What: Quarterfinals of the Class 6A state football playoffs.

When: Saturday, 1 p.m.

Where: Prairie Ridge High School, Crystal Lake

Seeds: Willowbrook is the No. 4 seed on the top half of the Class 6A bracket, while Prairie Ridge is the No. 1 seed.

Up next: The winner of this game faces either No. 7 Hoffman Estates (9-2) or No. 14 Belvidere North (7-4) in the state semifinals.

Outlook: Willowbrook has beaten its two playoff opponents (Deerfield and DeKalb) by a combined 42 points. Standout running back Jack Jessen scored three touchdowns in the team’s win against DeKalb in the second round. The Warriors will head to northwest suburban McHenry County to face a highly touted Prairie Ridge team that was given another run for its money by District 155 rival Cary-Grove in the second round. Prairie Ridge beat Cary-Grove 7-6 in the season opener and then won 17-13 in the playoffs last week at Cary-Grove. If you subtract those two games against Cary-Grove, Prairie Ridge won the other nine games by an average of 34 points and scored 50 or more points in seven of those contests. Of note, however, in Prairie Ridge’s four closest games against Cary-Grove and fellow conference foes Huntley and Jacobs—all playoff teams—the margin of victory was an average of just under seven points. Willowbrook is in the state quarterfinals for the second year in a row after reaching the round of eight in Class 7A last year. Looking ahead, if Willowbrook wins this contest, it would travel to Hoffman Estates or Belvidere North in the semifinals based on Hoffman and Belvidere having hosted only one playoff game each and Willowbrook having hosted two already.

 

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