Scouting Fox Valley area playoff matchups
Twelve teams from the Fox Valley area learned their playoff opponents Saturday night. Here is a quick look at each matchup with a more detailed breakdown coming next week.
No. 17 St. Charles East (7-2) at No. 16 Edwardsville (7-2)
Gas up the bus. The Saints open the playoffs 268 miles away in Edwardsville, located in suburban St. Louis. St. Charles East makes its fourth straight playoff appearance. The Saints made a Class 8A quarterfinal in 2016 but were eliminated by Lincoln-Way East each of the past two seasons.
Edwardsville finished the season with three straight wins. The Tigers have outscored their opponents 280-192.
The winner will likely face No. 1 Minooka (9-0) in the second round unless No. 32 Joliet West (4-5) pulls a major upset.
No. 25 Oswego East (5-4) at No. 8 South Elgin (8-1)
Upstate Eight Conference co-champion South Elgin makes its third straight playoff appearance and the sixth in the program's 14-year history. The Storm won a first-round game last season for the second time.
Oswego East played in a tough league and garnered 43 playoffs points. Five of six members of the Southwest Prairie West Division made the postseason. The Wolves lost four straight against playoff teams before they snapped that skid Friday with a 16-13 win at West Aurora. They have outscored the opposition 210-109.
The winner advances to face the winner between No. 9 Bartlett (8-1) and No. 24 Brother Rice (5-4). No. 1 Minooka is a possible quarterfinal opponent.
No. 24 Brother Rice (5-4) at No. 9 Bartlett (8-1)
The Upstate Eight Conference co-champion Hawks make their second straight playoff appearance and 14th overall since 2000.
Bartlett hopes for a better first-round showing than a year ago, when the No. 15 seed was manhandled 49-20 on its home field by No. 18 Glenbard West.
Brother Rice's record is deceiving because it plays in the 24-team Chicago Catholic League/East Suburban Catholic Conference, arguably the best football league in the state. The Crusaders, the 2018 Class 8A state runner-up, lost to playoff teams Providence (6-3), Loyola Academy (6-3), St. Laurence (5-4) and Mt. Carmel (9-0). They defeated playoff teams Hillcrest (8-1), Marist (5-4) and Joliet Catholic (6-3).
No. 28 Elgin (5-4) at No. 5 Oswego (8-1)
The Maroons return to the postseason for the 11th time overall and the first time 2010, led by playmakers Xavier Bonds, Alex West and Jeff Lomax. Elgin lost its first four games against eventual playoff qualifiers then ran the table by averaging 37 points per game.
Oswego finished second to top seed Minooka in the West Division of the Southwest Prairie Conference, which sent five of six member to the playoffs. The Panthers had won eight straight games until Friday's 28-21 loss to Minooka in Oswego.
The winner takes on the winner of No. 21 Bolingbrook (6-3) at No. 12 Hinsdale Central (8-1).
No. 26 Taft (5-4) at No. 7 Huntley (8-1)
This is the sixth straight playoff appearance for the Red Raiders, who shared the Fox Valley Conference title with Prairie Ridge.
This game may or may not happen since Chicago Public School teachers remain on strike. CPS teams must resume practice by Wednesday in order to get three practices in, the minimum acclimatization standard required by the IHSA. Otherwise, Huntley will advance via forfeit to face the winner of No. 10 Glenbard East (8-1) and No. 23 Marist (5-4).
St. Edward (6-3)
The Green Wave make a second straight playoff appearance and their seventh in the last 11 seasons under coach Mike Rolando.
A Class 4A team a year ago, they drop down two classes due to the success-based multiplier rule. St. Edward has won a first-round playoff game twice in nine postseason appearances (2010, 2014).
This game may not be played, depending on the ongoing Chicago Public Schools teachers strike. The IHSA has stated qualifying CPS schools must practice by Wednesday to meet the standard number of three practices required to resume games. If the strike is not settled by then, the Green Wave win by forfeit and advance to the second round against the winner of No. 15 West Carroll (5-4) at No. 2 Fieldcrest (9-0).
No. 15 Aurora Christian (5-4) at No. 2 Lena-Winslow (9-0)
Aurora Christian makes the playoffs for the third straight year and 16th time overall. The Eagles reached a Class 1A quarterfinal a year ago as the ninth seed in the northern bracket but were crushed by Lena-Winslow 57-14.
Coach David Beebe purposefully changed the run/pass balance of his offense to better compete in the November elements against teams like L-W, which advanced to a state semifinal in 2018.
The winner advances to face the winner between No. 10 Orangeville (6-3) and No. 7 Hope Academy (7-2).
No. 10 Marmion (6-3) at No. 7 Amundsen (7-1)
The Cadets, who missed the playoffs in 2018, return to the postseason for the 17th time overall and the ninth time under 15-year coach Dan Thorpe.
Whether or not this game gets played depends on the ongoing Chicago Public Schools teachers strike. The IHSA has ruled that qualifying CPS schools must practice by Wednesday to meet the standard number of practices required to play again. If not, the Cadets win by forfeit for the second time in three weeks.
The winner gets the winner of No. 15 Hyde Park (5-3) at No. 2 Boylan Catholic (9-0).
No. 13 St. Ignatius (5-4) at No. 4 Cary-Grove (7-2)
Cary-Grove was the top seed in the northern bracket last season when the Trojans won the 6A title. They have advanced to the second round every season since 2004.
St. Ignatius lost four straight midseason games against playoff teams Benet, Marmion, Loyola and Joliet Catholic. The enter the playoffs on a 3-game winning streak, which included wins over playoff teams Marian Catholic and Fenwick.
If the Trojans reach a quarterfinal, the likely opponent would be rival Prairie Ridge, which handed Cary-Grove a 42-7 defeat in Week 8.
The winner gets a second-round date with the winner of No. 12 Mather (6-2) vs. No. 5 Antioch (7-2)
No. 15 Crystal Lake South (5-4) at No. 2 Deerfield (7-2)
Crystal Lake South makes its 21st playoff appearance since 1982 and its second straight under third-year coach Rob Fontana. The Gators won a first-round game last year against Kenwood 49-0.
Deerfield finished second to Maine West in the Central Suburban North. The Warriors enter the playoffs on a 4-game winning streak. They have beaten playoff teams Lakes, Grayslake North and Vernon Hills. They also gave Class 7A No. 3 seed Rolling Meadows a scare in a 31-24 loss on Sept. 13.
The winner plays the winner of No. 10 Riverside-Brookfield (6-3) at No. 7 Kenwood (7-1).
No. 11 Crystal Lake Central (6-3) at No. 7 Kaneland (7-2)
Kaneland makes its 20th playoff appearance and third straight under third-year coach Pat Ryan. The Knights have reached the second round each of the last two seasons. They were knocked out last year by eventual state champion Cary-Grove. The offense is led by three-year quarterback Joe Smith.
Crystal Lake Central's spread offense is directed by senior quarterback Aidan Ellinger. The Tigers won their last three games to qualify, scoring 115 points in the process.
The winner takes on the winner of No. 14 Lake Forest (5-4) at No. 3 Belvidere North (7-2).
No. 26 Thornwood at No. 7 Batavia (7-2)
Batavia is used to making deep playoff runs. The Bulldogs won the Class 7A title in 2017 and reached a semifinal last season before falling to eventual state champion Nazareth.
The DuKane Conference co-champs could face a rematch against the Roadrunners and Michigan-bound junior quarterback J.J. McCarthy in a quarterfinal. No. 3 Rolling Meadows would be the semifinal opponent if seeds hold. Batavia would not face No. 1 Mt. Carmel, No. 4 Hersey or No. 5 Willowbrook until the title game in DeKalb.
The winner advances to play the winner between No. 10 Hononegah (7-2) and No. 23 Grant (6-3)