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October 30, 2013
Last Years Semifinalists
Mercer County, Clifton Central, Althoff Catholic, and Camp Point-Southeastern
Mercer County and Clifton Central return to 2A. Camp Point dropped their coop and fell into 1A. Althoff Catholic had the multiplier applied and are now in 4A.
Mercer County beat Althoff Catholic 14-7 in 2A Title Game.
(Seeds preceed school name)
The Entire Northern Half of Illinois Quad
8. Luther North (5-4) @ 1. Eastland-Pearl City (9-0)
Lincoln Trail/Prairieland Quad
8. Illini West (6-3) @ 1. Rockridge (9-0)
The Five "Families" (Conferences) Quad
8. New Berlin (5-4) @ 1. Cerro Gordo-Bement (9-0)
The EDGYTIM/Saluki Land Quad
8. Staunton (5-4) @ 1. Fairfield (8-1)
Week 3: Auburn 35, North Mac 14
1. Cerro Gordo-Bement (9-0)
2. Chester (8-1)
The Entire Northern Half of Illinois Quad Preview
This quad literally stretches from the Northwest Corner of Illinois to Illinois Route 74 near Danville! So much for the magical IHSA geography. We won't harp on that too much, but lets get into the quad. Heavy hitters here in Eastland-Pearl City, Newman Central Catholic, and Clifton Central. Eastland-Pearl City has really breezed through the NUIC this year and has quality wins over Lena-Winslow, Galena, and Forreston. Will the Wildcatz make a run or do we have a repeat of last years 31-24 upset loss to Orion in round 1? Newman Central Catholic hasn't looked back since their week 1 eye opening 21-9 loss to Rockridge. As we look back, we now see that Rockridge is 9-0 and Newman didn't have trouble with any of their other eight opponents. Fieldcrest has had a nice turnaround this year. Can they finally break through and get their first playoff win? Beating Newman at home will be tough. Clifton Central is one of last years' 2A semifinalists and have run out to another 9-0 season. The Comets have one of the best defenses in the state, giving up an average of 4.2 ppg, and have the experience of last years long playoff run. Could this be the year of the Comet? Last team we should know something about is the Bismarck-Henning Blue Devils, who finished the year 9-0 and were the Vermillion Valley Conference Champs. However, the Blue Devils had some close games with some average teams. Bismarck-Henning is a top seed that could be ripe for an upset.
Lincoln Trail/Prairieland Quad Preview
I think this is likely the deepest quad in 2A. Two good West Central teams in Rockridge and Illini West, two good Lincoln Trail teams in Annawan-Wethersfield and Mercer County, and four good Prairieland teams in Farmington, Knoxville, Elmwood-Brimfield, and Beardstown. Lets start with probably the biggest surprise in Rockridge. The Rockets, who finished the year 9-0, started the year with a new HC and a new offense, and pretty much destroyed everyone they played outside of Newman Central Catholic. The Rockets are going to be a tough out! Mercer County is the defending 2A State Champions, and the Golden Eagles finished the year 8-1. However, Mercer County who had a fantastic defense this year gave up 22 points to River Valley in week 8, then the Golden Eagles were shutout in week 9 by Annawan-Wethersfield. Is Mercer County struggling too much at the wrong time to make a run towards DeKalb? Let's talk about that team that just beat Mercer County. Annawan-Wethersfield was able to end Mercer County's 22 game winning streak after their 9-0 week 9 win. Annawan-Wethersfield, Mercer County, and Stark County all wound up in a three way tie for the Lincoln Trail Conference Crown. I really like either Rockridge, Mercer County, or Annawan-Wethersfield to make the semifinals.
The Five "Families" (Conferences) Quad Preview
There may actually be representation from every conference in central Illinois in this quad. The IHSA is still checking the numbers on this one. I think this quad really has one top dog, being Cerro Gordo-Bement, then two possible challengers in Auburn and Carlinville. Cerro Gordo-Bement, who finished a perfect 9-0 for the second straight regular season, are lead by a vaunted rushing attack. The Broncos do have a very good win over Lena-Winslow, but has the rest of the LOVC tested them for the postseason? I think the skill and talent that Cerro Gordo-Bement has and the way this quad breaks for them the semis aren't out of the question. Auburn and Carlinville are both 7-2 and both could make some noise coming out of this quad. Auburn's two losses are to Williamsville (9-0) and PORTA (6-3), while Carlinville's two losses are to Greenville (9-0) and Gillespie (8-1). Don't sleep on Nokomis either!
The EDGYTIM/Saluki Land Quad Preview
Of all the quads in 2A this one is by far the most wide open. Four Black Diamond Conference teams are in, being Eldorado, Fairfield, Carmi-White County, and Chester, but the Black Diamond is a closed conference so we have to be a bit skeptical of how things will go in the postseason. I do like Chester the most out of the Black Diamond teams. Who knows how well they would have done in 2A last year if they had not had to play Althoff Catholic in round 1. Another sleeper is Fairfield. The Mules, yes the Mules, gave Chester their only loss of the regular season and finished 8-1. Carlyle is another team who may be able to make a run. The Indians play in the Cahokia Conference, where they do play against some 4A schools, so they may have seen some tests that will prepare them for a solid run. Like I said this quad is wide open!
Round 1 Upsets (seed based)
5. Newman Central Catholic over 4. Fieldcrest
EDGYTIM.com Round 1 Predictions
1. Eastland-Pearl City over 8. Luther North