Marcus Jackson's look at area high school football:
Mahomet-Seymour (7-2) at Quincy Notre Dame (7-2), 2 p.m. Saturday. The Bulldogs have their hands full right off the bat. A win would set up a potential rematch with Corn Belt rival Bloomington Central Catholic, one of two teams to beat the Bulldogs.
Gibson City-Melvin Sibley (5-4) at Westville (9-0), 7 p.m. Friday. The only opening-round game featuring two area schools. The key for GCMS is to control the clock and keep Caleb Pratt off the field.
Wilmington (6-3) at St. Thomas More (7-2), 7 p.m. Friday. The Sabers can't afford to look past Wilmington at a potential second-round game against St. Joseph-Ogden, which ruined St. Thomas More's homecoming in Week 5 with a 28-0 win.
NEWS-GAZETTE TOP 10
School (PREVIOUS), RECORD
1. Westville (1), 9-0 Tigers have won 17 successive home games.
2. St. Joseph-Ogden (2), 9-0 Spartans have a 1,000-yard rusher and a 1,000-yard passer.
3. Tuscola (4), 8-1 Warriors scored more regular season points than last year, 385-382.
4. Salt Fork (5), 7-2 Storm has allowed fewest points in Vermilion Valley (13.7 average).
5. Unity (6), 6-3 In the last 11 years, Rockets have lost once in opening round of playoffs.
6. Mahomet-Seymour (3), 7-2 Bulldogs averaging 49 points in wins, 10 points in losses.
7. St. Thomas More (8), 7-2 Sabers scored school-record point total (61) in regular season finale.
8. Cerro Gordo/DeLand-Weldon (9), 7-2 Broncos' final two wins were against playoff-bound opponents.
9. Arcola (7), 7-2 Riders making their 21st playoff appearance.
10. Champaign Central (–), 5-4 Maroons' offense balanced – 1,075 rushing and 1,037 passing.
MAKING A LIST
Most consecutive playoff appearances among area teams:
St. Joseph-Ogden, 17
Our team doesn't come out until December, but here's three players who might be on it:
AUSTEN SCHULTZ, Tuscola. Everyone thinks the Warriors are a passing team, but don't tell that to the senior running back. He racked up 295 yards on the ground in Friday's win, bringing his season total to 1,052.
CODY ROBERTS, Unity. Senior leads by example for the young Rockets. The running back can pick up yards on the ground and through the air, and on defense he has a nose for the ball.
TYLER JOHNSON, St. Joseph-Ogden. All he does is throw touchdowns. The senior has completed 47 passes this season, but 22 of them have been for touchdowns.
Our team doesn't come out until November, but here's three players who might be on it:
CALEB PRATT, Westville. Senior tailback added to his legacy, becoming the state's all-time rushing and touchdown leader in the same game. He now sets his sights on leading the Tigers to a state title.
JOHN WIENKE, Tuscola. Michigan-bound signal caller is putting together another solid season. His 1,627 yards are tops in the area and he's thrown just three interceptions in 189 attempts.
EDDIE VILIUNAS, Lyons Township. The 6-foot-4 quarterback is garnering some interest from Big Ten programs, but he might be best suited to play linebacker. Still, as a quarterback, he has led the Lions to an 8-1 record and a No. 3 seed in Class 8A.
MARCUS' RANDOM THOUGHTS
familiar opponent – again
What is the IHSA thinking having Danville and Normal Community play one another in back-to-back weeks? The same thing happened a year ago – the Vikings and Ironmen squared off in Week 9 and again in the opening-round of the playoffs. I know it takes a lot of work to get the brackets in order, but is it that tough to swap a couple of teams around so we don't have things like this happen?
BeDeviling times for villa grove
After starting the season 5-1, Villa Grove has fallen on hard times. The Blue Devils have lost three straight to close the season and just squeaked into the playoffs. If Villa Grove is to get it turned around, it will need its offensive line to set the tone. The unit has been instrumental in tailback Rob Renfrow's success this season, and the Blue Devils go as Renfrow goes.