Here are four lower seeds, one each in Class 8A through Class 5A who have a very good chance in this weekend's quarterfinal round.
No. 23 Marist (7-4) — The Redhawks and head coach Pat Dunne has never been shy when it comes to it's spread offense and putting up points, as evident by Marist 59-56 last second win over Barrington last Saturday night to advance. The offense is led by senior QB Brendan Skalitzky who is a threat with the pass and the run and Skalitzky has a very strong group of backs and receivers including senior RB Darshon McCullough (South Dakota State). If the Marist defense can get the ball back to the offense this Saturday against Oswego in Oswego a handful of times, the Redhawks have a great chance to advance.
No. 23 Bradley (8-3) — The Boilermaker and head coach Mike Kohl wasn't expected to go very far in the postseason, yet like the rest of the Southwest Suburban Red conference (LW North/LW West and Bradley are still alive) Bradley have just played well at the right time of the season. Bradley has gotten a huge postseason from QB Owen Starr, RB Donnie Ringo and junior WR Camron Harrell. Harrell has exceptional speed and can and will be used all over the field. If the Boilermakers defense can contain Niles North and Iowa commit RB/LB Barrington Wade Bradley has a great chance to advance.
[Saturday on CSN: No. 4 Homewood-Flossmoor at No. 1 Loyola Academy]
No. 13 Hinsdale South — While the Hornets might be a lowly No. 13 no one who saw this team in the regular season is taking them for granted. The Hornets have a balanced offense with senior QB Sean McCormack leading the attack. Senior RB Marcus Curry is a great mix of speed and power and the Hornets also have multiple targets on offense. The South defense? Start with head coach Mike Barry having one of the nation's top defensive end recruits in four star ranked senior Josh King (6-foot-6, 260 pounds) and the Hornets defense can match-up with all comers in 6A.
No. 7 Lincoln-Way West — The Warriors have yet to win a state quarterfinal game, yet Lincoln-Way West head coach Dave Ernst also might have his best team in his school's short history this fall. The offense for Lincoln-Way West starts on then offensive line, which features senior OT Justin Witt (NC State) and senior OG Bryan Brokop (Nebraska). The Warriors also have a hard nosed running back in senior Gabe Montalvo and senior QB Connor Lowman returned last week from injury. The Warriors defense is also very solid and has speed. Junior LB Trey Telez is a name to watch here for Lincoln-Way West, who will host No. 3 Peoria on Saturday.