By Al Zipsie

The regular season ended Friday night in the NUIC.

NUIC North champions Lena-Winslow (9-0) beat Du/Pec (6-3) 52-21. The state's top-ranked 1A team now gets ready to make a run at a state championship. Panthers running back senior Sean Ormiston went over the 4,000-yard career rushing mark. Isaiah Bruce had 178 yards rushing on only ten carries with a touchdown. Marey Roby had three rushing TD's. For Du/Pec Hunter Hoffman was 16 of 32 for 235 yards passing and two touchdowns. Gabe Howard had seven receptions for 165 yards and a TD.

In the NUIC South Aquin won the title beating West Carroll (5-4) 28-8 and finish the regular season 9-0.

Stockton (6-3) shutout Dakota 14-0. For the Blackhawks, Jason Herman was the workhorse with 186 yards on 34 carries. Andrew Haas had two interceptions.  Forreston (7-2) snuck by E/PC 22-20. Both Dakota and E/PC  saw the end of their seasons with 4-5 records.

A/FC was the only NUIC team winless as they fell to Amboy 34-16.  Gary Jones in his last game as head coach at Amboy went out a winner after 26 seasons. Galena edged East Dubuque 14-7. Orangeville stayed hot beating Milledgeville 52-8.

BlackHawk/Warren went to 10-0 winning their first-round Wisconsin playoff game easily 52-8.

In 8 man football Polo on Saturday finished the season unbeaten at 9-0. They are seeded second and have a first-round bye. River Ridge (6-3) plays North Fulton in the first round. River Ridge could meet Polo in a semi-final for the right to advance to the 8 man state championship.

NUIC Playoff pairings. All games this weekend are on Friday or Saturday. Times TBA.

1A. Lena-Winslow with the number two seed host Aurora Christian. Orangeville is at Chicago Hope. Aquin host Fulton. Stockton is at Princeville. Forreston is at Ottawa Marquette.

2A. West Carroll is at Minook Fieldcrest.

3A. Durand/Pecatonica host Chicago Harlan (6-2). If the Chicago teachers strike isn't resolved then Du/Pec would get a first-round forfeit win.

Other Stateline schools in the playoffs: 1A. Morrison host Cambridge Ridgewood Coop. Kirkland Hiawatha host A-Avon. 2A. Sterling Newman host Orion. Rockford Christian at Knoxville. 3A. Byron host Rock Island Alleman. North Boone at Princeton. 4A. Marengo host Manteno. Stillman Valley host Dixon. Genoa Kingston host North Chicago. Richmond Burton welcomes Chicago Urban Prep. 5A. Sterling host Chicago Heights Marian. Sycamore host Evergreen Park. Boylan host Chicago Hyde Park. 6A. Belvidere North host Lake Forrest.

7A. Auburn at Arlington Heights Hersey. Harlem host Wheaton Warrenville South. Hononegah host Fox Lake Grant.

Matt Trowbridge and Scott Leber tied for the best record on the season in our Stateline Sports Hub NUIC media picks. They were both 56-7.

Trowbridge of the Rockford Register Star/Freeport Journal-Standard was our picks winner winning the tiebreaker over Leber of WTVO-TV. The tiebreaker was Aquin over West Carroll 28-8. Trowbridge had 27-13 only six points off. Leber had 31-21, 16 off.

Trowbridge trailed by one game going into the final week. He went unbeaten at 7-0 to force the tiebreaker.  Leber who was 6-1 had East Dubuque. Trowbridge had Galena who beat ED 14-7.

Going unbeaten at 7-0 for the final week was Trowbridge, Derrick Mason of Townsquare Media, Cody Cutter of Sauk Valley News and Pete Leinweber of Deep Dish Football.

Kyle Kampmier of the NUIC Football Fanatics/Freeport Journal-Standard finished third at 54-9 overall.

Thanks to all the media panel for your participation. We have had mostly the same panel for all three years of our media picks.

Overall records for the season.

Matt Trowbridge. Rockford Register Star/Freeport Journal-Standard. 56-7.

Scott Leber. WTVO TV. 56-7.

Kyle Kampmier. NUIC Football Fanatics/Freeport Journal-Standard. 54-9.

Terry Werntz. Former Dakota and Freeport football coach. 53-10.

Derrick Mason. Townsquare Media. 53-10.

Cody Cutter. Sauk Valley News. 52-11.

Mike Buda. WIFR TV. 52-11.

Joe Dredge. WROK/Stateline Sports Hub. 52-11.

Pete Leinweber. Deep Dish Football. 50-13.

Al Zipsie. Stateline Sports Hub. 50-13.

Tim O'Hallaran. Publisher Edgy Tim. 49-14.

NUIC State Rankings.

  1. Lena-Winslow. 9-0.
  2. Aquin. 9-0.
  3. Forreston. 7-2.
  4. Du/Pec. 6-3.
  5. Orangeville. 6-3.
  6. Stockton. 6-3.
  7. West Carroll. 5-4.
  8. E/PC. 4-5.
  9. Dakota. 4-5.
  10. Galena. 2-7.

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