Football Friday 2021 // Playoffs Round 2

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Getting deeper in the IHSA playoffs as we enter round number 2. Neuqua Valley and Naperville Central are the two local teams in the final 16 teams hunting for the 8A state championship. When the playoff games move to Saturday, you know things are getting serious. Let’s get to the second round action.

Loyola Academy vs. Naperville Central

The first game of the day features the top ranked team in the state, Loyola Academy on the road at Naperville Central. The Redhawks knocked off the Ramblers to win the 2013 state championship. Loyola is a tough matchup for anyone but Central hopes to build off last week’s big win over Naperville North.

The Ramblers show early on just how talented the roster is as James Kreutz darts into the end zone for the second time in the game. Loyola leading 14-0 at the end of the first quarter.

More Loyola as Jake Stearney finds a wide open Danny Collins in the end zone. The Ramblers up 26-0 at this point.

The Redhawks get on the board in the third quarter as Tristen Hall runs one in from a yard out. But it’s too little too late as Loyola moves on to face Lincoln-Way East in the quarterfinals after a 36-7 win. Naperville Central ends the year 7-4 after a strong first season under head coach Mike Ulreich.

Neuqua Valley vs. Palatine

In our second round 2 playoff game, Neuqua Valley the number three overall seed in class 8A is on the road at Palatine for this matchup. The Wildcats crushed Bartlett a week ago while the Pirates took down Taft in a first round upset.

The Wildcats leading 7-0 after a Mark Mennecke touchdown run. The NV quarterback then drops a screen to Jaden McGee who takes it 41-yards down the sidelines for the touchdown. Neuqua feeling good up 17-0 at halftime.

After a scoreless third quarter, Mennecke rolls left and finds Carter Sessa for the diving grab in the corner of the end zone. Wildcats push the lead to 24-0.

Another outstanding performance from both sides of the ball.  Neuqua Valley moves on to the quarterfinals for the third time in school history and for the first time since 2013 by the score of 31-8.

Standings and Schedules

So that leaves one local team remaining after round 2 of the playoffs with Neuqua Valley hosting Maine South in the quarterfinal round next Saturday. The winner of that game will move on to the semi finals to face the winner of Glenbrook South and Marist.

And with only one team left, that means that this is the final edition of Football Friday for the 2021 season. We hope you enjoyed watching these past 11 weeks, it’s been a lot of fun as always to put this wrap up together. Thanks to our great crew of sports reporters who film these games every week and to our fantastic local teams, players, coaches and parents. We’ll see you next fall, for Football Friday, I’m Justin Cornwell.


For more prep sports highlights, visit the Naperville Sports Weekly page!