Richwoods makes the long trek to Quincy this Friday with a 5-3 record and hopes of making the return trip with a sixth win in tow. While a sixth win would obviously cement a spot in the playoffs (to be announced Saturday night-http://www.ihsa.org/NewsMedia/Announcements/tabid/93/ID/296/Saturdays-IH...), a loss would mean their post season hopes will depend on the various tiebreakers in place per the IHSA, which include number of opponents' wins first and then, possibly, point differentials.
The Knights will need to play mistake free ball in this one as the Blue Devils are a tough bunch and have had a fine year to date. Their record stands at 6-2 and it is certain they not only want to keep the momentum going, but also improve their playoff seeding. In other words, this game should be a battle.
While Kiontre O'Neal played on defense only last week, he is still hobbled somewhat by his ankle injury. It would be a big boost to the Knights if he can resume his ball carrying duties at least to some extent. The passing game will once again need to be on target, although weather could play a factor in that come Friday night. The Blue Devils will have their eyes on junior Steve Covington who has emerged as a big play receiver for the Knights. It is almost a given that the stalwart defense will demonstrate its wares as it has all season.
Quincy is led on offense by quarterback George Crickard IV and all conference full back Malique Robbins. In addition, running back Bryce Unmisig gained 124 yards on just 11 carries in last week's squeaker over Galesburg. They gave undefeated Rock Island all they could handle before succumbing in a close game and also went down to Alleman, 26-7, for their only two losses. It is certain Coach Rick Little will have them ready for the Knights.
In other area action this week, Washington looks to beat Canton thereby giving them the outright Mid Illini Conference title. Metamora (4-4) visits Limestone in a game where the Rockets have already clinched a post season berth while the Redbirds are uncharacteristically still looking for a win to get in. Pekin (5-3) visits Dunlap (4-4) in what should be a spirited battle with obvious playoff implications for both.
Lastly, here goes Peoria Central again, i.e. looking for a win over Galesburg to get to 5-4 and grab the playoff spot that has eluded them in recent seasons despite the same record. One thing in favor of the Lions this time around should be an improved number with respect to opponents' wins due to the scheduling of the Western Big 6 schools this year. Notre Dame (6-2) will get an early taste of top playoff caliber competition as they head to Rock Island to take on the Rocks.