Preps Talk

EDGY: It's becoming 'offensive' in the IHSA football playoffs

EDGY: It's becoming 'offensive' in the IHSA football playoffs

What was the buzz across Illinois in IHSA Football playoff circles on Friday night?

It had to be the Class 5A final that rolled across the screen: Peoria 96, Decatur Eisenhower 40. A football score. Not basketball.

While the top-seeded Peoria Lions (10-1) have been scoring points in bunches all season, no one expected head coach Tim Thornton's read option offense to drop nearly 100 points in a single game — let alone in the second round of the postseason.

The excitement and sheer amazement from Peoria's 96 point feat lasted less than 24 hours. On Saturday in Class 2A, Deer Creek-Mackinaw scored 91 points and held off Chicago Hope Academy for the, 91-70, win. 

But it doesn’t stop there. Take a look at the other results from last weekend. You'll see lopsided scores in almost every class. Why all the points all of a sudden?

[MORE: Edgy's Top 25 Power Rankings for Week 10]

"The high school offenses have evolved," Loyola Academy head coach John Holocek said. "Teams are running more run/pass read option offenses and when you can get an athletic quarterback in space, it gets harder and harder to defend."

High school teams have seen the run/pass read option offense popping up everywhere over the past few seasons. It's an attack that forces opposing defenses to cover more of the field than ever before. Sure, not every team operates a run/pass read option offense. However, I'm willing to bet that — in more cases than not — it’s the weapon of choice for high-scoring offenses.

"If you have an athletic run/pass quarterback, along with maybe two or three athletic kids on the outside, it's really tough to defend," Holocek added. "You can have everything covered and even then an athletic run/pass option quarterback can just blow everything up."

If you’re a fan of crazy scoreboard numbers, sit back and relax. Watch the numbers fly. At least for now, one thing seems to be pretty clear: high school football offenses have a clear advantage. 

74 Days To Kickoff: Metea Valley

74 Days To Kickoff: Metea Valley

NBCSportsChicago.com preps reporter "Edgy" Tim O’Halloran spotlights 100 high school football teams in 100 days. The first 75 team profiles will focus on teams making strides across Chicagoland and elsewhere in the state. Starting Aug. 5, we’ll unveil the @NBCSPrepsTop 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 30.

School: Metea Valley 

Head coach: John Parpet Jr.

Assistant coaches: Defensive coordinator - Erik Kramer, Asst. coach - Russ Lorenz, Asst. coach - Albert Zika, Asst. coach - Evan Goodman

How they fared in 2018: 1-8 (0-4 DuPage Valley Conference). Metea Valley failed to qualify for the IHSA state football playoffs

2019 regular season schedule:

Aug. 30 vs. Wheaton Warrenville South
Sept. 6 @ Lake Park 
Sept. 13 @ Belleville East
Sept. 20 @ Naperville Central
Sept. 27 vs. De Kalb
Oct. 4 @ Naperville North
Oct. 11 vs. Neuqua Valley
Oct. 18 @ Waubonsie Valley  
Oct. 25 vs. Neuqua Valley

[MORE: 93 Days to Kickoff: Oswego East]

Biggest storyline: Can the Mustangs get off to a good start under first year head coach John Parpet Jr.?

Names to watch this season: TE/DE Austin Frederick (Sr.) and TE/LB John Belskis (Sr.) 

Biggest holes to fill: The Mustangs will need to replace seven graduated starters on the defensive side of the football for the 2019 season.

EDGY's Early Take: Metea Valley and first year head coach John Parpet Jr. will look to get the Mustangs program on the winning side of the slate after posting back-to-back 1-8 seasons. They will rely on an experienced core of senior multi-year starters. If the underclassmen group can develop sooner rather than later, this program has the potential for a breakout. The regular season schedule in the DuPage Valley conference is always stacked; they need to get off to a good early start.

75 Days to Kickoff: St. Ignatius

75 Days to Kickoff: St. Ignatius

NBCSportsChicago.com preps reporter "Edgy" Tim O’Halloran spotlights 100 high school football teams in 100 days. The first 75 team profiles will focus on teams making strides across Chicagoland and elsewhere in the state. Starting Aug. 5, we’ll unveil the @NBCSPrepsTop 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 30.

School: St. Ignatius College Prep

Head coach: Matt Miller

Assistant coaches: Charlie Dowdl, Alex Carric, Dan Bunne, Mike Mille, David Hidalg, Michael Whela, Doug Bartlet, Bill Stritzel and Ben Wade

How they fared in 2018: 6-5 (3-1 CCL Red Conference). St. Ignatius made the Class 6A state playoff field and lost to Notre Dame in opening round action.

2019 regular season schedule:

Aug. 30 vs Lindblom
Sept. 6 @ Ridgewood
Sept. 13 @ Benet Academy
Sept. 20 @ Marmion Academy
Sept. 27 vs Loyola
Oct. 4 vs Joliet Catholic
Oct. 11 vs Marian Central Catholic
Oct. 18 @ Marian Catholic
Oct. 25 vs Fenwick

[MORE: 84 Days to Kickoff - Marmion Academy]

Biggest storyline: The schedule. Can the Wolfpack get back to the state playoffs? The upgraded/combined ESCC-CCL regular season schedule should be intriguing.

Names to watch this season: LB Declan Callahan (Sr.), OL/DL Mofolarin Walter-Johnson (Sr.), LB/DE Elijah Williams (Sr.)  

Biggest holes to fill: The Wolfpack graduated nine starters this past spring on the offensive side of the football. 

EDGY's Early Take: St. Ignatius has had a strong run of late, having made the IHSA state playoffs in the past four seasons. They won seven games in 2018, five via the shutout and they gave Loyola all they could handle. But the combination of the ESCC/CCL conferences has undoubtedly ramped up the Wolfpacks' schedule this fall. It features games with the likes of Benet, JCA, Loyola and Marian Central Catholic. If St. Ignatius can reload a bit (on offense in particular), they will have a good chance to compete for a fifth straight IHSA state playoff appearance.