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Preps coordinator COLIN LIKAS breaks down the 13 area playoff games this weekend involving area teams:

Class 4A

(2) Columbia (10-0) at (10) Prairie Central (8-2), 2 p.m. Saturday

Eagles’ coach: Scott Horner (19th season, 141-58 record)

Hawks’ coach: Andrew Quain (first season, 8-2 record)

Three Eagles to watch

Nic Horner (Sr., QB): 81 of 114 passing, 1,421 yards, 23 TDs, 2 INTs; 44 carries, 483 yards, 7 TDs.

Donovan Bieber (Sr., RB/OLB): 103 carries, 1,012 yards, 16 TDs.

Ronnie Hunsaker (Sr., RB/MLB): 52 tackles, 5.0 TFL, 1.0 sack.

Three Hawks to watch

Kaden King (Jr., QB/DB): 17 of 33 passing, 399 yards, 3 TDs, 2 INT; 125 carries, 943 yards, 15 TDs.

Connor Casner (Jr., RB/LB): 111 carries, 806 yards, 12 TDs.

Cooper Palmore (Jr., WR/LB): 9 receptions, 261 yards, 1 TD; 79 tackles.

Prediction — Eagles 42, Hawks 35. This could be an offensive slobberknocker, with Columbia averaging 45.4 points per game and Prairie Central averaging 35.6. The Eagles’ greater penchant for offensive balance will win the day.

(4) Unity (9-1) at (12) Kankakee Bishop McNamara (7-3), 1:30 p.m, Saturday

Rockets’ coach: Scott Hamilton (26th season, 244-63 record)

Irish’s coach: Richard Zinanni (45th season, 360-143 record)

Three Rockets to watch

Nate Reinhart (Sr., QB/DB): 116 of 185 passing, 1,626 yards, 22 TDs, 4 INTs; 73 carries, 363 yards, 6 TDs.

Jared Routh (Sr., WR/DB): 64 receptions, 782 yards, 6 TDs; 55 tackles, 1 INT.

Hank Cain (Jr., RB/DB): 237 carries, 1,532 yards, 10 TDs; 7 receptions, 89 yards, 1 TD.

Three Irish to watch

Tyler Hiller (Sr., QB/FS): 1,614 passing yards, 14 TDs.

Owen Jackson (Sr., FB/DE): 1,113 rushing yards, 300 receiving yards, 26 all-purpose TDs.

Manny Harris (Jr., WR/FS): 785 rushing yards, 414 receiving yards, 17 all-purpose TDs.

Prediction — Rockets 36, Irish 35. Both of these coaches bring an abundance of experience that should lead to unique moves being made throughout the contest. McNamara is battle-tested, but Unity is fired up to avenge 2015’s state final loss to the Irish.

Class 3A

(5) Paxton-Buckley-Loda (8-2) at (4) Farmington (8-2), 5 p.m. Saturday

Panthers’ coach: Josh Pritchard (first season, 8-2 record)

Farmers’ coach: Toby Vallas (sixth season, 48-14 record)

Three Panthers to watch

Hunter Anderson (Sr., RB/LB): 107 carries, 1,196 yards, 13 TDs; 10 receptions, 150 yards, 1 TD; 79 tackles.

Gunner Belt (Sr., QB/DB): 89 of 142 passing, 1,430 yards, 20 TDs, 6 INTs; 90 carries, 448 yards, 5 TDs

Drake Schrodt (Sr., RB/WR/DB): 57 carries, 259 yards, 10 TDs; 33 receptions, 331 yards, 8 TDs; 68 tackles, 1 INT.

Three Farmers to watch

Josh McMillin (Jr., QB): 112 of 283 passing, 2,152 yards, 23 TDs, 11 INTs; 82 carries, 641 yards, 6 TDs

Quinton Fultz (Sr., RB/K): 93 carries, 669 yards, 11 TDs.

Corbin Rutledge (Soph., WR): 27 receptions, 706 yards, 6 TDs.

Prediction — Farmers 30, Panthers 28. These teams’ four losses are to opponents with a combined 39-1 record, so the quality of football should be high. Farmington will come up with just enough defensive stops to seize the win.

Class 2A

(8) Watseka (7-3) at (1) Knoxville (10-0), 1 p.m. Saturday

Warriors’ coach: Aaron Hilgendorf (fourth season, 24-16 record)

Blue Bullets’ coach: Ryan Hebard (eighth season, 53-27 record)

Three Warriors to watch

Jameson Cluver (Jr., RB/DB): 111 carries, 687 yards, 11 TDs; 17 receptions, 181 yards, 1 TD; 38 tackles.

Drew Wittenborn (Jr., QB/DB): 128 of 217 passing, 1,992 yards, 17 TDs, 13 INTs.

Conner Curry (Jr., WR/DB): 36 receptions, 648 yards, 2 TD; 49 tackles, 5 INTs.

Three Blue Bullets to watch

Jimmy Upson (Sr., RB/SS): 266 carries, 1,950 yards, 30 TDs; 32 tackles, 3 INTs.

Zack Dean (Sr., RB): 134 carries, 1,261 yards, 23 TDs.

Chuckie Vannaken (Jr., G/MLB): 49 tackles, 9.0 TFL, 1.0 sack, 1 INT, 2 fumble recoveries.

Prediction — Blue Bullets 28, Warriors 14. Watseka has a stout defense, but Knoxville’s is even stronger, allowing an average of 7.0 points per tilt. Unless the Warriors keep capitalizing on their penchant for big-gain offensive plays, the Blue Bullets should prevail.

(8) Oakwood (8-2) at (1) Pana (9-1), 1 p.m. Saturday

Comets’ coach: Al Craig (second season, 13-7 record)

Panthers’ coach: Trevor Higgins (fourth season, 36-7 record)

Three Comets to watch

Colby Smiley (Sr., RB/LB): 104 carries, 804 yards, 8 TDs; 4 receptions, 107 yards; 66 tackles, 1 INT.

Gaven Clouse (Soph., RB/OLB/DB): 131 carries, 964 yards, 10 TDs; 5 receptions, 110 yards, 3 TDs.

Caide Borden (Sr., OL/DL): 76 tackles.

Three Panthers to watch

Jonah Lauff (Sr., QB): 100 of 153 passing, 1,796 yards, 22 TDs, 4 INTs; 41 carries, 117 yards, 2 TDs.

Lane Perry (Sr., FB/MLB): 86 carries, 644 yards, 9 TDs; 98 tackles, 8.0 TFL, 2.0 sacks, 1 INT, 1 fumble recovery.

Bryce Edmiston (Sr., WR/OLB): 38 carries, 332 yards, 6 TDs; 29 receptions, 548 yards, 6 TDs; 61 tackles, 8.0 TFL, 3.0 sacks, 3 INTs, 4 fumble recoveries.

Prediction — Panthers 31, Comets 21. Oakwood wants to make up for last year’s playoff loss to Pana. The Panthers are playing for the memory of their coach’s 4-year-old son, who died in the offseason. Pana will get the better of this emotionally-charged battle in front of a home crowd.

(6) Tuscola (8-2) at (3) St. Teresa (9-1), 1 p.m. Saturday

Warriors’ coach: Andy Romine (fifth season, 52-7 record)

Bulldogs’ coach: Mark Ramsey (fourth season, 42-6 record)

Three Warriors to watch

Logan Tabeling (Sr., QB/TE/LB): 140 of 236 passing, 2,055 yards, 15 TDs, 9 INTs; 135 carries, 812 yards, 16 TDs.

Jalen Quinn (Soph., WR/QB/DB): 43 receptions, 683 yards, 5 TDs; 9 INTs.

Brandon Douglas (Sr., WR/DB): 52 receptions, 843 yards, 7 TDs; 74 tackles, 2 INTs.

Three Bulldogs to watch

Denim Cook (Soph., RB/NG): 168 carries, 1,514 yards, 21 TDs; 7 receptions, 131 yards, 2 TDs; 78 tackles, 9.0 TFL, 1 fumble recovery.

Chord Miller (Jr., QB/FS): 48 of 76 passing, 961 yards, 11 TDs, 3 INTs; 40 carries, 288 yards, 6 TDs; 20 tackles, 3 INTs.

Anthony Cherry (Jr., WR/DB): 76 tackles, 3.0 TFL, 3 INTs, 1 fumble recovery.

Prediction — Bulldogs 34, Warriors 31. Just two teams have held St. Teresa under 41 points this year: 10-0 Central A&M and Tuscola. The Bulldogs have had the Warriors’ number, which means Tuscola will be hyped for a rematch. Cook’s rushing prowess, however, will prove too much to stop.

(5) Nashville (9-1) at (4) Bismarck-Henning/Rossville-Alvin (9-1), 2 p.m. Saturday

Hornets’ coach: Stephen Kozuszek (third season, 20-8 record)

Blue Devils’ coach: Mark Dodd (13th season, 99-38 record)

Three Hornets to watch

(stats from first-round win over Villa Grove/Heritage)

Jullian Metcalf (Sr., RB/MLB): 12 carries, 55 yards, 2 TDs (left game with injury).

Cole Malawy (Jr., QB): 23 of 26 passing, 293 yards, 2 TDs.

Gavin Baldwin (Jr., WR): 7 receptions, 117 yards.

Three Blue Devils to watch

Caleb Lahey (Sr., RB/LB): 127 carries, 1,227 yards, 21 TDs; 35 tackles.

Avery McConkey (Sr., QB/DB): 61 of 98 passing, 1,443 yards, 18 TDs, 3 INTs.

Paul Paunat (Sr., RB/LB): 91 tackles.

Prediction — Blue Devils 35, Hornets 18. BHRA will bring a physicality and relentless attitude that will prove too much for Nashville, which allows 17.4 points per game to the Blue Devils’ 10.3. Any Metcalf absence also would hurt the Hornets.

(5) Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley (9-1) at (4) Sterling Newman (9-1), 6 p.m. Saturday

Falcons’ coach: Mike Allen (19th season, 138-64 record)

Comets’ coach: Brandon Kreczmer (first season, 9-1 record)

Three Falcons to watch

Aidan Laughery (Soph., RB/DB): 153 carries, 1,178 yards, 21 TDs; 36 tackles, 3 INTs.

Payton Kean (Sr., RB/LB): 97 carries, 574 yards, 8 TDs.

Isaiah Chatman (Jr., RB/DL): 63 carries, 425 yards, 8 TDs; 9 receptions, 222 yards, 2 TDs; 56 tackles.

Three Comets to watch

Connor McBride (Sr., RB): 119 carries, 620 yards, 7 TDs; 13 receptions, 219 yards, 4 TDs.

Jake Ackman (Jr., QB/FS): 41 of 73 passing, 640 yards, 7 TDs, 4 INTs.

Andrew Velasquez (Jr., RB/MLB): 121 carries, 651 yards, 4 TDs.

Prediction — Falcons 23, Comets 17. There is a ton of hype surrounding this affair, a rematch of a 2017 Class 2A semifinal and 2018 2A quarterfinal. GCMS won both of those and will snag this one behind the mental edge gained from past performances.

Class 1A

(8) Fisher (8-2) at (1) Central A&M (10-0), 1 p.m. Saturday

Bunnies’ coach: Jake Palmer (fourth season, 23-17 record)

Raiders’ coach: Brent Weakly (fifth season, 30-20 record)

Three Bunnies to watch

Tyler Wilson (Sr., FB/LB): 221 carries, 1,966 yards, 24 TDs; 8 receptions, 198 yards, 2 TDs; 85 tackles.

Will Delaney (Sr., QB/DB): 69 of 121 passing, 956 yards, 12 TDs, 3 INTs; 64 carries, 437 yards, 9 TDs; 85 tackles.

Cale Horsch (Jr., HB/DB): 20 receptions, 214 yards, 2 TDs; 54 tackles, 4 INTs.

Three Raiders to watch

Connor Heaton (Sr., QB): 101 of 165 passing, 1,777 yards, 25 TDs, 1 INT; 61 carries, 613 yards, 16 TDs; 10 tackles, 3 INTs.

Jacob Paradee (Sr., WR/DB): 19 carries, 174 yards, 1 TD; 31 receptions, 835 yards, 13 TDs; 61 tackles, 3.0 TFL, 2 INTs.

Connor Hutchins (Sr., WR/ILB): 50 carries, 402 yards, 9 TDs; 43 receptions, 508 yards, 4 TDs; 65 tackles, 7.0 TFL, 2 INTs, 1 fumble recovery.

Prediction — Raiders 42, Bunnies 21. This is an unappealing matchup for Fisher, with Central A&M at or above 41 points in all but one of its contests thus far. The Raiders’ numerous offensive weapons will prove too much for the Bunnies to contain.

(7) Carrollton (8-2) at (2) Argenta-Oreana (9-1), 1 p.m. Saturday

Hawks’ coach: Nick Flowers (16th season, 118-53 record)

Bombers’ coach: Steve Kirk (third season, 30-4 record)

Three Hawks to watch

Hunter Flowers (Sr., QB/LS): 139 of 225 passing, 2,172 yards, 29 TDs, 4 INTs; 128 carries, 496 yards, 8 TDs

Matthew Retherford (Jr., WR/CB/S): 35 receptions, 574 yards, 10 TDs; 76 tackles, 3.0 TFL, 1 INT.

Lucas Settles (Sr., C/DT): 90 tackles, 12.0 TFL.

Three Bombers to watch

Makail Stanley (Sr., RB/LB): 138 carries, 1,761 yards, 27 TDs; 12 receptions, 186 yards; 82 tackles.

Josh Williams (Sr., QB/DB): 43 of 86 passing, 575 yards, 6 TDs, 4 INTs; 121 carries, 1,366 yards, 23 TDs; 73 tackles.

Braxton Ulrey (Sr., WR/DB): 27 receptions, 334 yards, 5 TDs; 41 tackles, 4 INTs.

Prediction — Bombers 42, Hawks 28. Carrollton didn’t have the easiest time with Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond, another Lincoln Prairie team, in the first round, and A-O is a big step up. The Bombers’ potent assault will fly them back to the quarterfinals.

(5) Greenfield/Northwestern (8-2) at (4) Arcola (8-2), 2 p.m. Saturday

Tigers’ coach: Joe Pembrook (seventh season, 43-26 record)

Purple Riders’ coach: Nick Lindsey (third season, 23-8 record)

Three Tigers to watch

Jacob Lansaw (Jr., QB): 87 of 134 passing, 1,065 yards, 8 TDs, 7 INTs; 44 carries, 187 yards; 23 tackles, 4.0 TFL, 3 INTs.

Colin Grummel (Sr., RB/OLB): 69 carries, 374 yards, 10 TDs; 7 receptions, 121 yards; 34 tackles, 7.0 TFL, 2 INTs.

Blake Motley (Sr.): 101 tackles, 7.0 TFL, 1 fumble recovery.

Three Purple Riders to watch

Austin Hopkins (Sr., RB/LB): 162 carries, 1,329 yards, 18 TDs; 83 tackles, 1 INT.

Beau Jones (Jr., QB/DB): 74 of 123 passing, 1,271 yards, 25 TDs, 6 INTs; 35 carries, 180 yards, 4 TDs

Diego Perez (Sr., WR/DB): 33 receptions, 696 yards, 11 TDs; 27 tackles, 3 INTs.

Prediction — Purple Riders 28, Tigers 14. Hopkins has been red-hot out of Arcola’s backfield, and he’ll get enough done here to bury a Greenfield/Northwestern team that occasionally struggles to score points.

8-Man

(6) Schlarman (7-3) at (3) River Ridge (7-3) 6 p.m. Friday

Hilltoppers’ coach: Matt Blurton (first season, 7-3 record)

Wildcats’ coach: Doug Nicholas (fifth season, 15-31 record)

Three Hilltoppers to watch

Marcus Blurton (Sr., QB/MLB/DE): 149 of 256 passing, 2,385 yards, 29 TDs, 10 INTs; 51 carries, 132 yards, 6 TDs;

Vaughn Black (Sr., WR/CB): 56 receptions, 1,225 yards, 14 TDs; 34 tackles, 9 INTs.

Rance Bryant (Jr., WR/DB): 44 receptions, 780 yards, 11 TDs.

Three Wildcats to watch

Bryton Engle (Jr., QB/DB): 47 of 79 passing, 743 yards, 13 TDs; 70 carries, 610 yards, 6 TDs.

Caleb Rhodes (Jr., RB/LB): 131 carries, 1,467 yards, 23 TDs; 22 receptions, 293 yards, 7 TDs; 72 tackles, 16.0 TFL

Joseph Diaz (Sr., RB/LB): 64 carries, 552 yards, 8 TDs; 59 tackles, 17.0 TFL, 1 fumble recovery.

Prediction — Wildcats 45, Hilltoppers 42. These teams played in Hanover on Oct. 11, with River Ridge pulling out a 52-34 victory. Expect this matchup to be a little closer, but the hosts prevail.

(14) Bunker Hill (1-9) at (1) Milford/Cissna Park (9-0), 2 p.m. Saturday

Chargers’ coach: Michael Burke (first season, 1-9 record)

Bearcats’ coach: Clint Schwartz (seventh season, 36-29 record)

Three facts about Bunker Hill

The Chargers saved their best for last, knocking off Alden-Hebron 14-12 in the postseason’s first round despite not winning in the regular season.

Even though it hasn’t showed in the win-loss ledger, Bunker Hill’s offense has been OK. The Chargers were shut out just once in the regular season and have averaged 18.0 points.

This is Bunker Hill’s first 8-man football campaign. The Chargers went 5-5 in a 2017 11-man run under Brian Borkowski, then went 0-9 in their final IHSA football season.

Three Bearcats to watch

Penn Stoller (Sr., QB/LB): 39 of 63 passing, 1,293 yards, 23 TDs, 1 INTs; 84 carries, 1,175 yards, 17 TDs.

Angel Salinas (Soph., RB/DB): 65 carries, 759 yards, 11 TDs.

Keegan Boyle (Sr., WR/DB): 12 receptions, 497 yards, 8 TDs; 25 tackles, 5 INTs.

Prediction — Bearcats 72, Chargers 7. Sorry, Bunker Hill. This projects to be an ugly affair for the visitors, as M/CP is coming off a bye and hasn’t lost an 8-man game.

Colin Likas is prep sports coordinator at The News-Gazette. His email is clikas@news-gazette.com, and you can follow him on Twitter (@clikasNG).

Prep Sports Coordinator

Colin Likas is prep sports coordinator at The News-Gazette. His email is clikas@news-gazette.com, and you can follow him on Twitter (@clikasNG).