No. 1 ALTHOFF (10-0) at No. 9 TAYLORVILLE (8-2)
Kickoff: 4 p.m. Saturday at Taylorville High School
Last Week: Althoff defeated Carterville 53-14; Taylorville defeated Alton Marquette 32-24
Next Week: Winner advances into a quarterfinal round game against the winner of Mount Zion (9-1) vs. Rochester (9-1)
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ALTHOFF CRUSADERS (10-0)
Coach: Ken Turner (9th year, 66-34)
Rank: No. 1 in Illinois Class 4A poll
Playoff History: One of the top programs in the state in any class, the Crusaders are making their seventh straight appearance in the IHSA postseason and 13th appearance in the last 15 years. In the playoffs for the 23rd time, Althoff has a mark of 41-19 with three state championships in 1980, 1989 and 1990 and a pair of second place finishes. Althoff was second in Class 2A in 2012 and was the Class 4A runner-up a year ago.
Scouting Report: The Crusaders, which have outscored opponents 481-163, continued to roll last week as running back Jaylon Bester ran for 120 yards and quarterback Trey Mosley added three touchdowns in Althoff’s torching of Carterville. One of the premier backs in the southern part of the state, Bester (129 attempts, 1,823 yards, 23 TD’s) averages over 14 yards each time he carries the football. Mosley, throwing to a deep and talented group mof receivers which include CJ Colden (43 receptions, 749 yards, 10 TD’s) and Jordan Goodwin (32 catches for 528 yards and 6TD’s) has completed 63 percent of his pass attempts for over 1,900 yards with 27 touchdowns and only three interceptions. Bryson Strong (89 tackles, 49 solos, 4 sacks) and Christian Wills (89 tackles, 48 solos, 8 sacks) lead an impressive Althoff defense.
TAYLORVILLE TORNADOES (8-2)
Coach: Jeb Odam (8th year, 45-34)\
Rank: No. 10 in Class 4A poll
Playoff history: The Tornadoes are making their 18th playoff appearance and fourth in a row. Taylorville is 10-17 all time in the postseason but have made back-to-back trips to the quarterfinals the past two years. Under Odam, Taylorville is 29-5 in the psst three years. The Tornadoes lost to Mater Dei 42-20 in the state quarterfinals a year ago.
Scouting Report: The Tornadoes feature a balanced attack on offense and stingy defense which has allowed only 125 points in 10 games. Quarterback Brandon Odam (64-of-115 for 1,335 yards and 11 TD’s) is the man in charge of leading the Taylorville offense which averages just under 33 points per game. Justin Wright (30 receptions, 635 yards, 7 TD’s) leads a strong group of receivers which includes three other players with more than 12 receptions on the season. Parker Stokes (83 carries, 765 yards, 11 TD’s) and Evan Champley (81 carries, 555 yards, 9 TD’s) are the top running backs while Odam and Wright have also accounted for over 700 yards and nine touchdowns on the ground.