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State Quarterfinal Football Capsule Previews

Mount Carmel quarterback DButkus. | Patrick Gleason~For Sun-Times Media

Mount Carmel quarterback Don Butkus. | Patrick Gleason~For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: December 10, 2012 6:12AM



CLASS 8A

NO. 3 MOUNT CARMEL (10-1) at NO. 15 LYONS (7-4)

Kickoff: 7 p.m. Saturday

Last week: Mount Carmel 41, Simeon 6; Lyons 42, O’Fallon 27

Up next: Mount Carmel would host either Waubonsie Valley or Neuqua Valley.

The breakdown: The Lions are hoping to avenge a 2010 Class 8A quarterfinal loss to the Caravan. Lyons has won five in a row. The Lions have multiple weapons on offense, led by RBs Leonard Ross and Jemari Brooks, QB Zachary Mahoney and WR Matt Harris. The Caravan has a dual threat of its own at QB in Don Butkus. RBs Matt Domer (104 carries, 1,048 yards, 17 touchdowns) and Draco Smith (107, 638, 8) are a potent backfield duo. WR Vince Speller’s offensive emergence gives the Caravan another weapon. Steve Richards and Enoch Smith lead a dominant defense.

CLASS 7A

NO. 2 EDWARDSVILLE (10-1) at NO. 1 LINCOLN-WAY EAST (11-0)

Kickoff: 6 p.m. Saturday

Last week: Edwardsville 21, East St. Louis 18; Lincoln-Way East 24, Providence 14

Next week: Lincoln-Way East would travel to Benet or Downers Grove North.

The breakdown: Edwardsville finished 6-1 in the Southwestern Conference, losing only to East St. Louis 14-7 in Week 3. The Tigers got their revenge last week. RB Bennett Gray rushed for 90 yards on 19 carries and has totaled 1,006 yards. He’s a track star, finishing third in the 100 in the Class 3A state meet last spring. QB Will Collins is 87-of-162 passing for 1,380 yards. East counters with QB Tom Fuessel, who has rushed for 1,126 yards and passed for 895, and RB Nick Colangelo (110-793), who gained 164 against Providence. East opened the 2010 and ’11 seasons with wins over Edwardsville (37-14 and 45-14, respectively) but this is a better Tigers team.

CLASS 6A

NO. 3 LEMONT (10-1) at NO. 1 OAK FOREST (10-1)

Kickoff: 7 p.m. Saturday

Last week: Lemont 22, Richards 19; Oak Forest 69, Shepard 29

Up next: Lemont would host either Ottawa or Crete-Monee; Oak Forest would travel to either Ottawa or Crete-Monee.

The breakdown: The Bengals are hoping to avenge a 17-14 loss in Week 5 to the Indians. This time around, QB Tom Zale is healthy and taking most of the snaps for Oak Forest, though Nick Ciufia (84-760, 11) still gets opportunities. Lemont would prefer to stuff the Bengals’ running game and force Zale and Ciufia to the air. That’s easier said than done, given Oak Forest’s multiple threats in Ben Santiago (126, 860, 14), Tyler Usterbowski and Kyle Hullinger. Lemont, too, prefers to run the ball, with RB Chris Giatras (190, 1,345, 21) leading the charge. However, QB Zach Brosseau (83-of-142, 1,332 yards, 14 TDs) completed 21-of-32 passes for 249 yards during a second-round win over Richards. Oak Forest DBs Blake Waller and Corey Brent will try to limit the Indians aerial assault.

NO. 2 OTTAWA (11-0) AT NO. 1 CRETE-MONEE (11-0)

Kickoff: 6 p.m. Saturday

Last week: Ottawa 21, Rock Island 20; Crete-Monee 35, Richwoods 32

Up next: Crete-Monee would travel to Lemont or host Oak Forest.

The breakdown: The Warriors are facing an Ottawa team likely still on Cloud Nine after rallying from a 20-0 halftime deficit to beat Rock Island. Crete-Monee must keep an eye on RB Michael Hermosillo, a major threat to run and catch the ball out of the backfield. J.D. Bryant is a two-way force for the Pirates, in the backfield and secondary. QB Will Hoffman can throw the ball effectively, though the Pirates prefer to run. Crete-Monee overcame an 11-point fourth-quarter deficit in the second round. QB Marcus Terrell (181-of-265, 2,672, 34) likely will come out slinging, focusing on WRs Laquon Treadwell (62, 1,147, 13) and Lance Lenoir (48, 877, 13). The Warriors can’t afford another sloppy effort.

CLASS 5A

NO. 12 JOLIET CATHOLIC (7-4) at NO. 9 LINCOLN-WAY WEST (8-3)

Kickoff: 1 p.m. Saturday

Last week: Joliet Catholic 42, Tinley Park 21; Lincoln-Way West 31, Kaneland 15

Next week: Joliet Catholic would host Montini or Marian Central. Lincoln-Way West would host Marian Central or travel to Montini.

The breakdown: Joliet Catholic’s balanced, potent offense will present the most difficult challenge yet for a West defense that hasn’t allowed any opponent to score as many as 20 points. The oft-injured Hilltoppers, healthy during the playoffs, feature RBs Ty Isaac (122, 1,043), Mike Ivlow (123, 808) and Tyler Reitz (120, 805), QB Craig Slowik (73-of-150 passing, 1,403 yards), and receivers Chris Tschida (27, 522) and Jordan Jones (23, 449). West QB Justin Keuch (89-of-180, 1,079 yards) and WR Adam Slattery (35-466) are an effective combination, and RB Javier Montalvo has rushed for 901 yards, a majority during the Warriors’ five-game winning streak. West is in the quarterfinals for the first time.

CLASS 4A

NO. 5 BROOKS (8-2) at NO. 7 EVERGREEN PARK (8-3)

Kickoff: 6 p.m. Saturday

Last week: Brooks 49, VOISE Academy 12; Evergreen Park 34, Richmond-Burton 27

Up next: Evergreen Park would travel to either Alleman or Coal City.

The breakdown: Evergreen Park will have to contend with a Brooks team loaded with speed. RBs Joshua Smith and Cleveland Clark and QB Ahmad Bradshaw are dangerous on the edge. The Mustangs would be wise to bottle that trio up in the middle, or better yet, make Brooks have to go to the air. Evergreen Park QB Brandon White (1,406 yards passing; 791 rushing) is playing his best ball of the season, contributing with his legs and arm. If the Mustangs can remain balanced on offense and get WRs Jacquet McClendon (23, 521, 6) and Mike Reuter (34, 471, 9) involved, a first-ever trip to the semifinals should be in the making.

Compiled by Pat Disabato and Dick Goss



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