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Morgan Park playoff hopes get a boost

Officially at least, one top-level Chicago Public Schools football team will have a full nine-game schedule this year.

That distinction goes to Morgan Park, thanks to a quirk in the Public League schedule. All Week 4 games involving CPS schools were called off because of the CPS teachers strike.

Games involving the 24 top-tier schools in the Illini sections will be made up in Week 9, which originally was set aside for the first round of the Public League playoffs.

Morgan Park was scheduled to play Urban Prep-Englewood — the only charter school in the Illini sections. Because UP-Englewood remained in session, unlike the CPS schools, it was awarded a forfeit win over Morgan Park.

But that also has been designated as a nonconference game, according to IHSA assistant executive director Matt Troha. The teams will meet on the field in Week 9 in an Illini Prairie State game.

The decision to handle the Week 4 game in this way could give Morgan Park (3-3) a slight boost if the Mustangs qualify for the state playoffs, because they could count games won by UP-Englewood (1-5) twice.

Opponents’ wins, also known as playoff points, are the first tiebreaker in deciding which teams make the postseason and how they’re seeded.

“It might bump (Morgan Park) a seed or two,” IHSA bracket expert Steve Soucie said.

Week 4 games in the Chicago sections will not be made up because those schools are already scheduled to play conference games in Week 9. But three charter schools in the Chicago sections — Bulls Prep, North Lawndale and Perspectives — did get forfeit wins in Week 4 and thus will have nine-game schedules.



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