It was a case of good news and bad news for the football team at Lane (5-3). The good news is that the varsity football squad advanced to the state playoffs despite a 42-6 loss to Simeon (7-1). The bad news is Simeon won the section championship, and Lane will face top-ranked Maine South (9-0) in the opening round this Saturday in Park Ridge.
“Offensively, we couldn’t adjust to their speed,” Lane head coach Fred Prosel said. “All 11 guys on offense had a hard time. That’s the most athletic team we’ve faced all year.”
“I think it was disappointing to lose,” Lane quarterback Jack McLaughlin admitted. “We were all excited to play that game. We were prepared to play Simeon. We just didn’t execute. It was a bad draw for the state playoffs.”
Quarterback Elcee Burke completed 8-of-17 passes for 156 yards and two touchdown passes while Jordan Jackson ran for two scores as Simeon built a 21-0 lead.
“The first four times we threw the ball, our quarterback was sacked,” Prosel stated. “Our offensive line which has played well all year didn’t play well.”
“Their linebackers were incredible,” McLaughlin said on Simeon’s defense. “Not getting yards on first and second down didn’t help our defense.”
Lane might face its biggest challenge on Saturday against Maine South. The Hawks have scored 333 points, and they are led by quarterback Matt Alviti, who will attend Northwestern.
“Our offense will have to help the defense,” Proesel said on facing Maine South. “Alviti is obviously one of the top two players in the state along with (Aaron) Bailey from Bolingbrook. We’re excited to be in the state playoffs.”
Three of the biggest games in the state involved Chicago schools last week with playoff implications. Simeon won a section title while St Patrick’s (6-3) earned an at-large bid to the state playoffs with a 42-30 win over St Viator. Foreman (7-1) topped Taft 7-6 to win the Big Shoulders section title and gained entrance to postseason play.
Lake View (6-2) rebounded from a bad season and will play Grant (7-2) in the opening round of the state football playoffs.
Nequa Valley (9-0) is the other top seed in Class 8A. Can Bolingbrook overcome an injury to quarterback Aaron Bailey, who will attend Illinois ? Could there be a rematch between Loyola (8-1) and Mt. Carmel (8-1) in the Class 8A championship game? Loyola beat Mt. Carmel in overtime during the regular season.
Glenbard West (9-0) appears to be the favorite in Class 7A while all eyes will be on Cary Grove (9-0) and Crete-Monee (9-0) in Class 6A.
Ty Isaac, who will play at University of Southern California, will try to end his career for Joliet Catholic on a positive note in Class 5A. Joliet Catholic (5-4) will play Elmwood Park (7-2).
The state championship games will be played on Nov.23-24 at the University of Illinois.