High School Football

Waterloo looks to even score against Highland in Class 5A playoffs

NO. 15 WATERLOO (5-4) AT NO. 2 HIGHLAND (8-1)

Kickoff: 1 p.m. Saturday at Highland High School

Next Week: Winner advances to the second round against No. 7 Kankakee (6-3) or No. 10 Metamora (6-3)

WATERLOO BULLDOGS (5-4)

Coach: Dan Rose (17th year, 81-81)

Rankings: Waterloo is unranked

Playoff history: The Bulldogs are making their 16th playoff appearance and first since 2014. Waterloo is 5-15 all-time in the postseason. The Bulldogs placed second Class 3A in 1993, losing to Pontiac 48-18 in the title contest. Waterloo has not won a playoff game since the 1994 season.

Scouting report: Waterloo, which lost to Highland 14-3 in week five of the regular season features a balanced offensive attack and a tough defense which has had its moments despite giving up 19.6 points per game. The Bulldogs offense, which is scoring 20.2 points a game is led by running back Scott Nanney (148 attempts, 860 yards and 7TD’s). Nanney is coming off a 189 yard effort a week ago against playoff bound Mater Dei. Quarterback Ross Schrader (66 of 139, 823 yard, 5 TD’s) is also a solid contributor while Kyle Knefelkamp (26 catches, 446 yards, 3 TD’s) is Schrader’s favorite target. Logan Kaufmann (91 tackles, 49 solos) and Michael Toth (91 tackles, 53 solos) lead the defense

HIGHLAND BULLDOGS (8-1)

Coach: Jimmy Warnecke (sixth year, 41-20)

Rankings: Highland is ranked second in Class 5A

Playoff history:Highland is making its 19th playoff appearance and the 2016 IHSA playoffs marks the fifth straight year the Bulldogs have qualified for the postseason. Highland is 11-18 overall in the playoffs and reached the Class 4A state semifinals in 1989 before losing to Morris 40-14.

Scouting report: The Bulldogs have reeled off eight straight wins since a season opening loss to Cahokia despite battling injuries for much of the year. Quarterback Garrett Marti has picked up the slack left by the injury to top running back Trent Rakers. Marti has completed 101 of 158 attempts for 1, 500 yard and 12 touchdowns while rushing for 638 yards and 10 scores. Running back Brady Feldman (477 yards, seven TDs) and wide receiver Sam LaPorta (39 catches, 722 yards, six TDs) have also been solid for a Bulldogs offense which is averaging 31 points a game. Kyle Lane (92 tackles, 61 solos) leads the Highland defense.

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