High school football predictions from the so-called experts

Just like that, 256 teams was whittled down to 128.

By the time this weekend’s second-round playoff games are finished, only 64 teams through the eight classes will be left.

Half of The News-Gazette’s teams in the postseason advanced on after the opening weekend of the playoffs while half went home.

Will all nine be left standing by the time next week’s picks are made? Probably not, especially if you take a look at our picks, but it is is high school sports after all. You’re never quite sure what to expect.

Just like we’ve done all season, our panel of prognosticators — Fred Kroner, Marcus Jackson and Jim Rossow of The News-Gazette, Matt Daniels of the Rantoul Press, Andrew Helregel of the Piatt County Journal-Republican, Andrew Rosten of the Paxton Record and Nora Maberry-Daniels of The Leader — are here to give you their predictions. Enjoy.

Bragging rights in the Daniels’ household went to the wife this weekend after she went 10-0 while the husband was 8-2. Oh well. Still not good enough to catch Kroner, who has Jackson nipping at his heels.

Second round playoff games
(1A) LeRoy (10-0) at Flanagan-Cornell/Woodland (8-2) - 2 p.m., Saturday
(1A) Salt Fork (9-1) at Carrollton (9-1) - 2 p.m., Saturday
(1A) Villa Grove (9-1) at Maroa-Forsyth (9-1) - 1 p.m., Saturday
(2A) DuQuoin (8-2) at Bismarck-Henning (10-0) - 2 p.m., Saturday
(2A) Cerro Gordo/Bement/DeLand-Weldon (10-0) at Camp Point Central (10-0) - 2 p.m., Saturday
(3A) Pleasant Plains (9-1) at Unity (9-1) - 1 p.m., Saturday
(3A) St. Joseph-Ogden (9-1) at Wilmington (8-2) - 6 p.m., Saturday
(3A) Williamsville (10-0) at Monticello (8-2) - 1:30 p.m., Saturday
(4A) Charleston (9-1) at Rochester (9-1) - 6 p.m., Saturday
(5A) Urbana (9-1) at Morris (9-1) - 4 p.m., Saturday

Daniels' picks (73-27, .730%): LeRoy, Carrollton, Maroa-Forsyth, Bismarck-Henning, Cerro Gordo/Bement-DeLand-Weldon, Unity, Wilmington, Williamsville, Charleston and Morris
Comment: Too bad Charleston-Rochester game isn't at Memorial Stadium where it should be.

Helregel's picks (81-19, .810%): LeRoy, Carrollton, Maroa-Forsyth, Bismarck-Henning, Camp Point Central, Unity, St. Joseph-Ogden, Williamsville, Rochester and Morris
Comment: Central Illinois' success won't continue, but lots of tossup games from here on out.

Jackson's picks (85-15, .850%): LeRoy, Carrollton, Maroa-Forsyth, Bismarck-Henning, Camp Point Central, Unity, Wilmington, Williamsville, Rochester and Morris
Comment: Tall task for Cully Welter and Monticello. Williamsville has allowed 22 points all season.

Kroner's picks (86-14, .860%): LeRoy, Carrollton, Maroa-Forsyth, Bismarck-Henning, Cerro Gordo/Bement/DeLand-Weldon, Unity, Wilmington, Monticello, Rochester and Morris
Comment: There's no logical reasoning for picking Monticello. It's just a feeling Sages will prevail.

Maberry-Daniels' picks (73-27, .730%): LeRoy, Salt Fork, Maroa-Forsyth, Bismarck-Henning, Camp Point Central, Unity, St. Joseph-Ogden, Williamsville, Charleston and Morris
Comment: Spartans emerge with win in hostile territory, make quarterfinals for 13th time.

Rossow's picks (80-20, .810%): LeRoy, Salt Fork, Maroa-Forsyth, Bismarck-Henning, Cerro Gordo/Bement/DeLand-Weldon, Unity, Wilmington, Monticello, Rochester and Morris
Comment: Each time I pick SJ-O to lose, Spartans win. Dick Duval likes that I took Wilmington.

Rosten's picks (64-26, .711%): LeRoy, Salt Fork, Maroa-Forsyth, Bismarck-Henning, Cerro Gordo/Bement/DeLand-Weldon, Unity, Wilmington, Williamsville, Rochester and Morris
Comment: Maroa-Forsyth moving down to 1A makes Trojans a dangerous state title contender.

 

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