Jacobson: We’re into Round 2 of the IHSA Class 5A playoffs and both Sycamore and Kaneland advanced with pretty convincing victories at home. Kaneland goes on the road to Lincoln-Way West while Sycamore travels to Montini today.
We’ve seen a little bit from Lincoln-Way West this season as the Warriors lost, 17-13, at Sycamore in Week 1. However, they are 5-0 at home. How worried should Kaneland be about a potential upset?
Nitz: In the playoffs, teams should be worried about whoever they play. Lincoln-Way West (6-3) is a solid team that hasn’t given up more than 19 points in a game this season. The Warriors are obviously a solid team.
At the same time, nobody, with the exception of Chicago Brooks in Week 1 and Morris in Week 9, has been able to stay with Kaneland this season. I can see Lincoln-Way West possibly giving the Knights a game for the half, but in the end, I think this game will be all Kaneland.
Let’s talk about Sycamore’s matchup. Montini has lost twice, but those defeats have come against Lincoln-Way East and Marian Central, two unbeaten teams that easily can win state titles.
Can the Spartans stay with the Broncos today?
Jacobson: Montini has beaten Sycamore in the playoffs three of the past five seasons and is the three-time defending Class 5A state champion. To say Sycamore has a tough task today is an understatement.
That being said, Sycamore does a couple of things that has kept them in almost every game this season. They control the clock with a solid running game and make teams really earn their points. The defense hasn’t given up many big plays this season, a problem in the past against Montini.
While there is no Jordan Westerkamp to worry about, versatile Montini receiver Joe Borsellino could pose some issues.
Care to make a prediction on the Kaneland game?
Nitz: I’ll say Knights 35, Warriors 14. I’ve just been really, really impressed with Kaneland so far this season, and wouldn’t be shocked to see the Knights wind up in Champaign. LIncoln-Way West is a solid team, but I don’t think the Warriors can stay with Kaneland for four quarters.
Jacobson: I’m going to go with a similar score for Montini-Sycamore, but I’m thinking our local team won’t be on the winning end. Give this young Spartans team another year of experience and maybe I’ll take them in an upset, but going on the road against a battle-tested team such as the Broncos might be too much for Sycamore right now. I’ll say Montini 34, Sycamore 13.