Local football teams are keeping things busy for us here in The Beacon-News sports department. Of the seven area schools that qualified for the postseason, six earned victories in their first round games this weekend.
Waubonsie Valley got a huge monkey off its back with a 33-7 win over Brother Rice in Class 8A Friday night. The Warriors have had a long history of playoff failure -- this is the first time they've advanced to the second round since 2001.
I received a text message from reporter Jim Owczarski at halftime. The score was 7-7. I texted Jim back and told him the game would likely turn on a turnover or a special teams play. Amusingly, Waubonsie's Eric Josupait returned the opening kickoff of the second half 87 yards for a touchdown and the rout was on.
The Warriors got a career game from running back Austin Guido (pictured), who carried 22 times for 211 yards. Included was a 96-yard TD run in the fourth quarter that put the exclamation point on the victory.
Next up for Waubonsie, a second-round game with Homewood-Flossmoor.
Other winners around the area included Aurora Christian, Kaneland, Geneva, Marmion and Sandwich. The only team to lose was Batavia, which fell 23-14 to top-seeded and undefeated Lemont in 6A action Saturday night.
Aurora Christian scored a surprisingly easy 38-0 win at Oregon Friday night. The Eagles (6-4) will face a tougher opponent in the second round next week in undefeated Wilmington. The last time we saw the Wildcats in this area, they handed Sandwich its only loss of the season, 34-14 in Week 9.
Speaking of the Indians (9-1), congratulations to coach Derek Avery and his players on winning the first playoff game in Sandwich school history Saturday night -- 49-14 over Chicago Harper. The Indians' double-wing was rolling, 347 rushing yards on 56 carries. Next up, a stern test against perennial state power Geneseo (9-1). I gotta believe Sandwich is the underdog in that one, but by the same token, this is a huge opportunity for the Indians to put themselves on the map as a program.
Kaneland is already on the map, and the Knights (10-0) destroyed Chicago King 42-0 in their playoff opener Friday night. As a matter of fact, the score was 42-0 at halftime. Most predictable blowout ever. You knew it would be no contest. Next up for Kaneland, a second round 5A match with Crystal Lake South (8-2).
Marmion used its tried-and-true formula to beat T.F. North 24-0 Friday night -- stingy defense, opportunistic offense and 191 rushing yards. Next up, the Cadets (9-1) will try their luck against T.F. South in a second round 6A match.
How hot is Geneva's offense right now? 69 points for the second straight week. This time the victim was Oak Forest. The Vikings scored 27 points in the second quarter Saturday to seize a 41-14 halftime lead. They went on for a 69-28 victory. It will be real interesting to see how Geneva fares against aforementioned undefeated Lemont next week. Batavia played Lemont much tougher than many expected, perhaps suggesting that Geneva has a good shot to win next week.
It's not quite time to get out the basketballs yet. We've got another exciting week with six playoff football games coming next Friday and Saturday.