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State football playoff quarterfinals loaded with big matchups

High School Sports Weekly
Good morning,
It’s an exciting time to be a high school sports fan, probably for the first time in two years. The state football playoffs have reached the quarterfinals. Saturday will be loaded with big games, including Mount Carmel vs. Brother Rice. 
Basketball practice starts today all across the state. Signing Day is Wednesday and actual basketball games start in exactly two weeks.
I’ll be out at St. Ignatius for practice this evening. I always like to make the first day of practice stop at a school that isn’t a traditional power but is set up for a special year. That’s definitely the case with the Wolfpack. 
It’s all starting to happen. There’s still time to send me info on your team for the Twitter previews. Just email
Michael O'Brien, High School Sports Editor

Super 25 rankings
Mount Carmel’s Darrion Gilliam (17) and Joey Thompson (27) celebrate Gilliam’s touchdown against Batavia. | Kirsten Stickney/For the Sun-Times
Mount Carmel’s Darrion Gilliam (17) and Joey Thompson (27) celebrate Gilliam’s touchdown against Batavia. | Kirsten Stickney/For the Sun-Times
Some big names fell out of the rankings this week after picking up losses in the second round. At this point I’m sticking with teams that are still playing.
At the end of the season I’ll go back and take a look at the season overall. It’s likely teams such as Batavia, St. Ignatius and maybe Warren pop back up in the final Super 25.
A load of new teams join after reaching the quarterfinals. Marist, Prospect, Prairie Ridge, and Nazareth all return to the Super 25 and Glenbrook South, Jacobs, Willowbrook and Lake Forest make their first appearances of the season.
Glenbrook South has been a clear miss for me over the last few months. I kept getting close to putting the Titans in but continually wound up choosing another team. They beat Hinsdale Central 14-7 on Saturday. It’s been a rough two rounds of the playoffs for the West Suburban.
1. Loyola (11-0) 1
2. Joliet Catholic (11-0) 2
3. Brother Rice (9-2) 3
4. Maine South (10-1) 4
5. Cary-Grove (11-0) 5
How the Super 25 fared in Week 11
IHSA state football playoff scores for the second round
Four Downs: News and notes from Week 11 in high school football
Playoff game stories
Playoff wins at Naperville Central are not supposed to be easy, but top-seeded Loyola didn’t have much trouble rolling past the Redhawks in a 36-7 romp on Saturday. Next up for the Ramblers will be Lincoln-Way East, which defeated Minooka, 35-7, in the second round.
The No. 1 seed in Class 7A didn’t fare so well as Batavia’s season ended with a 16-14 loss to Mount Carmel, which took advantage of a pair of controversial pass interference calls to set up the game-winning score.
We also have stories on Kankakee’s rout of Morgan Park and Crete-Monee’s upset victory over St. Ignatius, which led Warriors coach John Konecki to compare star player Josh Franklin to the stylish play of NBA legend Allen Iverson.
For updated matchups for each round of the playoffs for all eight classes, click here.
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