Hononegah and Belivdere North will hit the road for their second round playoff match-ups. For the NIC-10 Champion Indians it’s a trip to Lisle to face 7-3 Benet Academy. The Redwings are coming off a 22-point win in the first round of Class 7A playoffs.
“Pretty stout offensive line. They run the spread like we do,” says Hononegah head coach Brian Zimmerman. “They’ve got a sophomore quarterback because of an injury to their starter. But he’s had five or six games under his belt so he’s a little seasoned now.”
“Their defensive line is really good,” says senior center Nathan Kizer. “Best defensive line I’ll play so far in my life. I think they’re backers are really explosive. So it’s really just a hard hitting defense. I think we’re ready for it.”
Hononegah (10-0) is coming off a 42-21 win over Harlem in the first round. The Indians are the top seed in 7A, but aren’t letting that or their undefeated record make them look over any opponent.
“We’re very confident,” says senior linebacker Ivan Williams. “We like to stay very humble. You know don’t look ahead and all that. So our motto is day by day.”
Turnovers will be crucial in this contest. Both Hononegah and Benet play tough defense, and both teams offenses have had trouble protecting the football the past few weeks.
Belvidere North’s second round match-up takes them to Grayslake North. The Blue Thunder will battle an 8-3 Knights team in Class 6A.
“Ton of good skill players. They’re a little bit smaller up front on the offensive and defensive lines then we’re typically use to seeing in the NIC-10,” says Belvidere North head coach Jeff Beck. “But they’re very quick. They get off the ball very well.”
Belivdere North (6-4) is coming off an upset win over conference foe Auburn in the opening round. The Blue Thunder are winners of four straight, and looking to keep things rolling against a Grayslake squad that won by 42 points in the opening round.
“You know I’d say our confidence is really high right now,” says senior quarterback Callahan Direcks. “After coming off three win at the end of the season, and beating Auburn. Which is really amazing for us, and then making to the second round of the playoffs. We’re feeling really high right now.”
“I think they’re a good team,” says senior lineman Noah Bowman. “But I feel like how we’ve prepared on offense and defense that it should be heavily in our favor.”