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Take 2: Can DeKalb, G-K put themselves in playoff picture

Daily Chronicle sports editor Ross Jacobson and sports reporter Steve Nitz spend their days covering the area’s sports scene. Occasionally, they give their viewpoints on those local sports. In this installment of their Take 2 column, they discuss the must-win situations for Genoa-Kingston and DeKalb.

Jacobson: The biggest victory last week came in Sycamore's 31-21 win over Kaneland in front of nearly 4,000 people.

But there were missed opportunities last week, as well. Genoa-Kingston lost a heartbreaker to Harvard and DeKalb fell to Yorkville on the road. Both missed out on a chance to get that crucial fifth win and gain playoff eligibility. What is the significance for both teams?

Nitz: For DeKalb, the significance is obvious. The Barbs were in the playoffs with a win at Yorkville. Now, DeKalb has a must-win game against a good Rochelle team. There's no doubt the Barbs would rather be playing for seeding this week instead of fighting for their season.

I think Genoa-Kingston is going to get a win over Marengo, and the Cogs will have enough points to earn a playoff spot. However, with last week's loss to Harvard, they went from a team that had a good chance of going 6-3 and getting a favorable matchup and possible home game, to a squad that is going to have a real tough opponent in the first round.

In the IHSA's latest playoff outlook, the Cogs are in Class 3A. It will be interesting to see what kind of damage they can do if they end up in 3A instead of 4A.

Jacobson: Certainly the enrollment cutline will be something to look at with G-K, but the Cogs have to take care of business against Marengo, which just ended a 15-game losing streak with a win over Rockford Christian. Confidence can do a lot of things for a football team, so I don't think it will be as easy a game as many think.

DeKalb has a big challenge against Rochelle, which has beaten the Barbs in Week 9 the past two seasons. Although Rochelle already has five wins and most likely are in the playoffs, the Hubs won't want to leave anything to chance and will be equally as motivated.

Nitz: I think if DeKalb runs the ball and stops the run, the Barbs will be fine. Dre Brown has had an outstanding season – he's already run for more than 1,000 yards. There's no reason to think he can't go off tonight.

Now, we'll see how DeKalb handles Rochelle's Wing-T attack. The Hubs are going to try to run it right down DeKalb's throat. I think the Barbs will be fine if they can hold the running game in check.

Jacobson: The Barbs did well in that area against Morris, but my main key is getting early positive yardage on offense. DeKalb found itself behind the chains or in third-and-long situations against Yorkville and it took them out of their comfort zone.

Prediction time. Will the Cogs and Barbs join Kaneland and Sycamore in the postseason?

Nitz: I'm pretty confident G-K will beat a bad Marengo team. I'm less confident in DeKalb, but I'm taking the Barbs to get a victory as well.

Jacobson: I'm with you on the Cogs, who played Harvard tough last week and were one play away from a win.

However, I think DeKalb will be looking back at the Yorkville and Hampshire losses as two big missed chances. Rochelle by a field goal, 38-35.

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