We have reached the semifinals for the 2012 Illinois High School football playoffs with the title games next weekend. In Class 5A, one semifinal features the 10-2 Montini Broncos at the 8-4 Joliet Catholic Hilltoppers on Saturday at 1 p.m. In the other semifinal, the 11-1 Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin Cyclones travel to the 11-1 Morris Redskins Saturday at 3 p.m.
Montini rolls into this game after a 42-27 win over unbeaten Marian Central and are now on a five-game winning streak. Joliet Catholic snuck past Lincoln-Way West 21-20 in overtime and have won three straight after finishing 5-4 in the regular season. These two teams played in last year’s title game with Montini winning 70-45. The Broncos hit their stride last week in their win on the road and are going to be tough to stop now looking for their fourth straight state title. The Hilltoppers could cause some issues but Montini will take this one. I’ll go with Montini 49-34.
In the other semifinal, Sacred Heart-Griffin is coming off a 33-21 win over Chatham Glenwood and have won six straight games. Morris scored a 28-27 overtime win at Washington last week in the quarterfinals. There is no doubt this is going to be a very tight game in my mind with two teams very similar in point differential for the season. I think the biggest factor will be the travel from Springfield to Morris for this game and with a loud crowd in Morris, the home team will find a way to pull this out. I’ll go with Morris 24-20.
I would love to see a Montini-Morris title game but I think that there is no way Montini is going to be stopped at this point with more history in sight.