2003 5A Playoff Central
2003 Title Game Date & Time; Nov. 29th 10am
Favorites to win the title; Rochelle,Joliet (Catholic)& Springfield (S.H.G.)
Favorites to win the title;
Joliet (Catholic)- During a previous playoff game, an opposing coach yelled to remind a referee that JC didn't stand for Jesus Christ. And while they do make mistakes, they come few & far between, especially when you realize this team has some 2 & 3 year varsity experienced players. The Hilltoppers bowed out of the playoffs early last year, but just ask around, many said that while they could win it all in 2002, 2003 would be a sure title. Past opponents, Morris, Pontiac, Rochelle & Springfield (S.H.G.) may have something to say about that as JC at 8-1 is still the team to beat.
- The Cyclones are most likely on a collision course for a finals showdown
with Joliet Catholic, which would be a repeat of the 1974 game in which
the Hilltoppers won their first ever title. SHG will be looking to reverse
the trend & set themselves up for a run at 4 in a row. But before
they get to carried away, they'll need to get by a few other teams.
The Cyclones may have lucked out though, getting what many will say
is the weaker brackets. Either way, with the boys from the capital out
scoring teams by 30 points while averaging 45 a game, either bracket
could be easy.
Other Title Threats;
Rock Island (Alleman) - The Pioneers triple threat of a running attack make them dangerous even if you don't have to watch for passes. Figuring out just who has the ball between QB Ryan McGinnis, FB Nate Just or HB Hank Belshause is only half the challenge. You've got to tackle them next. Their only loss was to cross town rival Rock Island HS who was just a coin flip away from being in 7A.
- Passing & lots of it. Britt Davis & his quintuplet of receivers
are what sets the Bulldogs apart from the rest of the field. Very few
high school defenses can defend against the past very well. Unfortunately
that is the same thing that stops R-B from being a favorite, they have
been know to give up a few scores a game, 19.8 on average actually.
- While they're offense hasn't been taking advantage of running clocks
all season & the defense might not be shutting out teams left &
right. At 7-2 with 6 regular season opponents making the playoffs, the
Bulldogs could go deep if they beat Springfield (S.H.G.)
or a very uncharacteristic Metamora
team if they make the second round.