No. 3 Morris (8-2) at No. 11 Triad (7-3)
Kickoff: 3 p.m. Saturday
Next week: The winner will play No. 2 Highland (9-1) or No. 11 Metamora (7-3)
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Coach: Alan Thorson (seventh year, 49-26)
Rank: Fifth in Class 5A
First round: Defeated Marion 48-28
Playoff history: Morris is 68-28 all-time in the playoffs, with 32 berths in the postseason. The Redskins won state championships in 1980 (Class 3A), 1984 (Class 4A) and 2005 (Class 6A). They were runner-ups in Class 5A in 2007 and 2012. Morris lost to Mascoutah 7-6 in the Class 3A championship game in 1979.
Scouting report: Morris is a powerful offensive club that has amassed 349 points and has scored at least 34 points in four of its last five games. They’ve scored 48 points on three occasions and had a 62-point outburst in their season opener. Most of the Redskins’ production comes on the ground, as they average 293 yards rushing per game behind a dominating offensive line. Senior Michael Feeney has gained 1,072 yards, with five games over 100, and has scored eight touchdowns. Senior Keagan Sobol has rushed for 616 yards and 10 touchdowns and senior Michael Gerischer has 434 yards and nine touchdowns). The quarterback is senior Ricky Del favero, who has rushed for 387 yards and five touchdowns. Del favero is 43-for-98 for 612 yards and six touchdowns through the air. Defensively, Morris possesses a talented group of linebackers led by the 5-foot-11, 205-pound Sobol (103 tackles), 6-0, 177-pound senior Merrick Hairapetian (87 tackles) and 6-1, 210-pound junior Kaden Laurie (85 tackles). Defensive back Feeney lead the Redskins in interceptions with four and senior tackle Jared Akin (6-3, 225) has a team-high four sacks.
Coach: Paul Bassler (19th season, 114-78)
First round: Defeated Geneseo 35-7
Playoff history: Triad has been in the postseason 20 times, including 13 times under Bassler. The Knights are 10-19 all-time in the playoffs, and they reached the quarterfinals in 2001 and 2005, both times in Class 5A.
Scouting report: Triad, once again, is a run-oriented team that loves to hammer away at opponents and keep the clock rolling and the chains moving. The Knights average just under 30 points per game and limit opponents to 17 1/2. Triad averages a whopping 325 yards rushing per game, with senior quarterback Tommy Bauer leading the way with 1,028 yards and 21 touchdowns. Senior Tom Kraudel is right behind with 1,023 yards and nine touchdowns, and he had a season-high 191 yards on 21 carries in the victory over Geneseo. Junior Trevor Nott (612 yards, six touchdowns) and sophomore Devin Towns (365 yards, two touchdowns) also are very involved. Nott had 120 yards on 13 carries against Geneseo. Junior linebacker Nathan Clark (6-foot-1, 220 pounds) has 86 tackles and six sacks to lead the defense. Senior end Chris Berg (5-11, 206) tops Triad with seven sacks, and senior defensive back Jeron Pino has three interceptions.