High School Football

It’s playoff time as 16 local high school football teams earn postseason berths

Belleville West defeats East

The Belleville West Maroons dominated Belleville East on the five-touchdown performance by sophomore Dominic Lovett.
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The Belleville West Maroons dominated Belleville East on the five-touchdown performance by sophomore Dominic Lovett.

The wait is over for the Mascoutah Indians and Granite City Warriors.

Fresh off impressive performances in must-win situations Friday, Mascoutah (6-3) and Granite City (5-4) headline a list of 16 area football teams which officially earned playoff spots on Saturday as the Illinois High School Association released its 2018 postseason field and first round pairings.

Undefeated Mississippi Valley Conference champion Highland is back in the 5A bracket, joining other metro-east playoff qualifiers. They include Alton, Belleville West, Cahokia, Central, Columbia, East St. Louis, Edwardsville, Freeburg, Jersyeville, Madison, Mater Dei, Nashville, and Wood River-East Alton.

Game dates and times will be released when coaches and athletic directors from each of the teams reach agreement on them.

Granite City earned its first playoff spot since 2011 on Friday with a 60-27 win at Galesburg and will take on the road to take on defending Class 7A state champion Batavia in a first round game on Friday at 7 p.m. Granite City is the No. 29 seed, while Batavia is the fourth seed..

Competing as independent for the first time, the Warriors responded after a three hour bus ride on Friday with one of their finest outings of the season .

“They were up to the challenge. I was concerned after making that long trip and then sitting for a while about how we would respond. We were very pleased for and proud of this football team.,’’ Warriors coach Brad Hasquin said. “We heard we might be playing Batavia.. We’re just going to prepare this week and go up and compete as hard as we can.’’

Mascoutah (6-3), which qualified for the post season for the first time since 2009 with a 59-2 win over Centralia on Friday, is the 10th seed and will travel to take on seventh-seed Mattoon on Saturday at 2 p.m. The Green Wave also is 6-3 on the season.

The Indians defeated Mattoon 42-7 in the second week of the season.

“We’ve been keeping track of them because ever since we’ve played them and they must have done really well to be where they are now,” said Mascoutah third-year coach Josh Lee. “ I like their team and their quarterback is the best quarterback we’ve seen. He’s a big body and very athletic.

“But the kids were going to be excited no matter who we play. These seniors, they didn’t win much as freshmen and sophomores, so they are just sky high.”

Prior to its playoff drought, Mascoutah had reached the post season five consecutive seasons, including a 4A quarterfinal run in 2006.

Friday’s victory prompted a congratulatory Tweet from Scott Battas, the school’s athletic director and Lee’s predecessor.

“I’m so proud of this staff and these players,” the social media post read. “Thank you for bringing us back. You were absolutely the right man for this job.”

Lee inherited a roster that went 0-9 in 2015. The Indians won one game under Lee in his first season and three last year.

Belleville West (7-2) is the No. 19 seed in Class 7A and will be on the road to take on former state champion and 14th seed Wheaton-Warrenville South (8-1).

“This is the seventh season in a row Belleville West has qualified for the the playoffs, but has just one win to show for it, a 2014 victory at Bourbonnais.

The Maroons enter the playoffs with seven wins for the first time since 2013, which is good enough to earn some teams (like East St. Louis) a first-round home game. But with little help from non-conference opponents Riverview Gardens (0-9) and Fort Zumwalt West (4-5), the Maroons have lower-than-usual playoff points and will have to hit the road — again.

West finished wit 33 playoff points. Among seven win teams, only Glenbrook North, at No. 20, is seeded lower.

“The playoff points are down so we knew we’d have to head north,” said West coach Cameron Pettus, following the Maroons’ win over Belleville East Friday. “We’d love to have a first-round game at home, of course, but that’s just part of it. I’ve tried to predict who and where we’ll play before and just end up looking like nincompoop, so I gave that up. We’re just happy to be back in the post season and will prepare the same as if it was a home game.”

Southwestern Conference champion East St. Louis, two years removed from winning the Class 7A state title, is the 15th seed and will host 19th seed Hoffman Estates (7-2).

The Flyers, who are ranked third in the Class 7A state poll, clinched an undefeated SWC season with a win at Alton on Friday.

Alton (5-4) is the No. 27 seed and will travel to take on No;. 6 Rolling Meadows.

Seeded second in the bottom half of the Class 5A bracket, Highland (9-0) will host 15th-seed Olympia Fields (Rich Central) in a first round game. The three-time defending Mississippi Valley Conference champion Bulldogs wrapped up a second straight undefeated regular season with a win over Charleston on Friday.

“We’re just very pleased and proud of this football team. Every time we’ve asked them to answer the bell this year these boys have responded,’’ Bulldogs coach Jim Warnecke said. “We don’t know much about Rich Central. since we’re down here and they are up in the Chicago area. We’ll do our homework starting tomorrow (Sunday) and begin to prepare for them.’’

Cahokia is also making its first playoff appearance since the 2009 season. Coached by former NFL offensive lineman John Clay, the Comanches (8-1) are the No. 4 seed and will host 13th-seed Mount Zion (6-3).

A third MVC team, Jersey (5-4), is the 16th-seed and will travel to take on No. 1 seed Country Club Hills (Hillcrest) 9-0. Jersey is led by former Wesclin and Belleville West head coach Ric Johns.

The Cahokia Conference champion Freeburg Midgets will have the chance to avenge one of its two regular season losses when it travels to take on the eighth-seeded Columbia Eagles in a first round game in Class 4A.

The ninth-seeded Midgets (7-2)) lost a a 38-34 decision to the Eagles (7-2) in week six of the regular season.

Central (6-3), which closed its regular season with a loss to Herrin on Friday, is the 13th seed and will travel to take on Class 4A defending state champion Rochester (8-1) on Friday at 7 p.m. The Rockets are the No. 4 seed

City rival Mater Dei (7-2) is the No 7 seed and will host 10th seed Effingham in 4A.

The Edwardsville Tigers (6-3) are the No. 23 seed in Class 8A and will travel to take on the 10th-seeded Evanston Wildcats (7-2) in a first round game. Edwardsville, which has won five game in a row after a 1-3 start, reached the Class 8A semi-finals a year ago.

A member of the River-to-River Conference, the Nashville Hornets are the No. 5 seed in the bottom half of the Class 2A bracket and will take on Downs (Tri-City) in their first-round showdown. Tri-City, 5-4, is the No. 12 seed.

In just its second season after a 29 year hiatus from having a football program, the Madison Trojans (8-1) have secured a second straight 1A playoff berth and will host Albion Edwards County (6-3) on Saturday. The Trojans, who wrapped up the season with a 20-0 win over Dupo on Saturday, are a No. 5 seed. Albion Edwards County has earned a No. 1 2 seed.

Class 8A

Game 1 — No. 32 Zion (Z.-Benton) (5-4) at No. 1 Chicago (Brother Rice) (9-0), TBA

Game 2 — No. 17 Winnetka (New Trier) (7-2) at No. 16 Oak Park (O.P.-River Forest) (7-2), TBA

Game 3 — No. 25 Naperville (Neuqua Valley) (6-3) at No. 8 Gurnee (Warren) (8-1), TBA

Game 4 — No. 24 Hoffman Estates (Conant) (6-3) at No. 9 Hinsdale (Central) (7-2), TBA

Game 5 — No. 29 Palatine (Fremd) (5-4) at No. 4 Flossmoor (Homewood-F.) (8-1), TBA

Game 6 — No. 20 Barrington (6-3) at No. 13 Oswego (East) (7-2), TBA

Game 7 — No. 28 Lincolnshire (Stevenson) (6-3) at No. 5 Chicago (Marist) (8-1), TBA

Game 8 — No. 21 Naperville (Central) (6-3) at No. 12 Plainfield (South) (7-2), TBA

Game 9 — No. 31 St. Charles (East) (5-4) at No. 2 Frankfort (Lincoln-Way East) (9-0), TBA

Game 10 — No. 18 Glen Ellyn (Glenbard West) (7-2) at No. 15 Bartlett (7-2), TBA

Game 11 — No. 26 South Elgin (6-3) at No. 7 Aurora (West Aurora) (8-1), TBA

Game 12 — No. 23 Edwardsville (H.S.) (6-3) at No. 10 Evanston (Twp.) (7-2), TBA

Game 13 — No. 30 Chicago (Taft) (5-4) at No. 3 Oswego (H.S.) (9-0), TBA

Game 14 — No. 19 Wilmette (Loyola Academy) (6-3) at No. 14 Minooka (7-2), TBA

Game 15 — No. 27 Huntley (6-3) at No. 6Park Ridge (Maine South) (8-1), TBA

Game 16 — No. 22 Aurora (Waubonsie Valley) (6-3) at No. 11 Bolingbrook (7-2), TBA

Class 7A

Game 1 — No. 32 Rockford (East) (5-4) vs. No. 1 Chicago (Simeon) (9-0) at TBA, TBA

Game 2 — No. 17 New Lenox (Lincoln-Way West) (7-2) at No. 16 Machesney Park (Harlem) (7-2), TBA

Game 3 — No. 25 Tinley Park (Andrew) (6-3) at No. 8 LaGrange Park (Nazareth Academy) (8-1), TBA

Game 4 — No. 24 New Lenox (Lincoln-Way Central) (6-3) at No. 9 Arlington Heights (Hersey) (8-1), TBA

Game 5 — No. 29 Granite City (5-4) at No. 4 Batavia (9-0), Friday, 7 p.m.

Game 6 — No. 20 Northbrook (Glenbrook North) (7-2) at No. 13 Moline (H.S.) (8-1), TBA

Game 7 — No. 28 Chicago (Lincoln Park) (5-4) at No. 5 Villa Park (Willowbrook) (9-0), TBA

Game 8 — No. 21 Lisle (Benet Academy) (6-3) at No. 12 Des Plaines (Maine West) (8-1), TBA

Game 9 — No. 31 Mt. Prospect (Prospect) (5-4) at No. 2 Lombard (Glenbard East) (9-0), TBA

Game 10 — No. 18 Hoffman Estates (H.S.) (7-2) at No. 15 East St. Louis (Sr.) (7-2), TBA

Game 11 — No. 26 Lansing (Thornton Fractional South) (6-3) at No. 7 Chicago (Mt. Carmel) (8-1), TBA

Game 12 — No. 23 Lake Zurich (6-3) at No. 10 DeKalb (8-1), TBA

Game 13 — No. 30 Buffalo Grove (5-4) at No. 3 Rockton (Hononegah) (9-0), TBA

Game 14 — No. 19 Belleville (West) (7-2) at No. 14 Wheaton (W. Warrenville South) (8-1), TBA

Game 15 — No. 27 Alton (Sr.) (5-4) at No. 6 Rolling Meadows (9-0), TBA

Game 16 — No. 22 St. Charles (North) (6-3) at No. 11 Normal (Community) (8-1), TBA

Class 6A

Game 1 — No. 16 Wauconda (5-4) at No. 1 Cary (C.-Grove) (9-0), TBA

Game 2 — No. 9 Chicago (Von Steuben) (6-3) at No. 8 Maple Park (Kaneland) (6-3), TBA

Game 3 — No. 13 Lake Forest (H.S.) (5-4) vs. No. 4 Chicago (Phillips) (7-2) at TBA, TBA

Game 4 — No. 12 Darien (Hinsdale South) (6-3) at No. 5 Crystal Lake (Prairie Ridge) (7-2), TBA

Game 5 — No. 15 Burbank (Reavis) (5-4) at No. 2 Antioch (9-0), TBA

Game 6 — No. 10 Belvidere (North) (6-3) at No. 7 Lake Villa (Lakes) (7-2), TBA

Game 7 — No. 14 Crystal Lake (South) (5-4) vs. No. 3 Chicago (Kenwood) (8-1) at TBA, TBA

Game 8 — No. 11 Chicago (St. Ignatius) (6-3) at No. 6 Niles (Notre Dame) (7-2), TBA

Game 9 — No. 16 Rock Island (H.S.) (5-4) at No. 1 Oak Lawn (Richards) (9-0), TBA

Game 10 — No. 9 Dunlap (7-2) at No. 8 Yorkville (H.S.) (7-2), TBA

Game 11 — No. 13 Peoria (Notre Dame) (6-3) at No. 4 Normal (Community West) (8-1), TBA

Game 12 — No. 12 Springfield (H.S.) (6-3) at No. 5 Palos Heights (Shepard) (7-2), TBA

Game 13 — No. 15 New Lenox (Providence Catholic) (5-4) at No. 2 Washington (9-0), TBA

Game 14 — No. 10 Quincy (Sr.) (7-2) at No. 7 Springfield (Sacred Heart-Griffin) (7-2), TBA

Game 15 — No. 14 Lemont (H.S.) (5-4) at No. 3 Chatham (Glenwood) (8-1), TBA

Game 16 — No. 11 Crete (C.-Monee) (6-3) at No. 6 Bloomington (H.S.) (7-2), TBA

Class 5A

Game 1 — No. 16 Evergreen Park (5-4) vs. No. 1 Chicago (Payton) (9-0) at TBA, TBA

Game 2 — No. 9 Chicago (Back of the Yards) (6-3) at No. 8 Elmwood Park (7-2), TBA

Game 3 — No. 13 Woodstock (North) (5-4) at No. 4 Lombard (Montini) (8-1), TBA

Game 4 — No. 12 Rochelle (5-4) at No. 5 Sycamore (H.S.) (7-2), TBA

Game 5 — No. 15 Chicago (Phoenix) [Coop] (5-4) at No. 2 Sterling (H.S.) (8-1), TBA

Game 6 — No. 10 Chicago (Brooks) (6-3) vs. No. 7 Chicago (Hyde Park) (7-2) at TBA, TBA

Game 7 — No. 14 Glen Ellyn (Glenbard South) (5-4) at No. 3 Rockford (Boylan Catholic) (8-1), TBA

Game 8 — No. 11 Chicago (Amundsen) (5-4) at No. 6 Wheaton (St. Francis) (7-2), TBA

Game 9 — No. 16 Jerseyville (Jersey) (5-4) at No. 1 Country Club Hills (Hillcrest) (9-0), TBA

Game 10 — No. 9 Morton (6-3) at No. 8 Decatur (MacArthur) (6-3), TBA

Game 11 — No. 13 Mt. Zion (6-3) at No. 4 Cahokia (H.S.) (8-1), TBA

Game 12 — No. 12 Champaign (Central) (6-3) at No. 5 Carbondale (H.S.) (7-2), TBA

Game 13 — No. 15 Olympia Fields (Rich Central) (5-4) at No. 2 Highland (9-0), TBA

Game 14 — No. 10 Mascoutah (6-3) at No. 7 Mattoon (6-3), Saturday, 2 p.m.

Game 15 — No. 14 Joliet (Catholic Academy) (5-4) at No. 3 Metamora (8-1), TBA

Game 16 — No. 11 Park Forest (Rich East) (6-3) at No. 6 Marion (H.S.) (6-3), TBA

Class 4A

Game 1 — No. 16 Chicago (Raby) (5-4) at No. 1 Elmhurst (IC Catholic) (9-0), TBA

Game 2 — No. 9 Stillman Valley (6-3) at No. 8 Dixon (H.S.) (6-3), TBA

Game 3 — No. 13 Elgin (St. Edward) (5-4) vs. No. 4 Chicago (Urban Prep/Bronzeville) (8-1) at TBA, TBA

Game 4 — No. 12 Chicago (Sullivan) (6-3) at No. 5 Marengo (7-2), TBA

Game 5 — No. 15 West Chicago (Wheaton Academy) (5-4) at No. 2 Coal City (8-1), TBA

Game 6 — No. 10 Johnsburg (6-3) vs. No. 7 Chicago (Agricultural Science) (7-2) at TBA, TBA

Game 7 — No. 14 Plano (5-4) at NO. 3 Richmond (R.-Burton) (8-1), TBA

Game 8 — No. 11 Chicago (Clemente) (6-3) at No. 6 Genoa (G.-Kingston) (7-2), TBA

Game 9 — No .16 Chillicothe (Illinois Valley Central) (5-4) at No. 1 Taylorville (9-0), TBA

Game 10 — No. 9 Freeburg (7-2) at No. 8 Columbia (7-2), TBA

Game 11 — No. 13 Breese (Central) (6-3) at No. 4 Rochester (8-1), Friday, 7 p.m.

Game 12 — No. 12 Herrin (H.S.) (7-2) at No. 5 Pontiac (8-1), TBA

Game 13 — No. 15 Salem (6-3) at No. 2 Paris (9-0), TBA

Game 14 — No. 10 Effingham (H.S.) (7-2) at No. 7 Breese (Mater Dei) (7-2), TBA

Game 15 — No. 14 Olney (Richland County) (6-3) at No. 3 Kankakee (McNamara) (8-1), TBA

Game 16 — No. 11 Fairbury (Prairie Central) (7-2) at No. 6 Murphysboro [Coop] (7-2), TBA

Class 3A

Game 1 — No. 16 Rock Island (Alleman) (5-4) at No. 1 Byron (9-0), TBA

Game 2 — No. 9 Princeton (6-3) at No. 8 Elmwood [E.-Brimfield Coop] (6-3), TBA

Game 3 — No. 13 Dwight [Coop] (6-3) at No. 4 Lisle (Sr.) (8-1), TBA

Game 4 — No. 12 Oneida (ROWVA) [Mid-County Coop] (6-3) at No. 5 Poplar Grove (North Boone) (7-2), TBA

Game 5 — No. 15 Herscher (5-4) vs. No. 2 Chicago (Dunbar) (8-1) at TBA, TBA

Game 6 — No. 10 Spring Valley (Hall) (6-3) vs. No. 7 Chicago (Clark) (6-3) at TBA, TBA

Game 7 — No. 14 Chicago (Urban Prep/Englewood) (5-4) at No. 3 Eureka (8-1), TBA

Game 8 — No. 11 Wilmington (6-3) at No. 6 Monmouth (M.-Roseville) (7-2), TBA

Game 9 — No. 16 St. Joseph (S.J.-Ogden) (5-4) at No. 1 Monticello (9-0), TBA

Game 10 — No. 9 West Frankfort (Frankfort) (7-2) at No. 8 Anna (A.-Jonesboro) (7-2), TBA

Game 11 — No. 13 Greenville (6-3) at No. 4 Farmington (9-0), TBA

Game 12 — No. 12 Pleasant Plains (6-3) at No. 5 Beardstown (8-1), TBA

Game 13 — No. 15 Wood River (East Alton-W.R.) (6-3) at No. 2 Carlinville (9-0), TBA

Game 14 — No. 10 Paxton (P.-Buckley-Loda) (6-3) at No. 7 Vandalia (7-2), TBA

Game 15 — No. 14 Newton (6-3) at No. 3 Fairfield (9-0), TBA

Game 16 — No. 11 DuQuoin (H.S.) (6-3) at No. 6 Williamsville (8-1), TBA

Class 2A

Game 1 — No. 16 Watseka (5-4) at No. 1 Gibson City (G.C.-Melvin-Sibley) (9-0), TBA

Game 2 — No. 9 Knoxville (6-3) at No. 8 Chicago (C. Hope Academy) (7-2), TBA

Game 3 — No. 13 Aledo (Mercer County) (5-4) at No. 4 Carthage (Illini West) (9-0), TBA

Game 4 — No. 12 Rockford (R. Christian) (6-3) at No. 5 Sterling (Newman Central Catholic) (8-1), TBA

Game 5 — No. 15 Minonk (Fieldcrest) (5-4) at No. 2 Orion (9-0), TBA

Game 6 — No. 10 Taylor Ridge (Rockridge) (6-3) at No. 7 Clifton (Central) (7-2), TBA

Game 7 — No. 14 Chicago (Harlan) (5-4) at No. 3 Lanark (Eastland) [E.-Pearl City Coop] (9-0), TBA

Game 8 — No. 11 Palos Heights (Chicago Christian) (6-3) vs. No. 6 Chicago (Collins) [Coop] (8-1) at TBA, TBA

Game 9 — No. 16 Staunton (5-4) at No. 1 Decatur (St. Teresa) (9-0), TBA

Game 10 — No. 9 Athens (7-2) at No. 8 Eldorado (7-2), TBA

Game 11 — No. 13 Fithian (Oakwood) (5-4) at No. 4 Pana (H.S.) (8-1), TBA

Game 12 — No. 12 Downs (Tri-Valley) (5-4) at No. 5 Nashville (8-1), TBA

Game 13 — No. 15 Jacksonville (Routt) [Coop] (5-4) at No. 2 Maroa (M.-Forsyth) (9-0), TBA

Game 14 — No. 10 Chester (6-3) at No. 7 Warrensburg (W.-Latham) (7-2), TBA

Game 15 — No. 14 Villa Grove [V.G.-Heritage Coop] (5-4) at No. 3 Tuscola (8-1), TBA

Game 16 — No. 11 Hamilton [West Hancock Coop] (6-3) at No. 6 Bismarck (B.-Henning-Rossville-Alvin) (8-1), TBA

Class 1A

Game 1 — No. 16 Polo (5-4) at No. 1 Princeville (9-0), TBA

Game 2 — No. 9 Aurora (A. Christian) (6-3) at No. 8 Kewanee (Wethersfield) [A.-Wethersfield Coop] (6-3), TBA

Game 3 — No. 13 Lewistown (5-4) at No. 4 Lena (L.-Winslow) (8-1), TBA

Game 4 — No. 12 LeRoy (5-4) vs. No. 5 Chicago (Orr) (8-1) at TBA, TBA

Game 5 — No. 15 Orangeville (5-4) at No. 2 Ottawa (Marquette) (9-0), TBA

Game 6 — No. 10 Dakota (6-3) at No. 7 Stockton (7-2), TBA

Game 7 — No. 14 Fulton (H.S.) (5-4) at No. 3 Milledgeville (9-0), TBA

Game 8 — No. 11 Kirkland (Hiawatha) (6-3) at No. 6 Forreston (7-2), TBA

Game 9 — No. 16 Cerro Gordo [C.G.-Bement Coop] (5-4) at No. 1 Argenta (A.-Oreana) (9-0), TBA

Game 10 — No. 9 Toledo (Cumberland) (7-2) at No. 8 Fisher (7-2), TBA

Game 11 — No. 13 Moweaqua (Central A & M) (6-3) at No. 4 Bridgeport (Red Hill) (8-1), TBA

Game 12 — No. 12 Albion (Edwards County) (6-3) at No. 5 Madison (8-1), TBA

Game 13 — #15 Greenfield [G.-Northwestern Coop] (6-3) at #2 Camp Point (Central) (8-1), TBA

Game 14 — #10 Carrollton (6-3) at #7 Sesser (S.-Valier) [Coop] (7-2), TBA

Game 15 — #14 Georgetown (G.-Ridge Farm) (6-3) at #3 Concord (Triopia) [Coop] (8-1), TBA

Game 16 — #11 Catlin (Salt Fork) (6-3) at #6 Arcola (7-2), TBA

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