METRO-EAST FOOT­BALL TEAMS HIT THE ROAD

Belleville News-Democrat - - Front Page - BY DEAN CRIDDLE dcrid­dle@bnd.com

Four area high school foot­ball teams will play quar­ter­fi­nals on the road.

The sub­ur­ban Chicago area will be the place to be for metro east area high school foot­ball fans Satur­day as four lo­cal teams travel north for quar­ter­fi­nal play­off games.

High­land, seeded sec­ond in Class 5A, and Edwardsville, the 23rd seed in Class 8A, hope to move into the semi­fi­nal round for the sec­ond straight year. High­land will take on 14th-seed and 13-time state cham­pion Joliet Catholic, while Edwardsville faces sec­ond seed and reign­ing state cham­pion Lin­coln-Way East.

Eight-time state cham­pion East St. Louis will travel to Gately Sta­dium for a sec­ond straight year to bat­tle 12-time state cham­pion Chicago Mount Carmel in a bat­tle of elite Class 7A foot­ball pro­grams.

South Seven Con­fer­ence cham­pion Ca­hokia will travel to Coun­try Club Hills to bat­tle un­de­feated and top-seeded Coun­try Club Hills Hi­crest in a Class 5A quar­ter­fi­nal round.

Here is a closer look at the four quar­ter­fi­nal-round games in­volv­ing metro east area teams.

CLASS 8A: (23) EDWARDSVILLE AT (2) (FRANK­FORT) LIN­COLN-WAY EAST

Kick­off: Satur­day, 6 p.m. Scout­ing the Tigers (8-3): As base­ball great Yogi Berra would have said “it’s deja vu all over again” for the Tigers, who for the sec­ond year in a row have re­bounded from three reg­u­lar-sea­son losses and are one of the last re­main­ing lo­cal teams still play­ing in Novem­ber.

The Tigers, who reached the Class 8A semi­fi­nals a year ago, have not been pushed in wins over Evanston and West Au­rora.

Mak­ing its eighth straight post­sea­son ap­pear­ance, Edwardsville reached the Class 7A state ti­tle game twice, los­ing to Mount Prospect in 2001 and 2002.

Se­nior quar­ter­back Kendall Ab­dur-Rah­man, a Notre Dame prospect, leads the Tigers of­fense, which is av­er­ag­ing 43 points.

The Tigers al­low just over 19 points per game.

Last week: The Tigers de­feated West Au­rora 45-16 in a sec­ond-round game

Scout­ing the Griffins (11- 0): Coached by Rob Zvonar, the Griffins en­ter the quar­ter­fi­nal game rid­ing a 25-game win streak.

They won their sec­ond state cham­pi­onship a year ago, de­feat­ing Loy­ola Acad­emy (23-14) in the ti­tle game, and are in the IHSA play­offs for the 18th straight sea­son.

Lin­coln-Way East has not given up a point in the past 12 quar­ters.

The Griffins av­er­age just over 45 points and have given up just over six per con­test. The Griffins’ de­fense has six shutouts this year.

Last week: Lin­coln-Way East

de­feated Glen­bard West 45-0 in a sec­ond-round game.

UP NEXT: The win­ner ad­vances to a semi­fi­nal game against ei­ther No. 19 Loy­ola Acad­emy or No. 6 Maine South

CLASS 7A (15) EAST ST. LOUIS AT (7) CHICAGO MOUNT CARMEL

Kick­off: Satur­day, 5 p.m. at Gately Sta­dium

Scout­ing the Fly­ers (9-2): Re­venge will be on the minds of the Fly­ers, whose come­back at­tempt fell short in a 21-18 loss to Mount Carmel in a quar­ter­fi­nal round game last year.

Three wins away from a ninth state cham­pi­onship, East St. Louis has played near flaw­less foot­ball in de­mol­ish­ing Hoff­man Es­tates (62-14) in the first round and sec­ond-seeded Glen­bard East (56-14) a week ago.

One of the top sopho­more quar­ter­backs in the state, Tyler Ma­con is the leader of a Fly­ers of­fense with weapons ev­ery­where. Ma­con has thrown for more than 2,200 yards with 26 touch­down passes and has also run for 1,100 yards and 17 scores.

Last week: East St. Louis moved into the Class 7A quar­ter­fi­nals for the third straight year with a 56-14 win over Glen­bard East.

Scout­ing the Car­a­van (10-1): Also one of the pre­mier foot­ball pro­grams in the state, the 12-time state cham­pion Car­a­van is mak­ing its 35th play­off ap­pear­ance.

In ad­di­tion to the 12 state ti­tles, Mount Carmel has placed sec­ond five times.

The Car­a­van av­er­ages 31 points per game while al­low­ing only six. Cham­pi­ons of the Catholic League Green Di­vi­sion, Mount Carmel has five shutouts.

Last week: Chicago Mount Carmel de­feated Lake Zurich 17-14

UP NEXT: The win­ner ad­vances to a semi­fi­nal game against ei­ther No.22 St. Charles North or No. 14 Wheaton War­renville-South.

CLASS 5A: (2) HIGH­LAND AT (14) JOLIET CATHOLIC

Kick­off: Satur­day, 5 p.m.

Scout­ing the Bull­dogs (11- 0): The Bull­dogs will ven­ture out of Madi­son County for just the sec­ond time in two years for a play­off game af­ter rack­ing up five straight play­off wins at home.

High­land is one win away from a sec­ond straight ap­pear­ance in the state semi­fi­nals.

The Bull­dogs lost to even­tual state cham­pion Rochester in a fourth round game in class 4A a year ago.

The Bull­dogs, who have scored 117 points in two play­off games, fea­ture a bal­anced of­fen­sive at­tack which is led by se­nior quar­ter­back Jack Et­ter, wide re­ceiver Sam La­porta and run­ning back Brady Feld­mann.

In his first sea­son at quar­ter­basck, Et­ter has thrown for more than 2,600 yards and 37 touch­downs, La­Porta has been on the re­ceiv­ing end of 19 of Et­ter’s scor­ing passes and has 64 catches for 1,379 yards.

Feld­mann, who has run for over 3,000 yards dur­ing his ca­reer, now has 1,144 yards and 28 touch­downs this sea­son.

Last week: High­land de­feated Mat­toon 56-35 in a sec­ond-round game.

Scout­ing the Hill­top­pers (7- 4): Af­ter a rare los­ing sea­son last year, the Hill­top­pers are in the post­sea­son for the 40th time and look­ing for a state record 14th state ti­tle.

Fifth in the East Sub­ur­ban Catholic Con­fer­ence, Joliet Catholic reached the play­offs with a 5-4 record but seems to be play­ing its best foot­ball of the sea­son.

The Hil­lop­pers fea­ture a run-ori­ented of­fense led by se­nior Keenan Hai­ley (2,006 yards, 22 TDs) and ju­nior Nick Ian­na­tone (974 yards, 11 TDs).

Last week: Joliet Catholic de­feated Mar­ion 49-7

UP NEXT: The win­ner ad­vances to a semi­fi­nal against ei­ther No. 4 Ca­hokia or No. 1 Coun­try Club Hills Hill­crest.

CLASS 5A: (4) CA­HOKIA AT (1) COUN­TRY CLUB HILLS HILL­CREST

Kick­off: Satur­day, 3 p.m.

Scout­ing the Co­manches (10-1): In the play­offs for the first time in nearly a decade, the Co­manches con­tinue to make the most of their op­por­tu­nity.

Led by a de­fense which has al­lowed just 94 points all sea­son, Ca­hokia is in the quar­ter­fi­nals for the first time since 2008.

Rid­ing a nine-game win­ning streak, Ca­hokia’s at­tack is spear­headed by quar­ter­back Ma­lik Shaw who has thrown for 1,881 yards and 20 touch­downs.

Se­nior run­ning back Vin­cent Perry has 1,201 yards and five touch­downs.

Last week: Ca­hokia de­feated Car­bon­dale 33-0.

Scout­ing the Hawks (11- 0); Outscor­ing its 11 op­po­nents 483-63, Hill­crest dom­i­nated the South Sub­ur­ban Blue Con­fer­ence and has outscored its two play­off foes 87-7. Hill­crest is mak­ing its 18th play­off ap­pear­ance.

Sopho­more Mar’Kiese Irv­ing is the top of­fen­sive player with 911 yards and 13 touch­downs.

Se­nior quar­ter­back Basil Ed­wards runs the Hawks high-pow­ered of­fense and has thrown for over 1,700 yards and 18 touch­downs.

Last week: Hill­crest de­feated De­catur MacArthut 40-7

UP NEXT: The win­ner ad­vances to a semi­fi­nal against No. 2 High­land or No. 14 Joliet Catholic.

CHRIS JOHNS

Tyler Ma­con of East St. Louis is one of the top sopho­more quar­ter­backs in the state. He has more than 2,200 yards pass­ing and 1,100 run­ning.

JIMMY J SIM­MONS

Ca­hokia’s Dar­ian Dean does some cel­e­brat­ing on the side­line af­ter an in­ter­cep­tion. Ca­hokia’s de­fense has al­lowed just 94 points all sea­son.

CHRIS JOHNS

High­land’s Brady Feld­mann has run for more than 3,000 yards dur­ing his ca­reer, with 1,144 this sea­son.

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