LOYOLA (8-1)

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

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


L St. Xavier (Cincinnati, Ohio) 43-14

W Willowbrook 27-21

W at Oak Park-River Forest 21-13

W Downers Grove North 33-3

W at York 31-7

W Proviso West 49-0

L at Glenbard West 14-9

W Lyons 21-20

W at Hinsdale South 42-7

W Stevenson 33-21

RED DEVILS TO WATCH: Nick Biancalana, sr., DB; Matt Bjorson, sr., TE; Caleb Lagestee, sr., DL; Garrett Oakey, sr., RB; Nik Andrejevic, jr., DB; Adam Cruickshank, jr., LB; Matt Rush, jr., QB; Luke Skokna, jr., RB

GAME NOTES: Even though both Loyola and Hinsdale Central have been to every postseason in the same classification since 2003, Saturday will be the first meeting of the two teams since the IHSA introduced a state-wide playoff system in 1974. … The Red Devils are in the postseason for the 17th year in a row, while the Ramblers are making their 15th consecutive appearance. Loyola has enjoyed significantly more success than Hinsdale Central in the postseason. The Ramblers won the Class 8A state title in 2015 and took second last year, the third time they have been runners-up since 2011. Their win over New Trier in the first round was the 11th consecutive season they won at least one playoff game. Meanwhile, the Red Devils are in the second round for the first time since 2014. They haven’t been to the quarterfinals since 2008 when they lost to Maine South in the Class 8A state final. … Loyola head coach John Holecek is one win away from matching the program’s all-time record for career victories in his 12th season. John Hoerster won 133 games from 1987-2002. … The Ramblers are the total package, able to beat opponents with their offense and defense. Despite allowing 32 points to New Trier, they still are surrendering an average of only 11.7 points a game. The defense is anchored by a host of players, including senior defensive lineman Marty Geary — the Catholic Blue’s defensive player of the year — senior linebackers Anthony Rodriguez and Chris Scott and safeties Jake Gonzalez and Charlie Largay. … Senior quarterback and the Catholic Blue’s Lawless Award winner Quinn Boyle is the unquestionable leader of an offense that averages 31.5 points, 186.1 passing yards and 180.3 rushing yards a game. Loyola is plus-8 in turnover margin. … Hinsdale Central’s offense averages 28.0 points a game and is reliant on running the ball. The Red Devils have totaled 2,180 yards on the ground to 918 through the air. They got good news last week when junior quarterback Matt Rush returned from an injury to play in the win over Stevenson. In seven games, the 6-foot-2, 180-pounder has completed 50.8 percent of his passes for 521 yards. He’s thrown nine touchdowns and one interception. The Red Devils’ go-to player is junior running back Luke Skokna, who has rushed for 1,191 yards on 196 carries and scored 14 TDs. Senior running back Garrett Oakey is a dual threat out of the backfield. He’s run 100 times for 628 yards and three TDs and has caught 13 passes for 233 yards and two TDs. Matt Bjorson, a 6-3, 225-pound tight end who’s committed to Indiana, has 18 receptions for 360 yards and eight TDs. … Defensively, the Red Devils give up 14.9 points a game and are opportunistic. They have 21 takeaways for a plus-13 turnover margin. Junior linebacker Adam Cruickshank leads the team with 112 tackles and has three tackles for loss and one interception. Although undersized at 5-10 and 155 pounds, senior defensive lineman Caleb Lagestee has 12 tackles for loss and nine sacks. Junior defensive back Nik Andrejevic has 10 tackles for loss and two sacks, while senior defensive back Nick Bianacalana is tops on the team with four interceptions. … This is the second consecutive season the Ramblers have played a team from the West Suburban Silver in the playoffs. Loyola beat Glenbard West 42-13 on the road in the Class 8A state semifinals a year ago. The Red Devils finished second to the Hilltoppers in the league play this season.

Pictured above: Senior Marty Geary (97) and junior Armoni Dixon (33)

Photo credit: Geoff Scott