Analysis | Friday Night Drive

2022 IHSA playoffs: Steve Soucie’s Class 7A semifinal analysis

Batavia's Charlie Whelpley (4) throws an option pass against Yorkville during a 7A quarterfinal playoff football game at Batavia High School on Saturday, Nov 12, 2022.

At this point, most of the classifications have at least one team that is at the very least a little bit of a surprise to still be playing at this point.

That’s simply not the case in 7A as each of the remaining four teams have plenty of postseason pedigree.

The group is obviously led by Mount Carmel, but the other three squads would certainly relish the opportunity to get their chance at the Caravan.

First-round record: 14-2

Second-round record: 7-1

Quarterfinal record: 4-0

Semifinal matchups

Mount Carmel vs. St. Rita: Those that might have had a blip of doubt about the favorite label attached to Mount Carmel after a little bit of struggle in the second round of the postseason probably had that washed away by the complete dominance put forth by the Caravan in the quarterfinal round over Brother Rice. Not surprisingly its yet another late-round battle for CCL/ESCC teams as St. Rita has put forth a workman like effort in dispatching teams to this point. Now the Mustangs will get another crack at the Caravan, after Mount Carmel kicked off the season with a 35-3 win.

Pick: St. Rita

Batavia vs. Lake Zurich: Batavia lost three times in the regular season but once the postseason rolls around the Bulldogs flipped their typical postseason switch and are now making another march deep into the postseason. The Bulldogs are using Tyler Jansey more often in the backfield now and it is an adjustment that opposing defenses are having a hard time coming up with a great response for. Lake Zurich and Batavia share a common opponent as both fell to St. Charles North during the regular season. But since that St. Charles North loss, Lake Zurich defensive unit has been on point, allowing two touchdowns or less in every game since that loss in Week 2 in every game but one since.

Pick: Batavia