There are certain schools that are synonymous with football this time of year, and many of those names — Maroa-Forsyth, Tuscola, St. Teresa and Arcola among them — are among those trying to extend their seasons on Saturday in the second round of the playoffs.
Here's a look at the Herald & Review-area second-round matchups.
Fisher at Central A&M
WHEN: Saturday, 1 p.m.
RECORDS: Fisher is 8-2, Central A&M is 10-0
LAST WEEK: Fisher beat Cumberland 26-14; Central A&M beat Havana 55-20
PLAYOFF RECORD: Fisher is 4-14; Central A&M is 40-18
KEY PLAYERS: For Fisher, Tyler Wilson (Sr., RB, 221 carries, 1,966 yards, 24 TDs), Will Delaney (Sr., QB, 69-of-121 passing, 956 yards, 10 TDs). For Central A&M, Connor Heaton (Sr., QB, 101-of-165 passing, 1,777 yards, 25 TDs, 1 INT; 61 carries, 613 yards, 16 TDs), Jacob Paradee (Sr., WR, 31 catches, 835 yards, 13 TDs)
OF NOTE: Fisher’s combination of Wilson on the ground and Delaney both passing and running make the Bunnies a formidable offense. But no team this season has been able to consistently match Central A&M’s offense. Fisher has just one second-round win in school history — vs. Leroy in 2005. Central A&M is 11-5 in second round games, but had lost three straight in the second round until beating Albion Edwards County last year.
Carrollton at Argenta-Oreana
WHEN: Saturday, 1 p.m.
RECORDS: Carrollton is 8-2; Argenta-Oreana is 9-1
LAST WEEK: Carrollton beat Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond 24-15; Argenta beat White Hall North Greene 42-0
PLAYOFF RECORD: Carrollton is 21-21; Argenta is 26-19
KEY PLAYERS: For Carrollton, Hunter Flowers (Sr., QB, 139-of-225 passing, 2,172 yards, 29 TDs, 4 INT; 496 yards rushing, 8 TDs 2172), Matthew Retherford (Jr., WR, 35 catches, 574 yards, 10 TDs). For Argenta, Josh Williams (Sr., QB, 121 carries, 1,366 yards, 23 TDs; 43-of-86, 575 yards, 6 TDs, 4 INTs), Makail Stanley (Sr., RB, 138 carries, 1,761 yards, 27 TDs).
OF NOTE: This is Carrollton’s eighth straight playoff appearance and 12th overall under coach Nick Flowers. The Hawks have made the quarterfinals four times in that stretch, including a second-place finish in 2014. Argenta fell one game short of state last year with a semifinals loss to Carrollton’s Western Illinois Valley Conference rival Camp Point Central. This is the second time in school history the Bombers have made four straight playoff appearances (2001-04). Argenta beat ALAH, Carrollton’s first-round playoff opponent, 42-34 in Week 8. Carrollton beat North Greene, Argenta’s first-round opponent, 34-14 in Week 3.
Maroa-Forsyth at Auburn
WHEN: Saturday, 1:30 p.m.
RECORDS: Maroa is 9-1; Auburn is 7-3
LAST WEEK: Maroa beat Sesser-Valier 41-0; Auburn beat Chester 19-0
PLAYOFF RECORD: Maroa is 63-22; Auburn is 34-29
KEY PLAYERS: For Maroa, Wade Jostes (Jr., QB, 105-of-153 passing, 1,787 yards, 15 TDs, 2 INTs; 299 yards rushing, 7 TDs), Bryson Boes (Sr., RB, 90 carries, 751 yards, 12 TDs). For Auburn, Cole Donaldson (RB, 139 carries, 765, 11 TDs); Colin Dubois (RB, 113 carries, 709 yards. 10 TDs)
OF NOTE: Maroa defeated Auburn 28-14 in Week 9. Maroa has won 12 of its last 13 second-round games — its only loss in that stretch was to Athens in 2015. Maroa’s Josh Jostes and Auburn’s Dave Bates are two of the state’s most successful coaches, with Jostes having won 187 games and taken his team to eight state title games, including two state titles; and Bates having won 251 games and taken his team to a second-place finish in 2015.
Tuscola at St. Teresa
WHEN: Saturday, 1 p.m.
RECORDS: Tuscola is 8-2; St. Teresa is 9-1
LAST WEEK: Tuscola beat Flora 42-14; St. Teresa beat Hamilton County 52-7
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PLAYOFF RECORDS: Tuscola is 54-27; St. Teresa is 46-27
KEY PLAYERS: For Tuscola, Logan Tabeling (Sr., QB, 140-for-236 passing, 2,055 yards, 15 TDs, 9 INTs; 812 yards rushing, 16 TDs), Brandon Douglas (Sr., WR/DB, 52 catches, 843 yards, 7 TDs). For St. Teresa, Denim Cook (So., RB, 168 rushing, 1,514 yards, 21 TDs), Jacob Bryles (Sr., WR, 19 catches, 500 yards, 7 TDs)
OF NOTE: St. Teresa beat Tuscola 28-12 in Week 4. This is the first time these teams have met in the playoffs since 1995 — a 41-0 St. Teresa win. Tuscola has won three straight second-round games and 12 of its last 13. Since 1997, St. Teresa has faced just one current Central Illinois Conference team in the playoffs, beating Warresburg-Latham during 2016’s state run. In the same period, Tuscola is 3-1 against current CIC teams, beating Shelbyville (2014) and Central A&M twice (2010 and 11), and losing to A&M in 2002.
Benton at Effingham
WHEN: Saturday, 3 p.m.
RECORDS: Benton is 9-1, Effingham is 9-1
LAST WEEK: Benton beat Salem 8-7, Effingham beat Breese Central 55-13
PLAYOFF RECORD: Benton is 13-8; Effingham is 13-20
KEY PLAYERS: For Benton, Ayden Newcomb (WR, 31 catches, 652 yards, 10 TDs), Keegan Glover (QB, 82-of-122 passing, 1,222 yards, 24 TDs, 5 INTs; 78 carries, 208 yards, 5 TDs). For Effingham, Nate Shackelford (Sr., QB, 124-of-189 passing, 2,106 yards, 27 TDs, 7 INTs; 82 carries, 640 yards, 9 TDs), Tristan Duncan (WR, 58 catches, 1,200 yards, 11 TDs)
OF NOTE: Benton allowed just eight points last week to Salem and is allowing 8.4 points per game this season —the fourth-lowest among Class 4A teams. Benton and Effingham had no common opponents and have never met in the playoffs. Effingham won in the second round last year for the third time in school history and first time since 1987. It broke a streak of six straight second-round losses. Benton is in the playoffs for the first time since 2012.
Mount Zion at Joliet Catholic
WHEN: Saturday, 2 p.m.
RECORDS: Mount Zion is 10-0; Joliet Catholic is 8-2
LAST WEEK: Mount Zion beat MacArthur 31-30, OT; Joliet Catholic beat Morton 42-7
PLAYOFF RECORD: Mount Zion is 17-28; Joliet Catholic is 115-26
KEY PLAYERS: For Mount Zion, Sage Davis (Sr., RB, 181 carries, 1,376 yards, 17 TDs), Ashton Summers (Sr., QB, 109-of-203 passing, 1,810 yards, 21 TDs); For Joliet Catholic, Jordan Anderson (So., RB, 114 carries, 1,003 yards, 14 TDs), Kenyetta Williams (Sr., RB, 95 carries, 575 yards, 8 TDs; 11 catches, 246 yards, 3 TDs)
OF NOTE: Defending state champion Joliet Catholic is the most successful football program in state history — its 14 state titles and 18 top-two finishes are more than any other team. The Hilltoppers began the season 0-2 and were 2-3 before reeling off five straight wins. Mount Zion last won a second-round playoff game in 2011. This is Mount Zion’s third appearance in the Class 5A playoffs (2002 and 2018 the others), and the Braves posted their first 5A playoff win by beating MacArthur last week.
Other games to watch
#5 Greenfield-Northwestern (8-2) at #4 Arcola (8-2), 2 p.m.: Greenfield is playing in its first second-round game since 2009 and hasn’t won in the second round since 2007. Since scoring 26 points in a loss to Cumberland in Week 5, Arcola has averaged 51.6 points in five straight wins.
#8 Fithian Oakwood (8-2) at #1 Pana (9-1), 1 p.m.: This is a rematch of last year’s first-round game, won by Pana 28-21. This is Oakwood’s first time in the second round since 1988. Pana has lost its last three second-round games.
#6 Mount Carmel (9-1) at #3 Vandalia (10-0), 2 p.m.: Vandalia has just one second-round win in school history, beating Greenville in 2018. Mount Carmel, an independent, is in the playoffs for the first time since 2016. The Golden Aces beat Carlinville 35-7 in the first round — a team Vandalia beat 48-7 in Week 2.