ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF) — The Auburn Knights will apparently be in the IHSA playoff party this season. They became eligible Saturday afternoon by defeating the Jefferson J-Hawks 58-8 in a Rockford crosstown rivalry game.

The Knights built up a 44-0 halftime lead leading to a running clock through the second half. For the Knights this will be their first playoff appearance since 2019, and their first under second-year head coach Willie Tolon.

Auburn’s seniors were pumped up about reaching that goal of making the playoffs.

“It feels good to know that we’re going to the playoffs to fight to go far in the playoffs,” said linebacker Jasper Jenkins. “You know, we tried to last year with a first-year coach Willie Tolon. The second year, we did it.”

“It feels real good playing with a team that I’ve been playing for a long time, us succeeding,” said Dubose.”

“Once we got those two couple Dubs, I knew we was going to go to the playoffs,” said quarterback Anthony Purifoy. Definitely Jefferson is a good team and all, but we just wanted it way more, and we’re going to do it for coach Tolon mainly.”

The Knights are 5-4 overall with one more regular season game remaining against Hononegah next Friday night. They’ll learn their playoff fate next Saturday night when the IHSA playoff field and first-round pairings are announced.