Class 8A: No. 26 Edwardsville at No. 7 Huntley, 7 p.m.
Scouting the Tigers (6-3): The Tigers limped out to an 0-3 start but rallied for six straight wins in the Southwestern Conference, including key victories against playoff qualifiers Alton (20-17) and Belleville West (45-14). Edwardsville outscores its opponents by an average of 19.2 points.
The offense is led by 6-foot-1, 182-pound quarterback Kendall Abdur-Rahman, who leads the team with 1,045 yards and 19 touchdowns on 112 carries. He’s thrown just 64 passes but has completed four of six in the end zone to junior Lavontas Hairston.
Scouting the Red Raiders (8-1): Huntley comes out of the Fox Valley Conference, where it finished second to unbeaten Crystal Lake, of Prairie Ridge, which handed the Red Raiders their only loss — 51-43 in Week 2. The Red Raiders boasted the stingiest defense in the league, allowing just 190 points while outscoring their opponents by an average of 24.8 points.
The Red Raiders do it with a lot of balance on offense. Senior quarterback Eric Mooney completed 67 percent of his passes for 1,897 yards and has 19 touchdowns against just four interceptions. He’s also rushed for 923 yards and 15 scores. He’s supported by running back Melvin Aningagyei-bonsu, who leads Huntley with 1,027 yards and 18 touchdowns.
Next: The winner will face No. 10 South Elgin or No. 23 Palatine.
Class 5A: No. 15 Peoria Richwoods at No. 2 Triad, 7:30 p.m.
Scouting Triad (8-1): If not for that Week 5 hiccup against Mississippi Valley Conference rival Highland, it would be a perfect season thus far for the Knights. Triad rarely appears to dominate on the scoreboard because the triple-option, ball-control approach doesn’t lend itself to high scoring totals.
Still, an offense that average 32 points and a stifling defense that holds opponents to just 11.7 points pairs well. Five members of the backfield have at least 300 yards rushing, including quarterback Cody Qualls, who leads the way with 817 and 12 touchdowns. He’ll be more dangerous with the return of Trevor Nott, who has 451 yards and eight scores despite missing four games with an injury. He averages 13.3 yards per carry. Samual Yager has rushed for 32 yards. The Knights miss Elijah Kelly (366 yards), who suffered a season-ending knee injury in Week 5 against Highland.
Scouting Richwoods (5-4): Also known as the Knights, Peoria Richwoods scores in bunches and gives up points in bunches. The Knights average more than 466 yards and 42 points per game, but they allow an average of 40 points.
Keenan Streitmatter is a strong-armed, though not especially mobile, quarterback. Running back T’Nahleg Hall has been clocked at a 4.4 in the 40-yard dash but has yet to get many college offers. Sharod Danage and A.J. Johnson are a pair of solid possession receivers with Division II possibilities.
Next: The winner will face No. 7 Centralia or No. 10 Morton.
Class 4A: No. 14 Columbia at No. 3 Hersher, 7 p.m.
Scouting the Eagles (5-4): It’s been an up-and-down season for Columbia, which improved to 5-2 late in the season with big wins over Cahokia conference rivals Carlyle, Freeburg and Central. But the Eagles limp into the playoffs on the heals of consecutive losses to Red Bud and Jerseyville.
Though the defense has allowed an average of 27 points per game, the offense gives the Eagles a puncher’s chance. Quarterback Nic Horner has complete 92 of 159 passes for 1,256 yards and 15 touchdowns.
Colton Byrd, despite missing two weeks with a torn ACL, has rushed for 1,006 yards and 13 touchdowns on 172 attempts. But the Eagles will be without wide receiver Jordan Holmes, who has a high ankle sprain and turf toe. Horner will look primarily to Sam Horner (15 catches, 317 yards) and Jared Germain (19 catches, 203 yards) instead.
Scouting the Panthers (8-1): Hersher’s only loss of the season came in week 9, when it fell 35-28 to Peotone. That was the Panthers’ lowest offensive output of the year after twice topping 60 points and three more times scoring more than 40. Five of those opponents qualified for the playoffs.
The offense is powered by senior quarterback Tyler Jarnagin, who completes 65 percent of his passes for an average of 14.5 yards. He’s tossed 20 touchdowns — seven of them to senior Tyler Stuart — and has been intercepted just once. He also has rushed for 1,057 yards and 15 touchdowns, second on the team only to senior running back Anthony Koranda, who has 1,071 yards and 18 scores.
Next: The winner will face No. 6 Taylorville or No. 11 Coal City.
Class 4A: No. 15 Quincy Notre Dame (5-4) at No. 2 Highland (9-0), 7 p.m.
Scouting the Raiders: Notre Dame rallied with three straight wins in Weeks 6, 7 and 8 to earn a playoff bid, its first in 13 seasons. The Raiders defense allowed just 14 points during that stretch but allowed an average of 31 points in Notre Dame’s other six games.
Bill Connell likes to run the football, and the 2017 Raiders do so as well as any other in the Notre Dame coach’s 26-year career. The Raiders average 247.6 yards per game on the ground, splitting carries between junior Dalton Venvertloh (612 yards, eight touchdowns), sophomore Jonathan Ohnemus (521 yards), and senior Jackson Connell (599 yards, seven touchdowns).
The Raiders average 37.3 points per game.
Scouting the Bulldogs: Highland has run into a rash of injuries to key players in recent years, but through the regular season, the 2017 Bulldogs remain healthy and unbeaten. Highland is stacked on both sides of the ball.
The defense allows just 15 points per game thanks to the 23 turnovers it has created. Senior linebacker Sebi Wolf leads the way with three interceptions and three fumble recoveries. Linebacker Kyle Lane (6-0, 230 pounds) has two quarterback sacks among his 93 tackles.
Offensively, the Bulldogs average 51.2 points and have the second-highest point differential (35.9) in the Class 4A field. They’re led by quarterback Garrett Marti, who has completed 64 percent of 189 attempts for 2,088 yards, 28 touchdowns and just one interception. Sam LaPorta, who is already getting plenty of Division I looks as a junior, has 49 receptions for 934 yards and 15 touchdowns. Brady Feldman brings balance to the offense with his team-high 778 yards rushing, but he has also caught 29 passes for an additional 460 yards.
Next: The winner will face No. 7 Effingham or No. 10 Monteno.