LOYOLA (9-3)

W at Rockford (Michigan) 27-7

W at New Trier 41-3

L Mount Carmel 17-12

L at Brother Rice 35-3

W at St. Ignatius 21-14 (OT)

L Montini 28-27

W at De La Salle 49-14

W at St. Rita 33-3

W Providence Catholic 28-7

W at Minooka 38-14

W Oswego 22-0

W at Maine South 17-0

RAMBLERS TO WATCH: Rory Boos, sr., WR; Jack Burke, sr., CB; Michael Byrne, sr., CB; Artie Collins, sr., WR; Patrick Daniels, sr., LB; Armoni Dixon, sr., LB; Eddie Eastman, sr., DL; Jack Fallon, sr., QB; Michael Gavric, sr., RB; Jake Gonzalez, sr., S; Conor Hough, sr., DL; Mike Kadus, sr., LB; Jared Lombardi, sr., WR; Joe Naselli, sr., OL/DL; Nick Pomey, sr., S; Sam Schierloh, sr., LB; Matthew Schiltz, sr., QB; Trevor Cabanban, jr., RB; Luke Desherow, jr., DL; Matty Mangan, jr., WR; Nate Van Zelst, so., K/P

LINCOLN-WAY EAST (12-0)

W at Crete-Monee 41-13

W Naperville Central 38-19

W Tinley Park 42-0

W at Sandburg 57-0

W Lincoln-Way Central 38-0

W Homewood-Flossmoor 48-6

W at Lockport 63-0

W at Thornwood 56-18

W Bolingbrook 31-0

W St. Charles East 49-0

W at Glenbard West 45-0

W Edwardsville 50-14

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Jack Baltz, sr., QB; Gus Christensen, sr., LB; Jordan Corbett, sr., RB; A.J. Henning, sr., RB/WR; Kenny Palmer, sr., DB; Jackson Ritter, sr., WR; Dylan Shelton, sr., DL; Devon Williams, jr., RB; Adrian Wilson, jr., DL; Jamal Johnson, so., RB

GAME NOTES: For the second week in a row, the Ramblers will play a team that beat them in a Class 8A state final. After defeating Maine South, Loyola gets a rematch with Lincoln-Way East, which defeated the Ramblers 23-14 last season at Northern Illinois University. It was the Griffins’ second Class 8A state title under head coach Rob Zvonar, who’s been there since the program started in 2001. Lincoln-Way East took second in 2012 and has won at least six games every season. The Ramblers are 144-30 in head coach John Holecek’s 13 seasons. They are in the Class 8A semifinals for the ninth time in 10 seasons. In 2014, Loyola lost to Stevenson 24-21 on the road in the second round. The Patriots went on to win the state championship and finish 14-0. … Loyola senior safety and captain Jake Gonzalez (pictured above) was selected to the Illinois High School Football Coaches Association’s Class 8A all-state team. A Penn recruit, Gonzalez is the program’s all-time leader in tackles. He’s first on the team this season with 120. He has two interceptions, and both of them came in the last two games. Against Oswego, he returned one for a touchdown. … Gonzalez is part of a defense that has been dominant in the playoffs. Loyola has allowed 3.2 yards per play and opponents have converted 15.6 percent of third downs. In 124 snaps, the defense has surrendered four plays longer than 20 yards, the biggest gain was a 42-yard reception that resulted in no points. … Lincoln-Way East hasn’t been challenged this season. The Griffins are scoring 46.5 points a game and giving up 5.8. They have seven shutouts. Their closest game was a 19-point win in Week 2. … Senior linebacker Gus Christensen and senior defensive lineman Dylan Shelton both were named to the Class 8A all-state team. Junior A.J. Henning is Lincoln-Way East’s best player and a major-college recruit, with offers from Notre Dame and Ohio State, among others. The 5-foot-10, 175-pounder lines up at running back and receiver. In last year’s Class 8A state final, he finished with 17 carries for 154 yards, scoring on runs of 63 and 42 yards. But according to Steve Soucie, the sports editor at The Herald-News in Joliet, he’s seen limited action this season due to a hip injury. After running a pass route in the second quarter last week, Henning left the game and never returned. Soucie said he would be surprised if he played Saturday. … In the other semifinal, Brother Rice (12-0) plays at Marist (11-1).

Photo credit: Geoff Scott