Class 8A Football Playoffs Predictions

Marty Farmer & Melvin Tate make their bracket picks in a loaded 8A draw

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By Marty Farmer

Sports Editor

Win or go home. Survive and advance. These postseason cliches' and more apply to the upcoming IHSA Class 8A football state playoffs, which kick off this weekend (Oct. 26-27).

Rolling into the playoffs on a six-game winning streak, Oak Park and River Forest is the hometown favorite to go far in the playoffs. Sentimentality aside, the Huskies can ball. They are strong in all three phases of the game, earned a share of the West Suburban Conference Silver Division championship and are highly motivated. A signature win over Glenbard West in Week 8 came at the perfect time.

Melvin is certainly all in on the Huskies, predicting an extended run for the team. With a dominant defense and plenty of playmakers on offense like quarterback Jaden McGill, running backs Nazareth Bryant and Keith Robinson, and wide receivers Trevon Brown and Craig Shelton, OPRF is a great dark horse pick.

And don't forget OPRF kicker Henry Darrow (the least popular football player in Glen Ellyn), courtesy of his 42-yard field goal in the closing seconds of 10-7 victory against Glenbard West.

On the flipside, if the Huskies get by New Trier in a tricky opening-round matchup, top-seeded Brother Rice likely awaits OPRF. Lincoln-Way East, Marist, Maine South, Loyola and Homewood-Flossmoor (among others) headline the rest of a stacked draw.

Good luck to all the teams, especially OPRF. And remember 8A entrants, your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to win five games to be the last team standing.

Otherwise, to borrow another cliché' (this time, basketball), you'll be "Gone Fishin'" with Ernie, Shaq, Kenny "The Jet" and Sir Charles.

MARTY'S PICKS (IN BRACKET ORDER)

FIRST ROUND (in bracket order):

Brother Rice over Zion-Benton 

OPRF over New Trier 

Warren over Neuqua Valley 

Hinsdale Central over Conant

Homewood-Flossmoor over Fremd

Barrington over Oswego East 

Marist over Stevenson 

Plainfield South over Naperville Central

Lincoln-Way East over St. Charles East

Glenbard West over Bartlett

West Aurora over South Elgin

Edwardsville over Evanston 

Oswego over Taft

Loyola over Minooka 

Maine South over Huntley

Waubonsie Valley over Bolingbrook

SECOND ROUND

Brother Rice over OPRF

Warren over Hinsdale Central

Homewood-Flossmoor over Barrington

Marist over Plainfield South

Lincoln-Way East over Glenbard West

Edwardsville over West Aurora

Loyola over Oswego

Maine South over Oswego

QUARTERFINALS

Brother Rice over Warren

Marist over Homewood-Flossmoor

Lincoln-Way East over Edwardsville

Maine South over Loyola

SEMIFINALS 

Marist over Brother Rice

Maine South over Lincoln-Way East

CHAMPIONSHIP

Maine South over Marist

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MELVIN'S PICKS (IN BRACKET ORDER)

FIRST ROUND (in bracket order):

Brother Rice over Zion-Benton 

OPRF over New Trier 

Warren over Neuqua Valley 

Conant over Hinsdale Central 

Homewood-Flossmoor over Fremd

Barrington over Oswego East 

Marist over Stevenson 

Naperville Central over Plainfield South 

Lincoln-Way East over St. Charles East

Glenbard West over Bartlett

West Aurora over South Elgin

Edwardsville over Evanston 

Oswego over Taft

Loyola over Minooka 

Maine South over Huntley

Bolingbrook over Waubonsie Valley 

SECOND ROUND

OPRF over Brother Rice 

Warren over Conant

Homewood-Flossmoor over Barrington 

Marist over Naperville Central 

Lincoln-Way East over Glenbard West 

Edwardsville over West Aurora 

Loyola over Oswego 

Maine South over Bolingbrook 

QUARTERFINALS

OPRF over Warren

Marist over Homewood-Flossmoor 

Lincoln-Way East over Edwardsville 

Loyola over Maine South

SEMIFINALS 

Marist over OPRF

Lincoln-Way East over Loyola 

CHAMPIONSHIP

Lincoln-Way East over Marist

Contact:
Email: marty@oakpark.com Twitter: @OakParkSports

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