the second round of the playoffs for a fifth consecutive year. With quarterback Ray Niro leading the charge, the Broncos have stampeded their way to scoring nearly 41 points per game. But in recent weeks, it has not just been the Niro show. Michael Curran has been taking the pressure off his star QB by rushing for at least 73 yards in the Broncos' last 3 games. Alec Andrea, Johnny Gagne, Luis Cossio and Nicholas Bogaerts have been solid receiving threats. While the offense has received most of the accolades, the Barrington defense has stepped up quite nicely, limiting opponents to 18 points per game. Minooka has not been flashy, but has played great football all season, scoring 25 points per game while allowing just 11 points per game. The Indians are led by 70-year old coach Terry McCombs.
#26 Edwardsville (7-3) at #23 Palatine (7-3)When: Saturday, 3 p.m.
How they got here: Edwardsville beat Huntley 42-38. Palatine beat South Elgin 24-3
Advancement: Winner plays winner of Minooka-Barrington
Outlook: Palatine is playing its best football at the right time. And they will need to continue that play against an Edwardsville teams that is traveling to the Northwest suburbs for the second weekend in a row. The Pirates are coming off a dominant performance in their win over South Elgin. Palatine's defense, which has been solid all year, has become even more powerful thanks to the play of linebacker Cortez Hogans. Palatine's defensive front of Bryant Smith, Josh Danielson and Jesus Salinas will need to be at its best to slow down an Edwardsville team that rushed for 339 yards last week and is averaging 42 points per game. Palatine's offense has been the high-flying variety the past few seasons. But the Pirates' slow but steady approach this fall has given the Pirates possession of the football and has kept opposing offenses off the field. DJ Angelaccio has continued to earn the confidence of his coaches while Jack Orlando, Johnny O'Shea and Marcus Stoudemire have taken advantage of opposing defenses.
CLASS 6A#7 Hoffman Estates (8-2) at #15 Lake Forest (6-4) West Campus
When: Saturday, 1 p.m.
How they got here: Hoffman Estates beat De La Salle 34-0. Lake Forest beat Riverside-Brookfield 35-10.
Advancement: winner plays the winner of Belvidere North-Grayslake North.
Outlook: The fact that Hoffman Estates blew out De La Salle surprised everyone but the Hawks. Hoffman appears to be on a mission, and Lake Forest is the next step. Hoffman's offense had the pedal all the way down last week, rolling up 430 yards of offense. And what makes the Hawks even more dangerous is that they are able to spread that offense around to quarterback Austin Coalson, wide receiver Jayvon Blissett, wide receiver/Wildcat running back Jaylan Alexander and running back Jaylin Johnson. Look also for wide receiver Will Nune to have a larger role this week. Lake Forest likes to throw the ball with quarterback Jack Mislinski. But he and the Scouts will have to deal with one of the area's top defensive secondaries in Anjiel Jones, Cameron Kindred, Clevontae Jackson and Trevon Hall. Lake Forest will also have to account for a Hawks pass rush that had 7 sacks last week. The Scouts have had just 2 wins against teams that finished over .500 this year.