Scouting Fox quarterfinal playoff football games
No. 12 St. Rita (9-2) at No. 4 St. Charles North (10-1)
When: 1 p.m. Saturday
About the North Stars: St. Charles North is riding a 10-game winning streak. Headlined by two-way standout RB/LB Drew Surges, the North Stars have rolled since their Week 1 loss to Palatine -- who also is still alive in the Class 8A playoffs. Their formula to win starts with establishing Surges and then opening up passing opportunities for Will Vaske to a host of receivers. Defensively, the North Stars have been mostly excellent limiting big plays and chunk yardage.
About the Mustangs: St. Rita balanced a two-quarterback system in the regular season, but appears settled on junior QB Jett Hilding, who threw three touchdown passes last week in a win over Prospect. Mustangs running back DJ Stewart has been effective as just one of several playmakers on offense. Defensively, Rita has done well in the turnover margin and that's always a key to win games, particularly on the road.
Up next: The winner plays either Mt. Carmel or Brother Rice in the Class 7A semifinals
No. 7 Yorkville (10-1) at No. 18 Batavia (8-3)
When: 1 p.m. Saturday
About the Bulldogs: Batavia survived double overtime in an ultimate win over previously undefeated Hersey last week. Th Bulldogs' recipe for success begins on the ground with Ryan Whitwell and star linebacker Tyler Jansey has been unleashed as a situational rusher. Jansey has been a machine on both sides of the ball production-wise. Drew Gerke is as dangerous as anyone left in the field on special teams, so look for field position to be a key aspect in this one.
About the Foxes: Like Batavia, Yorkville is battle-tested in overtime situations. Yorkville survived quadruple overtime last week to defeat Moline. Defensively, the Foxes are led by Colorado State recruit Andrew Laurich, Wyoming commit Jake Davies and Blake Kersting on their fierce D-Line. Offensively, standout running back Gio Zeman, who has rushed for 973 yards and six TDs this season, is questionable for this week with a shoulder injury. Josh Gettemy will then get the lion's share of carries in that scenario.
Up next: The winner advances to the Class 7A semifinal round against the winner between No. 11 Lake Zurich (10-1) and No. 3 Pekin (11-0).