Wolves’ Covalt cleared to play

Prairie Ridge quarterback Brett Covalt felt much better, physically and mentally, after receiving a doctor’s evaluation Saturday.

Covalt was knocked out of Friday’s 21-14 victory over Lakes in an IHSA Class 5A football playoff opener with a blow to the left side of his jaw. The doctor told Covalt that he had no concussion symptoms and cleared the junior to play. Covalt expects to be back in practice Monday.

“I was thrilled,” Covalt said. “I thought, ‘All right, let’s go.’ ”

Backup Luke Annen came in and led the Wolves to what proved to be the winning touchdown after Covalt went out.

Covalt had led the Wolves through a three-game winning streak to make the playoffs at 5-4. He leads the Wolves with 735 rushing yards and the offense had cranked out 22 touchdowns, 156 points and almost 1,500 yards in the three games before Friday.

No. 13-seeded Prairie Ridge (6-4) playos host to No. 5 Marmion (8-2) at 1 p.m. Saturday.

Quite a streak: Cary-Grove’s 28-17 victory over Guilford in the Class 6A playoffs Saturday was the Trojans’ 10th consecutive first-round win.

“It’s pretty remarkable because of what it takes to win in the playoffs,” Trojans coach Brad Seaburg said. “There’s so many things that go into playoff games, and to win 10 in a row says a lot about our kids and our consistency. We’ve had great leadership and consistent kids.”

C-G’s win Saturday was only the second of those 10 that has occurred on the road. In 2010, C-G won on the road at Chicago Hubbard. Also, the Trojans have won seven of nine second-round games in that stretch, losing only to Chicago De La Salle (2007) and to Nazareth (2011).

The No. 9 Trojans (7-3) play host to Boylan (10-0) at 1 p.m. Saturday at Al Bohrer Field.

Even matchup: Guilford coach Mel Gilfillan should be better qualified than anyone to have an educated opinion on the Boylan at C-G game this week because he’s seen them both.

The 7-3 Vikings lost to Boylan, 47-21, in Week 4, but Gilfillan was impressed with C-G on Saturday.

“It’ll be a great game next week,” Gilfillan said. “This is a decent, pretty good Boylan team. I’m not sure if it’s the same Boylan team that won two titles a few years back. It’ll be a great matchup.”

Gilfillan said Titans quarterback Demry Croft (1,222 yards passing, 488 rushing) is the best quarterback he’s seen in 14 years in the Northern Illinois Conference-10.

“If they can keep him in check, they have a great shot,” Gilfillan said.

Job opportunity: C-G uses junior lineman Michael Gomez mostly on the defensive line, but Gomez still is utilized on the offensive line. His newest position is tight end, which required a number switch from 67 to 89.

Seaburg estimated Gomez, a 6-foot, 249-pounder who started at guard last season, was in about 20 plays for the offense Saturday.

“He’s given us a little bit of a different look and we’re able to do a couple things with formations,” Seaburg said. “He’s helping us out at tight end.”

What’s new? If it’s the Class 5A playoffs, Marian Central and Montini must be playing some time. The No. 9 Hurricanes (8-2) will play host to the No. 1 Broncos (10-0) at 6 p.m. Saturday at George Harding Field.

Since 2004, Montini and Marian have played seven times in the playoffs, along with playing every year in the regular season. The only times they did not meet in the postseason – in 2005 and 2008 – Marian missed the playoffs.

Montini is four-time defending Class 5A state champion and has knocked out Marian in the past four seasons. The Hurricanes rallied late in their regular-season game, but lost 40-35.

Record season: With Harvard’s 40-22 victory over St. Edward on Friday in the Class 4A playoffs, the Hornets tied the school record for victories.

Harvard won 10 games in 1988, 2006 and 2007. The No. 2 Hornets (10-0) play host to No. 7 Chicago King (8-2) at 7 p.m. Friday.