Stockton-Aquin Preview 10/18/12

Freeport, Illinois-The high school football regular season will end with a bang in Freeport.  8-0 Stockton will take on 8-0 Aquin. They're the top two ranked teams in the State in Class 1A.

At stake in this game will be the Northwest Upstate Illini Upstate Championship and most likely the number one seed in the playoffs.

"It would be great for us to go undefeated in the regular season and then coming in first seed in the playoffs," said Stockton senior Logan Staver.

"It hasn't happened here for 20-some years since an undefeated regular season," says Stockton Coach Chris Thornton. "The ultimate goal is to make a run in the playoffs and try to go deep, and this puts you in the best position to do that ifyou can win Friday night."

"It sets up a nice ending to a season," says Aquin coach Todd Kramer. "A conference championship, two good teams who I think are playing their best ball."

Stockton is coming off a hard-fought win last week over Lena-Winslow. The Blackhawks have outscored their opponents 407 to 83 this season. Aquin has outscored its opponents 315-110. They play two different styles. Stockton wants to play physical and run the ball. Aquin plays a finese spread offense spear-headed by senior quarterback Nolan Brannick. He has passed for more than 2,000 yards this season.

"They're a hard-nosed team," says Brannick of Stockton. "They play hard every play. They come at you. They're very physical."

"We play two different kinds of football," says Aquin running back Sawyer Shaw. "So we'll just play our game, and we'll be successful."

"We've got to be physical and control the football and keep our offense on the field so their offense is on the sideline," says Thornton.

Last year Stockton beat Aquin in the final week of the regular season to win the conference championship. But Aquin beat Stockton in the second round of the playoffs.

"There's a lot of motivation from last year," says Staver.

"The kids know what they're getting into, and they know what they have to do," says Kramer.

Catch the highilghts Friday at 10pm on WTVO Channel 17 and again this weekend on the Sports Connection on Fox 39 and MyNetwork TV.

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