It’s a home game for the Civic Memorial High Eagles in their opener of the Class 4A IHSA football playoffs.
Meanwhile, the Marquette Catholic High Explorers will be playing on the road in 4A, while the Roxana Shells face a familiar foe in a 3A away game.
That’s the local scene after the IHSA released the pairings for its eight-class, 256-team grid playoffs. The postseason continues through the two-day state finals, Nov. 27-28 at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb.
All of the opening-round dates and times will be announced by Monday. Teams have the option of playing on Friday night (Oct. 30) or Saturday afternoon (Oct. 31).
Roxana and Carlinville haveagreed to play at 7 p.m. Friday. CM plays host to Breese Mater Dei at 1 p.m. Saturday, while Marquette is at Rochester in 1:30 game Saturday. So here are the matchups for three local teams making playoff appearances:
- Roxana (7-2) at Carlinville (7-2), 7 p.m. Friday
- Breese Mater Dei (6-3) at CM (7-2), 1 p.m. Saturday
- Marquette Catholic (6-3) at Rochester (8-1), 1:30 Saturday
In 4A, the No. 7 Eagles secured their first home game since 2005 and they are energized about entertaining the No. 10 Knights.
“It’s awesome and I’m excited for our kids,” Eagles’ coach Justin Winslow said. CM, which started the season 5-0 and lost to only Mississippi Valley Conference rivals Triad and Highland, is going to the playoffs for the first time since 2010.
Winslow added, “I like our draw. It’s a good one and were thinking about a matchup of No. 7 and No. 10 teams. Mater Dei is pretty good and they like to run the ball.”
CM will bank on running back John Whitworth and quarterback Adam Hill to stir its potent offense, which erupted for seven touchdowns last Friday in a 46-28 victory over Mount Zion.
The winner gets the survivor of 5-4 Breese Central at 9-0 Columbia in Round 2. If favorites prevail in their openers, the Eagles would travel to Columbia the second week.
Marquette has a tough draw in five-time defending state champ Rochester, which lost only to Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin, 53-34 on Friday. The 8-1 Rockets are 33-9 in postseason play and haven’t lost a playoff game this decade. The Explorers are seeded No. 13 and the Rockets are No. 4.
“It’s no surprise,” first-year Explorers’ coach Darrell Angleton said of the Rochester draw. “They have good receivers, so we will have to be at our best on defense. Our boys will give us 100 percent.”
Marquette has won six of its last seven games after starting the season 0-2. The Explorers finished second to 8-1 Pawnee in the Prairie State Conference. Quarterback Trey Aguirre, running back Brady McAfee and receiver Jesse Simmons are three of their main weapons.
The Marquette-Rochester survivor gets the Carterville at Murphysboro victor in Round 2. Former East Alton-Wood River and Jersey High coach Gary Carter directs Murphy, which is 8-1.
As for 3A, it’s a South Central Conference rematch from Week 1 between Roxana and Carlinville, this time in Macoupin County. The Cavaliers won the first game game, 48-24, on Aug. 28 at Charlie Raich Field in Roxana.
The Shells started 0-2 but have won seven in row. And Carlinville, once 2-2, has won five in succession. Both teams finished behind 9-0 Pana in the SCC.
“I thought we might have a chance to play Carlinville, but both teams are different since the season opener,” Roxana coach Pat Keith said. “Hopefully, we have improved a lot and this time, we need to do the little things better.”
Running backs Blake Vandiver and Jordan Hawkins figure to lead the Shells. Vandiver, who was nursing a shoulder injury, returned Friday in their lopsided win over Southwestern. Quarterback Chance Foss, idled with a broken collarbone, likely won’t be back for Carlinville.
“We’re just glad to have the opportunity of going back to the playoffs,” Keith said.
The Roxana-Carlinville survivor draws the Fairfield-St. Joseph-Ogden winner in the second round. Fairfield is 5-4, while St. Joe Ogden is 9-0 and a No. 1 seed.