High school football predictions from the so-called experts

The second round of the playoffs is a good barometer for who is a real state title contender and who isn’t.

In The News-Gazette’s coverage area, only two teams are still standing entering this weekend’s quarterfinal playoff games — Unity in Class 3A and high-powered LeRoy in Class 1A. The Rockets will play at Williamsville while LeRoy will host Concord Triopia in what should be two entertaining and competitive game. You could say the same for the rest of the quarterfinals across the classes and across the state.

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.

Much like it has been all season, Jackson and Kroner are in the mix for the top spot. Jackson took the lead after a 9-1 record while Kroner had — for him at least — a subpar 7-3 week. It’ll most likely go this way to the end.

Quarterfinal playoff games
(1A) Concord Triopia (10-1) at LeRoy (11-0) - 1 p.m., Saturday
(2A) Casey-Westfield (11-0) at Belleville Althoff (8-3) - 7 p.m., Saturday
(3A) Sterling Newman (11-0) at Wilmington (9-2) - 5 p.m., Saturday
(3A) Unity (10-1) at Williamsville (11-0) - 2 p.m., Saturday
(4A) Rochester (10-1) at Peoria Notre Dame (8-3) - 6 p.m., Saturday
(5A) Chatham-Glenwood (9-2) at Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin (10-1) - 1 p.m., Saturday
(5A) Morris (10-1) at Washington (9-2) - 3 p.m., Saturday
(6A) Ottawa (11-0) at Crete-Monee (11-0) - 6 p.m., Saturday
(7A) Edwardsville (10-1) at Lincoln-Way East (11-0) - 6 p.m., Saturday
(8A) Waubonsie Valley (10-1) at Neuqua Valley (11-0) - 6 p.m., Saturday

Daniels' picks (80-30, .727%): LeRoy, Casey-Westfield, Sterling Newman, Unity, Rochester, Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin, Morris, Crete-Monee, Edwardsville and Neuqua Valley
Comment: Got to go with Edwardsville, my alma mater, pulling off a victory few think will happen.

Helregel's picks (89-21, .809%): Concord Triopia, Belleville Althoff, Wilmington, Unity, Peoria Notre Dame, Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin, Washington, Crete-Monee, Lincoln-Way East and Neuqua Valley
Comment: Saw the vaunted Williamsville defense last week. Unity can handle it and move on.

Jackson's picks (94-16, .855%): LeRoy, Casey-Westfield, Sterling Newman, Unity, Rochester, Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin, Morris, Crete-Monee, Edwardsville and Neuqua Valley
Comment: I'm expecting LeRoy's offense to continue scoring at a record pace like it has all season.

Kroner's picks (93-17, .845%): LeRoy, Belleville Althoff, Sterling Newman, Unity, Rochester, Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin, Morris, Crete-Monee, Edwardsville and Waubonsie Valley
Comment: LeRoy thrives on offense. Concord Triopia thrives on defense. Offense wins this one.

Maberry-Daniels' picks (79-31, .718%): Concord Triopia, Casey-Westfield, Sterling Newman, Unity, Rochester, Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin, Morris, Crete-Monee, Lincoln-Way East and Neuqua Valley
Comment: Sterling Newman takes down Wilmington after Wildcats did the same to SJ-O.

Rossow's picks (86-24, .782%): LeRoy, Belleville Althoff, Wilmington, Unity, Rochester, Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin, Morris, Crete-Monee, Edwardsville and Waubonsie Valley
Comment: I'm counting on Unity to give The News-Gazette a local team to cover on Thanksgiving weekend.

Rosten's picks (71-29, .710%): LeRoy, Casey-Westfield, Sterling Newman, Unity, Rochester, Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin, Morris, Crete-Monee, Lincoln-Way East and Neuqua Valley
Comment: LeRoy's 78 points in second round makes me think they'll compete with Maroa-Forsyth in 1A.


 

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