Soucie: Class 7A Second-round breakdown

A few lower seeded squads found their way into Round 2 and the bracket still seems to hold the possibility for a wide open couple of rounds.

First-round picks: 14-2

Second-round matchups

Batavia (10-0) at Mount Carmel (7-3): Batavia opened its run in the Class 7A bracket with a resounding win over Lake Zurich, notching a shutout. Mount Carmel did the same in defeating Thornwood also recording a shutout, but scuffled a little bit more than expected in the win. Either way, only one postseason stalwart will survive this week.

Pick: Batavia

Brother Rice (8-2) at Yorkville (6-4): Brother Rice entered the Class 7A brackets as one of the favorites but was within a few inches of being stunned in the opening round of the playoffs as Wheaton Warrenville South just missed converting a two-point conversion that would have sent them to an upset win. Yorkville is playing very well right now and its propensity to post points quickly as of late could come in very handy.

Pick: Brother Rice

Wheaton North (9-1) at Hoffman Estates (8-2): Wheaton North continues to be as steady as anyone around and the Falcons absolutely breezed into the second round with an easy win over Larkin. It wasn’t as smooth for Hoffman Estates as it had to hang on against a feisty T.F. South quad. Most of Hoffman Estates games tend to turn into shootouts, but they probably don’t really want that against a well-equipped Wheaton North squad.

Pick: Wheaton North

Moline (9-1) at Willowbrook (7-3): Moline feels very far removed from a Week 2 loss to Benet as it has steamrolled its way through the remainder of the regular season. Willowbrook is another team that also seems like it is a far cry from where it was at the beginning of the season. The Warriors started 0-2, but now enter the phase of the postseason where they always seem to exceed expectations.

Pick: Moline

Pekin (8-2) at Hononegah (10-0): Hononegah continues to be a dynamic offensive attack that has been hard to rein in. They posted 29 second quarter points in breaking away from Plainfield East and have been stacking points in bunches all season. Pekin is a little more inclined to keep scores down and lean on its defensive unit to lead the way.

Pick: Hononegah

St. Rita (8-2) at Geneva (6-4): St. Rita still hasn’t been able to get standout running back and Ohio State recruit Kaleb Brown back on the field, but up until this point the Mustangs have done pretty well without his services. Brown may return this week and if he does he’ll likely run into a Geneva squad that has already far exceeded the expectations for it with the success it has already posted.

Pick: St. Rita

Normal Community (10-0) at Jacobs (8-2): Normal Community once again found itself atop the Big 12 Conference standings, a perch it isn’t a stranger to. But getting there seemed to be a bit more of a struggle than usual for the Ironmen. They face a team in Jacobs that provides an explosive offensive that hasn’t been real easy for foes to stop. Momentum seems to be with this team right now.

Pick: Jacobs

Prospect (8-2) at Buffalo Grove (9-1): There was a lot that was out of character for these two Mid-Suburban Conference schools when they met in the regular season matchup. Both teams have been involved in high scoring battles in most of their contests, but Buffalo Grove emerged with a 17-14 win in Week 5 matchup between the schools, a wild diversion from most of the results provided by these two teams in other encounters.

Pick: Buffalo Grove