Phil Pash’s simply sports: So far, prep playoffs following seedings

According to the seedings, there were few upsets among area teams in the first round of the state high school football playoffs Oct. 29-30.

Second-round games will be played either Friday, Nov. 5, or Saturday, Nov. 6. Dates and times were to be announced Monday, Nov. 1.

One of the biggest upsets among area teams was in Class 7A where No. 6 Machesney Park Harlem (7-3) beat No. 3 Rockford Guilford (6-4) 17-8. The Huskies had to forfeit in Week One to Guilford because of a teachers’ strike. Harlem now faces No. 2 Crystal Lake South (8-2), a 20-7 winner over McHenry.

Belvidere (7-3), the No. 4 seed in the same 7A quadrant, beat No. 5 Rockton Hononegah (6-4) 24-12, and will face No. 1 Cary-Grove (10-0), which survived Woodstock 27-20 in overtime. Hononegah beat the Bucs 13-12 in Belvidere’s homecoming game Oct. 1.

NIC-9 champ Freeport (10-0), No. 1 seed in its 6A quadrant, ran over Bensenville Fenton (5-5) 34-6. The Pretzels now face a No. 5 seed, Batavia (7-3), which beat Benet Academy 26-14.

The other pairing in that quadrant has No. 2 Geneva (9-1) against No. 3 Mundelein Carmel (7-3).

Geneseo (No. 2) and Rochelle (No. 3) both won in 5A and will battle in the second round. They met in the regular-season finale with Geneseo handing Rochelle its first loss of the season 20-0 as both teams finished 8-1. Rochelle had won the last four regular-season meetings between the two.

Geneseo (9-1) advanced with a 36-28 win over St. Viator while Rochelle (9-1) beat Maple Park Kaneland (6-4) 27-7 to move on. Running back Dusty Provow led the Hubs with 216 yards and three second-half TDs. The other game in that quadrant features No. 1 Johnsburg (10-0) against No. 4 Rock Island Alleman (9-1).

In 4A, No. 2 Byron (8-2) ran away from No. 7 Marengo (6-4) 28-8 and now tackles No. 3 Woodstock Marian (8-2). The Hurricanes advanced with a 53-28 victory over No. 6 Harvard (6-4).

The No. 1 team in the quadrant, Lombard Montini (9-1), rolled over Wheaton St. Francis (5-5) 33-0. No. 4 Burlington Central (7-3), 30-7 winner over No. 5 Lisle (6-4), now faces Montini. The final 3:27 of the Burlington-Lisle game was canceled because of severe weather.

Fullback Keith Saunders scored four TDs and the defense posted its second shutout of the season as Stillman Valley blanked Amboy-LaMoille 35-0 in Class 3A playoffs. It was the sixth time Stillman Valley held opponents to 8 points or less this season. The second-seeded Cardinals (9-1) now face No. 3 Addison Driscoll (8-2), which beat Dwight 41-6.

No. 5 Hampshire (8-2) won its 3A game 35-28 over Chicago Christian (7-3), but now must go up against No. 1 Wilmington (10-0), which stomped on Paxton-Buckley-Loda 63-0.

The 2A quadrant featuring area teams followed the form chart perfectly, with No. 1 Poplar Grove North Boone (10-0), No. 2 Eastland-Pearl City (9-1), No. 3 Walther Lutheran (9-1) and No. 4 Sterling Newman (9-1) all winning.

North Boone will face Newman while EPC will take on Walther Lutheran after North Boone edged Morrison 14-13, Newman downed Forreston 19-0, EPC topped Lena-Winslow 20-14 and Walther Lutheran shaded Peru St. Bede 29-26.

In 1A, No. 1 Aurora Christian (9-1), No. 5 Ashton-Franklin Center (7-3), No. 2 Stockton (9-1) and No. 3 Dakota (8-2) won. Aurora Christian will face AFC while Stockton and Dakota will clash.

AFC beat Durand (6-4) 14-6, Stockton overpowered Alden-Hebron (6-4) 37-0, Dakota dumped Freeport Aquin (6-4) 21-0 and Aurora Christian ran over Annawan (5-5) 42-8. AFC nipped Durand 15-8 in the season opener while Durand beat AFC 32-0 later in the season.

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