My predictions were pretty close to the mark for the semi-final round in prep football playoffs. My record was 6-3 on tabbing the winners.
East St. Louis continues to pass progressively tougher tests. They got past a very solid Glenbard West team, and are showing they could be the cream of the crop in Illinois Class 7A. The Flyers now meet Geneva, who they beat in the quarterfinals last season.
Hazelwood Central and East proved that they play in one of the toughest conferences in the state. The Hawks and Spartans both only allowed their opponents six points. Both look quite dominant, and and the right time of the year. Central will face a strong Blue Springs South team. East gets an upstart Raytown South squad.
Cahokia got turned away by defending state champ and top-ranked Metamora. The Comanches hung in there, despite not having on of their best athletes (quarterback Darien Donald) right out of the gate this year.
Gateway Tech found a freight train by the name of Helias waiting for them in our state capital. Good luck to Sheldon Richardson in the Army All-Star Game in San Antonio this January.
Justin Vonder Haar and Mater Dei had a rare below average day on the road against
Bloomington Central Catholic. The Knights committed six turnovers, fell into a quick
20-0 hole and lost to the Saints by 23. Good luck to Vonder Haar, as he'll be playing football at the next level.
DuQuoin may have entered the game against Columbia ranked 8th in the state (the Eagles were #1 in Illinois Class 3A), but they sure didn't look like it. The Indians came out firing early, and cruised past Columbia (the score's doesn't indicate how soundly the Indians dominated.) Even though this was on the Eagles' home turf, DuQuoin showed why their one of Southern Illinois' powerhouse small school programs, beating Columbia by 16.
Cardinal Ritter took care of business on a neutral field versus Sullivan. This Lions team was quite methodical in their beating of the Eagles. They'll have a great matchup with an Cassville team from Southern Missouri coming off an impressive upset of Chillicothe.
Maplewood-Richmond Heights ran into a team that passed the ball a little better than them. The Blue Devils could not keep up with Clark County, who came out of a meat-grinder section of the Class 2 bracket. A tip of the hat to MRHS who completed its second consecutive 10-0 regular season.
Check in later this week for my title game previews.