Scouting Rolling Meadows at Wheaton Warrenville South
No. 4 Rolling Meadows (11-0) at No. 22 Wheaton-Warrenville South
When: Saturday, 1 p.m.
Playoffs: Rolling Meadows beat Lincoln Park 33-12 and Prospect 26-14; Wheaton Warrenville South beat Machesney Park Harlem 50-23 and Downers Grove North 28-7.
Advancement: Winner plays the winner of Nazareth or Batavia in the semifinals. Meadows, if it wins Saturday, will host the semifinal game.
Outlook: Rolling Meadows is making its first appearance in the quarterfinals since 2016 and its third in school history. The Mustangs have advanced to the semifinals only once, that coming in 2004.
Success has been the norm for the Mustangs. Coming into this game, Rolling Meadows has won 21 of its last 22 games.
"We are having a good time this week," Rolling Meadows coach Matt Mishler said. "Everyone has been great to us and accommodating. The student body, the teachers, staff and community are all enjoying the process."
It was the Rolling Meadows rushing attack that had the Mustangs off to the races last week against Prospect. Led by Chris Divito, who had 136 yards and 2 rushing touchdowns, and Charlie Schmidt, who also rushed for a touchdown, Meadows piled up 214 yards on the ground.
The Meadows passing game is directed by Carson Schiller, who has thrown for 2,073 yards with 23 touchdowns and just 2 interceptions. Schiller has a plethora of receivers to throw to including Michael Sobkowicz, Nife Oseni, Jordan Wiles and Jimmy Golaris.
While the offense usually receives the headlines, it is the Mustang defense that has quietly taken center stage.
Led by defensive end Nate Pedraza, the Meadows' defense allowed just 4 first downs last week. Pedraza gets plenty of help up front from Jose Aleman and Mic Lawlor. They are backed up by Divito, Matt Walas, Sean Nolan, Kevin Jacks and Brian Sroka. The defense has allowed 15 points per game.
"Our defense certainly has been playing great," Mishler said. "They were fantastic Friday night and have been like that all season. "
They will have to shut down a Wheaton South offense that has scored 30.5 points per game. The Tigers like to run and will lean hard on running backs Jake Arthurs and Prince Lankah, who have combined for 1,437 yards.
Quarterback Parker Brown has played well, throwing for over 1,700 yards with 17 touchdowns. He also has thrown 9 interceptions.
Jake Olsen, who is one of Brown's favorite receivers, is also one of the best kickers in the state. He will be headed to Michigan State next season to kick for the Spartans.
"They definitely want to run," Mishler said of the Tigers. "Their quarterback is athletic and when he gets out of the pocket he can be dangerous. They have lots of weapons on the perimeter that can hurt you. "
Wheaton South is making its second consecutive quarterfinal appearance. The Tigers finished third in the DuKane conference this season, with losses coming to St. Charles East, Batavia and Glenbard North.
"I think it is going to be a good football game with two evenly matched teams," Mishler said. "Like all games, it will come down to who controls the line of scrimmage. A couple of big plays could make the difference. "