High School Football

2A football playoff preview: Red Bud at Du Quoin

Red Bud Musketeers junior quarterback is in the midst of a strong season for his playoff-bound team.
Red Bud Musketeers junior quarterback is in the midst of a strong season for his playoff-bound team.

No. 9 RED BUD at No. 8 Du QUOIN

Kickoff: 2 p.m. Saturday

Next week: Winner advances to face the winner of top-seeded and top-ranked Downs-Tri Valley vs. Rushville-Industry in second round.

RED BUD MUSKETEERS (7-2)

Coach: Dave Lucht (15th year, 61-90)

Rank: 12th in final 2A state rankings

Playoff history: This is Red Bud’s sixth state playoff appearance and first since 2011.

Scouting report: Red Bud likes to score points in bunches and score in a hurry. The only team that truly slowed down the Musketeers was Cahokia Conference rival Columbia, which knocked off Red Bud 55-14 on Oct. 14. Red Bud averages 46 points per game and the offense is led by junior quarterback Griffin Ziebold (78-of-114, 1,625 yards, 24 touchdowns, three interceptions) and running back Ryan Hess (1,396 yards, 23 TDs). After a 277-yard night against Portageville (Mo.), Hess did not play against Columbia because of an ankle injury and had four carries for 46 yards in the regular-season finale against Sparta. Hess had a 301-yard, four-TD game earlier this season against Freeburg. Red Bud’s top receivers are Gavin Rensing (29 catches, 694 yards, 14 TDs) and Alex Birchler (23 catches, 520 yards, eight TDs). Linebacker Logan Houba has 105 tackles, three interceptions and a sack while Rensing has 57 tackles and five sacks.

Du QUOIN INDIANS (7-2)

Coach: A.J. Hill (second year, 12-7); Hill is the brother of Southern Illinois University Carbondale coach Nick Hill.

Rank: 10th in final 2A state rankings

Playoff history: Du Quoin won 3A state titles in 1988 and 1992 and has finished second five times. This is the Indians’ 30th playoff appearance and second straight postseason trip.

Scouting report: Du Quoin has won six straight after a 1-2 start that included losses to Harrisburg and Herrin. The Indians have scored 41 or more points in four of their last five game, with the closes battle a 14-13 win over playoff-bound Anna-Jonesboro. Running back Zayne Fornear had 251 yards and two TDs last week in a 41-21 win over Murphysboro while quarterback Caleb Vogel threw for 138 yards and four touchdowns. Top receivers are Devin Jones and Jordan Edwards.

Norm Sanders: 618-239-2454, @NormSanders

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