The 2012 Illinois High School playoffs get underway this week as the 6-3 Alden-Hebron Giants hit the road to face the 7-2 Forreston Cardinals on Saturday at 4 p.m. in the Class 1A Game of the Week.
The 10th-seeded Giants came into this game on a three-game winning streak and have won five of their six after starting the season 0-2. A-H is averaging just over 25 points a game while giving up 24 which is a bad sign for the Giants, who will need to slow down a very potent Forreston offense. Logan Yerk rushed for over 150 yards in Hebron’s 32-14 win over Chicago Hope Academy to finish the regular season and have only 18 players of their roster. The Hebron defense had seven sacks last week and held Hope to negative yards rushing.
The 7th-seeded Cardinals lost their last regular season game 31-26 to Lanark Eastland but are a strong offensive team, averaging 35 points a game and are only giving up 12 a game. Forreston has also pitched three shutouts this season and has allowed more than 8 points just three times. Bryan Kraft rushed for over 100 yards with a touchdown in the loss for the Cardinals. One statistic of note is Forreston played just three teams with a winning record this season and went just 1-2 in those games.
This turns into a battle of powerful offense against a bend but not break defense. Forreston though has been running on all cylinders all season long and has been very strong on defense in the meantime and on paper should win this game easily. I wouldn’t discount the power of an 18-player roster in Hebron and how much they have come together. In the end, Forreston will pull this out though with a 35-20 win.