ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF) — Playoff intensity in high school football will be cranked up another notch tomorrow for our remaining local teams. A couple of them will try to make school history. Here’s what’s in store for us.

A lot of eyes will be fixed on Byron’s Everett Stine Stadium. That’s where the Du-Pec Rivermen will try to slay the mighty Tigers in a 3A game. The Rivermen have never played in a quarterfinal game before, but they have played at Byron before, losing to the Tigers in round two in 2019. The Rivermen have soundly defeated two other Big Northern Conference teams the last two weeks, Oregon and Stillman Valley behind quarterback Cooper Hoffman.

The Tigers will be trying to reach the state semifinals for the sixth straight season excluding the COVID year. The Tigers have put on a football clinic for 11 straight weeks. Will they do it again?

The Le-Win Panthers have also put on a football clinic for 11 straight weeks. They’ll be home again hosting Kewanee-Wethersfield in Class 1A. Wethersfield’s only loss was in week two to Stark County by one point. The Panthers will try to steamroll the Flying Geese, just as they did the last two weeks against Rockford Lutheran and Forreston.

Belvidere North is ready for more playoff action in Class 6A. The Blue Thunder hit the road for the first time to take on #1 seed Lake Zurich. The Bears have a record of 10-1. They’ve been in the playoffs 19 of the last 20 years winning state in 2007 and finishing second four other times.
The Blue Thunder will be making their second appearance in the State Quarterfinals. They’ve never played in the semifinals. Is this their year?

The Hononegah Indians have been dominating teams in the playoffs, just like they did during the regular season. Saturday, they’ll get their biggest challenge yet when the Batavia Bulldogs come to Rockton for a 7A quarterfinal game. Batavia was ranked third in the state in the final 7A rankings. The Bulldogs returned 11 starters from their state runner-up team last year including quarterback Ryan Boe. He has committed to North Dakota State. Hononegah played Batavia in the second round of the playoffs in 2019 and lost that game 48-0, but this Hononegah team is much stronger than that one was.

There will be 8-man playoff action in Polo. The Marcos, coming off a highly impressive playoff win last week against Milledgeville, will host Amboy. The winner of this game plays next week for the state championship. The Marcos were 8-man state champs in 2019 and 2021. Amboy went to state last year and lost a tight game. The 11-0 Clippers have unfinished business.

NOTE: Watch for highlights on WTVO 17 at 10 p.m. Saturday and on