Brother Rice is the top seed in the Class 8A state playoffs.That’s quite an honor considering the Crusaders’ company. The stacked playoff draw includes teams like Lincoln-Way East, Maine South, Marist, Oswego and Homewood-Flossmoor.

During the regular season, Brother Rice crushed perennial powerhouse teams like Loyola and Montini.

On Saturday (Nov. 3) at 6 p.m. in Chicago, Oak Park and River Forest gets a shot at the host Crusaders.

Don’t sleep on the Huskies. Although they are the 16th seed in a 32-team field, OPRF has a nice mix of talent and confidence plus that all-important postseason intangible:  mojo. While the last of the three is most often identified with the Odessa Permian Panthers High School football team in Texas (Friday Night Lights movie), the Huskies have it, too. And based on the adept manner in which head coach John Hoerster has guided the Huskies, Billy Bob Thornton has got nothing on JH.

Moreover, if the Huskies upset Brother Rice, all bets are off. A deep run in the playoffs is established and a winning a state title plausible. Colleague Melvin Tate, who predicted OPRF makes it to the state semifinals, would be rightfully declared clairvoyant.

If Brother Rice wins, OPRF completes the final chapter of a terrific season.

Here’s a “Tale of the Tape” sizing up the surging Huskies against the mighty Crusaders.

*Click Full Screen at the bottom right of the PDF below to enlarge “Tale of the Tape” information.

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