Wildcats stay in 2A, Coalers #8 in 4A football playoffs

For the third straight year Wilmington will play in the class 2A football playoffs while Coal City with battle in class 4A.

The Wildcats were teetering between 2A and 3A before getting help Saturday afternoon when a game between two Chicago schools with 4-4 records ended up being won by the school with the bigger enrollment. That guaranteed the ‘Cats the #5 seed in the 2A north bracket which includes four undefeated schools.

Wilmington will host #12 Aledo (Mercer County), a 6-3 team, on Saturday (time still to be determined). If the Wildcats win they will likely face #4 Tri-Valley Downs (9-0) who will host # 13 El Paso Gridley (6-3) in the first round. That game would be played at Downs since they are the higher seed.

The quarterfinal round for the ‘Cats would be a rematch against #1 seed Seneca who defeated Wilmington 27-21 this first game of the season.

The semi-final week for the ‘Cats would likely end up with either #2 Maroa (M-Forsyth) or #3 Bloomington Catholic Central, both 9-0 teams.

If there is any surprise for the Coalers it would be that they ended up in the southern bracket of 4A.

Coal City (#8, 7-2) will host #9 Normal University (7-2) in the first round. A Coaler victory will mean they will likely face #1 Rochester (9-0) in the second round, that game being in Rochester. Beat them and the Coalers would get some relief in the quarterfinals against four teams with no better records than 7-2. It’s too close to call as #4 Breese Central and #5 Mt. Zion are both 7-2 teams.

Semifinal round opponent would be #3 Kewanee (8-1) or #2 Murphysboro (8-1).

The southern bracket lists Rochester as the only undefeated team while the northern tier has no undefeated teams.

The football championships will be played Nov. 24 at Hancock Stadium in Normal on the Illinois State University campus.