Surpises were few during first week of playoffs

And then there were 16. That’s how many teams are left in each of the eight classes of the IHSA football playoffs as winning teams move on to the second round.
Wilmington (2A), Reed-Custer (3A) and Coal City (4A) all advance to the second round after winning on Saturday. The Wildcats (9-1) will host Tri-Valley Downs (8-2) at 6 p.m. Saturday, Reed-Custer (10-0) will play saturday at 5 p.m. against visiting Pecatonica - Du-Pec Coop (8-2) while the Coalers (7-3) have a four-hour drive to Carterville (10-0) near Marion, IL for a 1 p.m. kickoff Saturday.
Not so lucky were ICE conference foes Peotone and Lisle who suffered decisive losses to 3A opponents.
As for Class 2A there were five upsets based on upper seed teams who lost. The biggest surprise was Althoff Catholic (5-4) edging Shelbyville 38-34 who previously had only one loss. Fairfield, the 12th seed in the lower bracket, upended North Mac, 20-19, who also had just one loss all season. Athens (7-2) and White County (7-2) were even on paper until Friday’s game ended up a 48-8 romping for Athens.
In the upper bracket, where Wilmington #3 seed, the only true upset was Central Catholic - Bloomington (6-3) clipping Aledo (7-2) 27-26.
The top seed, Maroa (Forsyth), shutdown North Lawndale, 69-8, to remain undefeated. The other undefeated team in the top tier is Bismarck who had a tough time ridding Westville, a 5-4 team, 43-35. It’s probable if Wilmington beats Tri-Valley on Saturday they will travel to Bismarck for the quarterfinal.
In Class 3A, there’s little doubt Reed-Custer is in the driver’s seat at least one more week against Pecatonica, a 52-8 winner over Catalyst/Maria (6-3) from Chicago. Of the 256 teams who played in week one of the playoffs, none of them scored as many points (77) as the Comets did in their win over Chicago Carver (24), a 5-3 team.
The only true upset in Class 3A was Stanford (Olympia) at 5-4, beating Benton 32-21 who had only one loss all season.
The Comets may face their first true test in the quarterfinals (week 3) against the winner of this week’s Seneca (10-0) vs. Byron (9-1) contest. Will the Fighting Irish knock off Byron? Our guess is the Comets would like to avenge the “unfinished business” loss to Byron a year ago. No matter who they’ll face, Seneca or Byron, here’s hoping it’s “business as usual” all the way to Champaign for RCHS.
In Class 4A there were three “upsets” that change the tide for week two.
Providence Catholic (5-4), as the 13th seed on the north tier, surprised Wheaton Academy (8-1) by a 17-3 margin. That sets Providence up for a rival contest against Joliet Catholic (8-2) in round two.
An even bigger upset was 5-4 Johnsburg (#15) silencing undefeated Hyde Park (#2) 54-8. That leaves just Richmond (Burton) as the only other 10-0 team left in the north 4A bracket.
The south bracket, where the Coalers were bumped, still has three undefeated teams in Carterville, who they face on Saturday, as well as Sacred Heart-Griffin and Macomb.
You can bet the two latter teams are hoping for a Coaler surprise against Carterville. So are we!