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Playoff football preview capsules

Waubonsie Valley's Troy Fumagalli makes one-handed grab against Lake Park. | Jeff Cagle~For Sun-Times Media

Waubonsie Valley's Troy Fumagalli makes a one-handed grab against Lake Park. | Jeff Cagle~For Sun-Times Media

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high school

CUBE

Updated: October 25, 2012 7:51PM



CLASS 8A

No. 13 Proviso West (6-3) at No. 4 Waubonsie Valley (8-1)

Game time: 7 p.m. Friday

Last week: Proviso West 26, Oak Park-River Forest 23; Waubonsie Valley 41, Metea Valley 16.

Advancement: Winner vs. winner of No. 12 Oak Park-River Forest (6-3)-No. 5 Hinsdale Central (7-2).

Outlook: The Warriors, led by RB Austin Guido 1,826 yards rushing (8.3 average) and 27 TDs, find themselves surrounded by West Suburban Silver qualifiers in the quadrant they head up. Paul Murphy’s club no doubt is tired of hearing how last year’s No. 1 seeded Warriors fell to a No. 16 seed and would like to make a statement.

Proviso West coach Famous Hulbert said, “We’re not intimidated. We competed in the West Suburban Silver. We’re battle-tested.” Their defense is led by Jamaal Payton (103 tackles), who was last year’s conference player of the year.

CLASS 7A

No. 8 Downers Grove North (5-4) at No. 1 Batavia (9-0)

Game time: 7 p.m. Friday

Last week: Glenbard West 26, Downers Grove North 0; Batavia 49, Elgin 12.

Advancement: Winner vs. winner of No. 5 Thornton (7-2)-No. 4 T.F. South (7-2).

Outlook: An upset special? That’s what many pundits are predicting, arguing that the Bulldogs may be overrated due to a “down” Upstate Eight River this year. The visiting Trojans of the West Suburban Silver may be a year away though. They are led by 6-6 sophomore QB David Edwards, junior RB Kyle Leto and senior Branden Salter. Three starting LBs are also juniors. “It’s a very good league,” Batavia coach Dennis Piron says of the WS Silver. “And they’ve also had a good track record in the playoffs. This coaching staff has won a state title. They went 5-4 one year and beat an 8-1 Wheaton South team in the playoffs.”

No. 6 Plainfield North (7-2) at No. 3 Oswego (8-1)

Game time: 7 p.m. Friday

Last week: Plainfield North 48, Oswego East 14; Oswego 42, Plainfield Central 13.

Advancement: Winner vs. winner of No. 7 Andrew (6-3)-No. 2 Benet (8-1).

Outlook: Can they do it again? Oswego’s defense stepped up big-time in week 7 and shut down the North running game in a 35-7 Southwest Prairie Conference victory. Coach Tim Kane’s Tigers will be looking for revenge but need to find a way to stop the strong Panthers run game led by RB Mickeel Stewart and QB Brett Wainwright.

CLASS 5A

No. 16 Belvidere (5-4) at No. 1 Kaneland (9-0)

Game time: 7 p.m. Saturday

Last week: Belvidere 21, Belvidere North 13; Kaneland 33, Morris 30.

Advancement: Winner vs. winner of No. 8 Rochelle (6-3)-No. 9 Lincoln-Way West (6-3).

Outlook: Don’t be fooled by the seeds. Kaneland coach Tom Fedderly won’t. This is a rematch of a first-round game from last year won by the Knights 51-45. Belvidere is one of two 5A schools in the NIC-10 conference that includes three 6A and five 7A schools, which prepares the Bucs well. QB Troy Vandenbroek (1,221 yards passing) will lead the visitors, whose ground game features Maurice Jackson (556 yards) and Vandenbroek (363). Kane Steger has 569 receiving yards for a program that has two state titles (like the Knights) and one runner-up finish.

CLASS 4A

No. 6 Geneseo (5-4) at No. 3 Sandwich (6-3)

Game time: 6 p.m. Saturday

Last week: Geneseo 28, LaSalle-Peru 0; Lisle 20, Sandwich 14.

Advancement: Winner vs. winner of No. 7 Peotone (5-4)-No. 2 Coal City (8-1).

Outlook: The teams have a history with the Indians eliminating the Maple Leafs from the playoffs two years ago. They also run the same offensive system with FB Seth McDonald (1,100 yards rushing) and WB Austin Breunig (996) powering the Indians attack. Sandwich will be looking to bounce back from upset loss to Lisle that ended regular season on a bitter note. “We’ve gotta play mistake-free to have playoff wins,” said Sandwich coach Dusty Behringer. “If you don’t do the little things, you’re not gonna win.”

No. 5 Plano (6-3) at No. 4 Stillman Valley (6-3)

Game time: 2 p.m. Saturday

Last week: Plano 34 Dwight 6; Stillman Valley 47, Winnebago 21.

Advancement: Winner vs. winner of No. 8 Manteno (5-4)-No. 1 Rock Island Alleman (8-1).

Outlook: Reapers will be looking to avenge a 35-10 playoff loss to the Cardinals in last year’s first round. Stillman Valley ended on a high note last week, whipping a one-loss Winnebago team that came in averaging 45 points by a score of 47-21. Senior running back Michael Bowe (18-119 yards rushing) left in an ambulance with what the Rockford Register Star reported was a “cracked rib.” Stillman has trouble scheduling non-conference opponents and opened this year at Tinley Park, losing 17-16 to the bigger school.

CLASS 3A

No. 13 Raby (6-2) at No. 4 Aurora Christian (8-1)

Game time: 7 p.m. Friday

Last week: King 16, Raby 14; Aurora Christian 69, Guerin 0.

Advancement: Winner vs. winner of No. 12 Immaculate Conception (6-3)-No. 5 North Boone (8-1).

Outlook: Defending state champion Eagles open at home against Chicago Public League Illini Conference tri-champs (with King and Phillips), which is in the playoffs after going 4-5 last year. “They’ll have team speed that’s always scary. We’ll have to be real disciplined on defense,” said coach Don Beebe. “Our kids were really down (2 weeks ago) after losing at the end to Montini. We had a chance to beat them. I told them, ‘Go win this thing and you won’t even remember the Montini game.’ I think that helped settle them down.”

No. 14 Aurora Central (6-3) at No. 3 St. Joseph Ogden (8-1)

Game time: 5 p.m. Saturday

Advancement: Winner vs. winner of No. 11 Wilmington (7-2) vs. No. 6 Byron (7-2).

Outlook: It’s a brave new world for the Chargers, making their first playoff appearance since 1997 against a team that wouldn’t know what to do if there were no postseason. The Spartans are in the playoffs for the 22nd straight year under coach Dick Duval, whose teams have placed second in state four times but never won. Senior RB Chase Patton (separated shoulder), who has 1,070 yards rushing and 20 TDs but missed the last two games, is questionable for the game.

CLASS 1A

No. 14 Warren (5-4) at No. 3 Mooseheart (8-1)

Game time: 4 p.m. Saturday

Last week: Mooseheart 28, North Shore Country Day 27; Warren 50, Durand 24.

Advancement: Winner vs winner of No. 11 Monmouth United (6-3)-No. 6 Toulon Stark County (7-2).

Outlook: Warriors rebounded from a 1-8 season under first-year coach Shawn Teske to finish 5-4 and fourth in the nine-team Upstate Division of the Northwest Upstate Illini Conference. Junior QB Gavin Leverton has thrown for nearly 1,500 yards and Warren runners, led by junior Brady Raab (88-555, 12 TDs), have run for nearly 1,600 yards. The mostly junior team is wary of the Ramblers breakaway threats. “We know they’re gonna break one, we’ve just got to keep our heads up and go back strong,” said Teske.

Compiled by Rick Armstrong



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