Analysis

2021 playoff pairings: First-round information for Kane County Chronicle teams

Here are the first-round matchups for each Kane County Chronicle area team. Dates and times will be updated when confirmed.

Class 7A

No. 32 Lake Zurich (5-4) at No. 1 Batavia (9-0)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

About Batavia: Batavia just wrapped up a DuKane Conference title with a gutsy win over St. Charles North in double overtime on Friday. The Bulldogs have dominated most of their games, but were given tough tests from Wheaton North, Glenbard North and St. Charles North. Their defense is the standout staple, led by Tyler Jansey (66 tackles), Jack Sadowsky (63 tackles) and Tyler Sapit (3.5 sacks). Offensively, Ryan Boe (1,302 passing yards) is one of the top quarterbacks in the DuKane Conference, flanked by star running back Jalen Buckley, who finished with 1,152 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns. Buckley did not play in the second half against St. Charles North with an apparent ankle injury, so his availability will be one to monitor in lead up to the game.

About Lake Zurich: Lake Zurich picked up two consecutive wins to close the regular season to put itself in position to make the postseason. Quarterback Jarred Meyers has shown an ability to be a threat in the running game, which complements running back Ben Cooper. Wideout Tyler Erkman had 13 catches for 336 yards and two touchdowns over the past three games entering week nine.

No. 26 Geneva (5-4) at No. 7 Collinsville (8-1)

When: 3 p.m. Saturday

About Geneva: Geneva is making its first postseason since 2015. Carter Powelson has been the heart and soul of the team all year, and he’s also been flanked by quarterback Alex Porter and linebacker Blake Stempowski as team leaders. The Vikings entering Week 9 having lost three consecutive games, but ensured their postseason trip after a win over Lake Park on Friday.

About Collinsville: Kolby Anderson, a junior quarterback, has thrown 16 touchdowns to four interceptions. Junior running back Jerry Richardson has 1,153 rushing yards and six games of over 100 yards rushing. Tray Swygeart leads with a team-high 21 receptions and 520 reception yards. Senior Isaiah Norton leads the defense with 86 tackles.

Class 5A

No. 15 Kaneland (5-4) at No. 2 Fenwick (7-2)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

About Kaneland: The Knights needed a win in their final game against LaSalle-Peru to qualify for the postseason. They averaged 37 points per game behind a potent passing attack led by quarterback Troyer Carlson. It’s the fifth consecutive playoff appearance for the Knights.

About Fenwick: The Friars went 7-2 this year, winning their three games in the CCL/ESCC White. They handed St. Ignatius its first loss of the year, 28-20, in Week 9. They gave up 15.1 points per game. It’s the second straight playoff berth for the Friars, who went two rounds deep in 2019. It’s also the seventh playoff berth since 2012.

— Eddie Carifio

No. 11 Marmion (6-3) at No. 6 Chicago Comer (7-2)

When: Noon Saturday

About Marmion: Marmion employed a balanced style of football all season long, which Danny Chung piloted quite effectively. NIU recruit Dane Pardridge had two touchdown receptions on Friday against de La Salle, but Marmion’s rush defense didn’t allow a rushing yard (compared to Marmion’s 133).

About Chicago Comer: Quarterback Quentin Franklin has 1,034 passing yards and a 17 to 10 touchdown-to-interception ratio. Alontae Coney has a team-high 313 yards on the ground. Wideouts Marreyon Norman and Jeremy Reeves have combined for a whopping 1,250 reception yards and 17 touchdowns, so Marmion’s secondary figures to be heavily tested.

Class 4A

No. 12 Peoria Notre Dame (6-3) at No. 5 St. Francis (7-2)

When: 2 p.m. Saturday

About the Irish: Notre Dame had a four game winning streak heading into week nine before Peoria handed them a close 40-35 loss. Brady Osmulski is one of their top playmakers, who had 108 yards on 12 carries with three touchdowns before leaving with a reported hamstring injury.

About the Spartans: St. Francis ended the regular season on a phenomenal note by handing IC Catholic its first loss of the season. The Spartans had 295 yards rushing on Friday and was highlighted by Adam Criter’s 92 yards rushing and two touchdown night. Blake Lawson is another standout, who had 181 total yards. TJ McMillen is a two-way standout.