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Illinois High School Football Playoffs: Find Your Team's First-Round Matchup

IHSA announced the first-round playoff pairings for the state football playoffs Saturday night.

After nine weeks of surprises, comebacks and powerhouses getting the job done, it's time to start the season that matters: the playoffs. 

The 256 high school football teams that qualified for the Illinois state playoffs learned their fate Saturday night when the first-round playoff pairings were announced.

Teams are split into eight classes of 32 schools each based on enrollment. Class 1A is the schools with the lowest enrollment, and Class 8A has the highest.

Class 8A

There's no other way to look at it: Class 8A is stacked with talented teams and lots of rematches. The top half of the bracket features the top two ranked teams in state in Maine South and Loyola Academy.

The bottom half includes defending state champion Bolingbrook, which could be dangerous with a healthy Aaron Bailey at quarterback. But first they would have to get past Sandburg in a rematch and then Nequa Valley. 

Marist, Mount Carmel, Waubonsie Valley and Homewood-Flossmoor also bring lots of talent to this bracket.

Go to IHSA.org for the full Class 8A schedule

Home Away 1. Maine South 16. Lane Tech 8. Conant  9. New Trier 4. Glenbard N. 13. Fremd 5. Stevenson 12. Gurnee Warren 2. Loyola 15. Evanston 7. Leyden 10. Bartlett 3. Palatine 14. Niles West 6. Schaumburg 11. Glenbrook S. 1. Nequa Valley 16. Naperville N. 8. Sandburg 9. Bolingbrook 4. Waubonsie Valley 13. Proviso West 5. Hinsdale C.  12. OPRF 2. Marist 15. Lyons 7. Homewood-F. 10. O'Fallon 3. Mount Carmel 14. Brother Rice 6. Simeon 11. Bloom

Class 7A

Glenbard West and Lincoln-Way East were favorites entering last year's 7A playoffs but were both upset early. Batavia joins those undefeated teams in 7A and looks to make a run. 

If everything shapes up as expected, Glenbard and L-W East should meet in the state championship. But don't count out Benet, which shocked many people by winning its conference this year, or Wheaton North. Glenbrook North and Providence Catholic are also both strong 4-seeds. 

Go to IHSA.org for the full Class 7A schedule

Home Away 1. Glenbard West 16. Elk Grove 8. Harlem 9. Libertyville 4. Glenbrook N. 13. Prospect 5. Wheaton N. 12. St. Charles E.  2. Rockford Boylan 15. Jacobs 7. Fenwick 10. Huntley 3. Hononegah 14. Willowbrook 6. Lake Zurich 11. Crystal Lake S.  1. Batavia 8. Downers Grove N. 4. TF South 5. Thornton 2. Benet 7. Andrew 3. Oswego 6. Plainfield N. 1. L-W East 8. Plainfield C.  4. Providence 5. B.-Bourbonnais 2. Edwardsville 7. Pekin 3. East St. Louis 6. Belleville West

Class 6A

Cary-Grove and Crete-Monee are the favorites in Class 6A, but there are some challengers in one quadrant that will fight for a berth in the state championship.

Oak Forest, Richards and Lemont are all 8-1 and in the same quadrant. The winner of those first two round would likely meet Crete-Monee with a title game berth on the line.

Go to IHSA.org for the full Class 6A bracket

Home Away 1. Cary-Grove 16. Auburn 8. St. Patrick 9. Glenbard S.  4. Crystal Lake C. 13. Hyde Park 5. Grant 12. Lake View 2. Lakes 15. St. Viator 7. Rolling Meadows 10. Lake Forest 3. Grayslake N. 14. Niles/Notre Dame 6. Foreman 11. Steinmetz 1. Oak Forest 8. Hinsdale South 4. Perspectives 5. Shepard 2. Richards 7. L-W North 3. Lemont 6. Morgan Park 1. Crete-Monee 8. Springfield 4. Richwoods 5. Bloomington 2. Ottawa 7. Normal Community 3. Rock Island 6. Normal C. West

Class 5A

Joliet Catholic was the state runner-up in Class 5A last year, but finished 5-4 this year after lofty expectations. Still, JCA has a good shot at winning a couple of games to get a challenge against No. 1 Kaneland. JCA is a 12-seed and plays at Elmwood Park in the first round.

If they win, they would play the winner of Westinghouse and 14-seed Tinley Park (5-4). 

Morris and Centralia are two teams in the bottom half of the bracket to keep an eye on. 

Go to IHSA.org for the full Class 5A bracket

Home  Away 1. Kaneland 16. Belvidere 8. Rochelle 9. L-W West 4. Westinghouse 13. Tinley Park 5. Elmwood Park 12. Joliet Catholic 2. Marian 15. Wauconda 7. Woodstock N. 10. Sterling 3. Montini 14. Bremen 6. Sycamore 11. King 1. Normal U. 8. Galesburg 4. Metamora 5. Washington 2. Morris 7. Rich East 3. Urbana 6. East Peoria 1. Jersey 8. Mattoon 4. Chatham Glenwood 5. Marion 2. Centralia 7. Jacksonville 3. Sacred Heart-Griffin 6. Highland

Class 4A

There's only one team from Patch's coverage area in the Class 4A playoffs: Evergreen Park. The No. 7-seed Mustangs (6-3) play at No. 2 North Chicago (7-2) in the first round. 

If Evergreen Park advances, the Mustangs will play the winner of the No. 3 Harper and No. 6. Richmond Burton.

Go to IHSA.org for the full Class 4A bracket

Class 3A

Elmhurst's Immaculate Conception (6-3) is the only Class 3A team in Patch's coverage area. The Knights are a No. 12 seed and play at No. 5 Boone Grove in the first round up the playoffs. 

If they were to advance, they would face the winner of Aurora Christian and Chicago-Raby. 

Go to IHSA.org for the full Class 3A bracket

Find more Week 9 scores and football coverage on Patch. 

Darren McRoy October 21, 2012 at 05:21 AM
Look for my Lyons Township Lions to be a spoiler! They're far better than their 5-4 record now that they're at full strength. Coming off a three-game win streak, they're bound to give Marist a fight.
Football Lineman October 21, 2012 at 02:52 PM
Richards, vs, LW North Friday- 7:00P.M. At Richards- Go Dogs - All Fans, Alumni, and everybody , Do not miss this one: , Be there for this First Round Action; Go DOGS:::
Barney October 22, 2012 at 01:26 AM
Richards is talent deep. Fast. Play knock out type defense. Keep their penalties to a minimum , they'll be tough to beat.
Ron Kremer October 22, 2012 at 08:21 PM
Barney: While I agree Richards is talented and capable of playing terrific defense, I would not be shocked at all if Lincoln-Way North knocked out the Bulldogs in the first round. The Phoenix have a defensive-minded coach (George Czart) and will find a way to contain Tommy Mister.
btt1725 October 25, 2012 at 02:40 AM
Ron: Did LWN not give up over 200 points this year and 49 to Thornton. Richards also has a lot more weapons on offense than Tommy Mister. Richards 40 LWN 21

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