Seedings show IHSA impressed with NIC-10
The IHSA awarded Hononegah and Auburn the No. 1 and No. 3 seeds in the 7A and 6A football playoffs Saturday.
The Indians this past week won their first outright NIC-10 football title since 1996 by knocking off Harlem in Machesney Park, 21-9. That Hononegah team reached the semifinals before falling to Joliet Catholic. The Indians are in the playoffs for the 11th straight season and 14th in the past 16. None of those teams though got out of the second round.
It'll be a very familiar foe to start out this year's playoff run. The IHSA pitted Hononegah against Harlem, which was given the 32nd and last seed in 7A. Harlem made its 10th straight playoffs, all under coach Jim Morrow, with a 5-4 record. The Huskies though haven't won a playoff game since 2011.
Auburn's 8-1 record and trips to the quarterfinals the past two seasons earned it a No. 3 seed in the 6A playoffs and a NIC-10 matchup as well. The Knights will play Belvidere North, which they beat in Belvidere, 15-8, in week four. The Blue Thunder made the playoffs for the fourth time in five years under coach Jeff Beck. North is just 2-5 in playoff games in its short history.
East made the playoffs for the first time since 2001 with a 6-3 record - and gave the Rockford School District two playoff teams for the first time since 1993. East got into the 7A playoffs by grinding out a series of close wins and actually was outscored 146 to 148 during the regular season. It's one of three teams in the 7A bracket that gave up more points than it scored.
The IHSA gave East the No. 24 seed and the E-Rabs will be on the road in the first round, travelling to New Lenox to play Lincoln-Way Central. The Knights are the No. 9 seed with an 8-1 record and they regularly crushed opponents, averaging 33.8 points per game and giving up just 8.8.
The IHSA will announce playoff dates and times Monday.