Forreston remains the final team left from the NUIC in the IHSA football playoffs.

They eliminated Northwest Conference rival Lena-Winslow 44-7 Saturday in the 1A quarterfinal.

Freeport Aquin from the Upstate ended their season at 10-2 after losing a 24-21 battle to Ottawa Marquette.

Now, two 12-0 teams will battle this Saturday in the semifinal as Forreston travels to Ottawa Marquette.

Both won road games this past weekend. But, Ottawa Marquette is the higher seed in the IHSA format. While Forreston is the top ranked 1A team.

The Cardinals won the 1A State Championship in 2014 and are one game away from again making the final the day after Thanksgiving.

The first Forreston win over the Panthers in the regular season was close. This time, the Cardinals rolled to an easier victory.

Aquin lost a heart breaker with Ottawa Marquette scoring the go ahead winning touchdown with 1:51 left in the game. Aquin had a late drive, but was ended with an interception.

Ottawa Marquette from the Southeastern Athletic Conference will be facing a NUIC team for the fourth straight week in the playoffs. All three prior wins came in close games as they got by Milledgeville 9-6, Dakota 27-20 and now, Aquin by three.

Marquette and Forreston should be a great game with two unbeaten teams one win away from a state title game.

Two winless teams, Durand and Pecatonica, are close to a football Coop. It still needs to be approved both school boards.

The schools are Du/Pec in other sports co-op's. They both wanted to stay keep their own programs but both struggling with low numbers it seems more of a necessity.

The Eastland/Pearl City football co-op has been a strong model.

Here for a the final NUIC rankings for 2016.
1. Forreston 12-0
2. Freeport Aquin 10-2
3. Lena-Winslow 9-3
4. Stockton 9-1
5. Eastland/Pearl City 8-2
6. Dakota 7-4
7. Polo 6-4
8. Milledgeville 5-5
9. West Carroll 4-5
10. East Dubuque 4-5
11. Orangeville 4-5
12. Amboy/LaMoille 3-6
13. Galena 2-7
14. Warren 2-7
15. River Ridge 2-7
16. Ashton/Franklin Center 2-7
17. Pecatonica 0-9
18. Durand 0-9