LOYOLA (11-1)

L at Phillips (Gately Stadium) 20-14

W Bishop Amat (New Trier) 13-6

W Mount Carmel 31-7

W at St. Francis 42-7

W Fenwick 41-14

W at St. Rita 34-14

W Leo 49-7

W at Providence Catholic 28-3

W Brother Rice 28-7

W New Trier 35-32

W Hinsdale Central 28-7

W at Marist 30-10

RAMBLERS TO WATCH: Quinn Boyle, sr.; QB; Hamid Bullie, sr., RB; Patrick Daniels, sr., LB; Armoni Dixon, jr., LB; Marty Geary, sr.; DL; Charlie Gross, sr., OL; Ryan Hagedorn, sr., OL; James Joyce, sr., WR; Charlie Largay, sr., S; John Lynch, sr., CB; Anthony Rodriguez, sr., LB; Chris Scott, sr., LB; Rory Boos, jr., WR; Jake Gonzalez, jr., S; Noah Jones, jr., WR; Trevor Cabanban, so., RB

EDWARDSVILLE (9-3)

L Naperville North 53-49

L Christian Brothers (St. Louis) 40-19

L at East St. Louis 30-7

W Granite City 52-7

W at Alton 20-17

W O’Fallon 62-14

W Belleville East 49-25

W at Belleville West 45-14

W Collinsville 70-0

W at Huntley 42-38

W at Palatine 38-35

W Minooka 28-25

TIGERS TO WATCH: Donovan Booker, sr., WR; Ryan Connelly, sr., LB; Rodney Smith, sr., DB; Chase Viehman, sr., LB; Lavontas Hairston, jr., WR; Norman Harris, jr., DB; Kendall Abdur-Rahman, jr., QB; Dionte Rodgers, jr., RB; Antonio Thigpen Jr., jr., RB; Eric Epenesa, so., LB; Justin Johnson, fr., RB

GAME NOTES: The Ramblers have returned to the Class 8A state semifinals for the third season in a row and eighth time in nine seasons after beating Marist 30-10 in Chicago. The win was the 134th for head coach John Holecek in 12 seasons at Loyola, surpassing the legendary John Hoerster for first on the program’s all-time list. Holecek is Loyola’s 24th head coach since the Ramblers started playing football in 1909. Loyola is looking for its fifth trip to the state finals in seven seasons. Only Maine South has enjoyed a better run since Class 8A was added in 2001. The Hawks have made seven appearances in the state finals, winning four times, including last year’s 27-17 victory over Loyola. … Loyola played Edwardsville in Wilmette in 2014, with the Ramblers beating the Tigers 29-28 in overtime in Week 2. … The Tigers, led by seventh-year head coach Matt Martin, are making their first trip to the state semis since they qualified in Class 7A. Edwardsville is 64-16 under Martin. The Tigers finished second in the Southwestern conference to East St. Louis, which advanced to the state semifinals in Class 7A before losing to Mount Carmel 21-18. Edwardsville’s three losses came to teams with a combined record of 28-7. … Behind junior quarterback Kendall Abdur-Rahman, the Tigers are averaging 40.1 points. He’s more of a runner than passer. A converted defensive back, Abdul-Rahman, who has an offer from Iowa State, has rushed for 26 touchdowns. Edwardsville has a host of running backs, including juniors Dionte Rodgers and Antonio Thigpen and freshman Justin Jackson. They have 23 total TDs and 1,551 yards. According to the Belleville-News Democrat, Rodgers hasn’t been much of a factor since injuring his shoulder. … Edwardsville’s defense is led by seniors linebacker Ryan Connelly and Chase Viehman and sophomore linebacker Eric Epenesa, whose brother is a defensive end at Iowa. The Tigers are surrendering 24.8 points a game. … The Ramblers are strong on both sides of the ball, scoring 31.1 points and allowing 11.2. In three playoff games, they have rushed for 789 yards (5.4 yards per attempt) and given up 135 (1.8 yards per attempt). … Senior linebacker Chris Scott and junior safety Jake Gonzalez are tied for the team lead in tackles with 90. Junior linebacker Patrick Daniels is first with 10 tackles for loss. Senior defensive tackle Marty Geary has six sacks, and senior cornerback John Lynch has three interceptions. … Senior quarterback and Catholic Blue’s Lawless Award winner Quinn Boyle is tops on the team with 745 rushing yards to go with six TDs. He’s completed 64.2 percent of his passes for 1,817 yards. Boyle has 20 TDs and three interceptions. Junior receiver Rory Boos has 35 catches for 740 yards and 10 TDs. Senior receiver James Joyce has caught 47 passes for 556 yards and four TDs. Since being called up to the varsity for the playoffs, sophomore running back Trevor Cabanban has 308 yards and three TDs on 47 carries.

Photo credit: Geoff Scott