Scouting Naperville North at Marist
No. 9 Naperville North (6-3) at No. 8 Marist (6-3)
Game time: 7:30 p.m. today.
Huskies fast fact: Fourteenth straight playoff appearance.
RedHawks fast fact: Class 8A runner-up in 2009.
Outlook: After battling through injuries and inconsistencies, Naperville North finds itself in the playoffs yet again under first-year coach Sean Drendel. Quarterback Matt LaCosse is the clear leader of the offense with 967 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns in addition to 713 passing yards and 4 touchdowns. Despite graduating quarterback Mike Perish and his 3,400 passing yards, Marist's offense remains potent with more balance between the run and pass. Running back McKinley Moore rushed for 200 yards in last week's win over St. Patrick while quarterback Luke Oosterbaan threw for nearly 300 the week before against Joliet Catholic when the RedHawks piled up 500 total yards. Naperville North's defense has stiffened in recent weeks, and Boston College-bound linebacker Nick Lifka is a big reason why. Last week Lifka notched 15 tackles giving him 97 total tackles on the season, including 12 tackles for loss and returned a fumble for a touchdown.
Advancement: Winner advances to play the winner between No. 16 Lockport (5-4) and No. 1 York (8-1).
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