Sycamore and Kaneland won’t have to look too far back for game film of their first-round opponents in the IHSA Class 5A playoffs.
Both teams will have rematches from their first-round games in 2011. Sycamore (6-3) will play Chicago King (6-2) at home while Kaneland (9-0) will host Belvidere (5-4).
Dates and times for all playoff matchups will be announced today.
The Spartans last hosted a first-round playoff game in 2010 and are coming off a 44-0 victory over Yorkville in Week 9.
It is the fourth consecutive season Sycamore has made the postseason, and the fifth time in coach Joe Ryan’s nine-year tenure as head coach. Sycamore has won its first-round playoff game the last three seasons.
Last season, Sycamore played its first-round game on road against King, winning 36-29. Austin Culton ran for four touchdowns and more than 200 yards in the win.
“They are returning quite a few of their kids,” Ryan said. “They have some guys back on the defensive line. They have a good running game.”
If Sycamore defeats King, the Spartans would face the winner of No. 3 seed Montini and No. 14 seed Bremen in the second round.
Kaneland, coming off its third consecutive 9-0 regular season and another Northern Illinois Big 12 East title, is the No. 1 seed in the Class 5A Upper Bracket, the third consecutive season the Knights have been the top seed.
The Knights are aiming to move past consecutive semifinal losses to Montini.
Belvidere pushed the Knights to the brink in a 51-45 first-round loss last year. NI Big 12 East rival Rochelle – which challenged the Knights in a quarterfinal last season after a less competitive regular season game – could await in the second round.
Tracking several projections throughout the day, Kaneland coach Tom Fedderly said he anticipated a possible rematch with the Bucs, who defeated 2-7 Belvidere North, 21-13 on Friday to become playoff-eligible.
“We kind of thought that it was going to happen this way,” Fedderly said. “Belvidere was a really good game against them last year, and a lot of guys come back, including a quarterback who can run and throw. So you don’t take anything for granted.”