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Class 7A and 8A Playoff Mini-Previews: AT Is For Real, How Far Will They Go?

CLASS 7A

#6 Addison Trail (8-1, 6-0) vs #11 Carmel (6-3, 6-2), Fri. Oct. 28, 7 pm in Addison

Addison Trail RB Anthony Messina gets stopped against Downers Grove South

Addison Trail finished off a perfect run through the West Suburban Gold last week with an upset victory over previously undefeated and Class 8A 3-seed Downers Grove South. The Blazers’ strong defense was able to shut down Mustangs running back Justin Williams (20 carries, 51 yards), who had run free all season long, totaling close to 2000 yards on the ground. Addison Trail’s only loss came to Glenbard West, one of the two No. 1 seeds in the 7A playoffs. The Addison Trail defense, led by linebackers Mike Imperiale and Kevin Kent, has had a dominant season. The Blazers shut out four opponents and allowed just 48 total points in the regular season. The Blazers are led on offense by running backs Anthony Catanese and Anthony Messina.

Despite their 8-1 record and conference crown, the Blazers did not receive a easy path in the playoffs. AT was only given a 6-seed and they draw a tough Carmel team in the first round. Carmel lost three games this season by a total of eight points. Two of the Corsairs losses came by just one point, including a 64-63 double overtime loss to Marist in week eight. Carmel also handed Nazareth their only defeat of the season in week two.

The Corsairs’ offense, led by running back Jordan Kos, comes into the playoffs having scored 42 points or more in four straight games. Kos, the school’s all-time leading rusher, ran for more than 600 yards and 12 touchdowns in Carmel’s final three games of the season.

The Blazers were able to shut down DGS’ Williams last week, but will they be able to contain Kos? The match-up between Kos and the dominating Blazers’ defense will be fun to watch. No team has scored more than 14 points against Addison Trail this season.

PREDICTION:

Addison Trail 17 Carmel 14

#7 Wheaton North (7-2, 6-1) vs #10 Jacobs (7-2, 4-2), Fri. Oct. 28, 7:30 pm

Wheaton North QB John Peltz

Wheaton North had won six straight games before the Falcons dropped their season finale 27-13 to their crosstown rivals, Wheaton Warrenville South. The Falcons are led on offense by dual-threat quarterback John Peltz and running back Patrick Sharp. Sharp missed a few games in the middle of the season due to injury, but he seems to be healthy and running strong.

The Falcons will face a tough Jacobs squad in the first round. Jacobs defeated Dundee-Crown 49-0 last week after dropping their two previous games to teams with 8-1 records (Prairie Ridge and Crystal Lake South). The Golden Eagles feature a run heavy offense, led by a running back with a sweet name, Caz Zyks. The 5-10 senior ran for 181 yards and three touchdowns last week against Dundee-Crown.

The winner of this match-up will likely play Rockford Boylan, last year’s 6A champion, in the second round.

PREDICTION:

Wheaton North 31 Jacobs 21

Class 8A

#11 Glenbard North (6-3, 4-3) vs #6 Barrington (7-2, 4-1), Sat. Oct. 29, 6 pm

Glenbard North RB Phil Jackson looks for a hole

Glenbard North was able to snap a three game losing streak last week with a 34-10 win over Naperville North. The Panthers, as they have all season, relied on the Jackson brothers to lead them to victory. Phil and Justin Jackson combined for 253 rushing yards and four touchdowns last week. Older brother Phil has been the workhorse for the Panthers, but Justin has made an impact on offense backing up his brother and on defense as a safety.

The Barrington Broncos, second place finishers in the Mid-Suburban West, come into the playoffs on a three game winning streak. The Broncos features a run first offense led by a strong offensive line. The O-line is anchored by Wisconsin commit Dan Voltz. Running back Chase Murdock ran 36 times behind that line for 315 yards and four touchdowns in Barrington’s 29-28 victory over Conant in week seven. The Broncos got a boost from their special teams last week as Dylan Zyzda returned two kickoffs for touchdowns. The Broncos have a marquee win on their resume, they gave 8-1 Elk Grove their only loss of the season in week two.

PREDICTION:

Barrington 28 Glenbard North 14

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