[Bill Ackerman - For Shaw Media]
IC Catholic (12-1) vs. Pleasant Plains (10-3): The Knights are an overwhelming favorite to claim their second straight 3A title, but maybe Cinderella’s slipper isn’t ready to be smashed.
IC's incredible offensive productivity was slowed significantly in a narrow semifinal win over Byron so it can be done.
The odds are stacked against the Cardinals, but then again, the odds have been against them all along.
Soucie’s pick: IC Catholic 38, Pleasant Plains 19
GCMS (13-0) vs. Maroa-Forsyth (12-1): The Falcons are making their first ever appearance in the state finals. In contrast, Maroa-Forsyth is making its seventh finals showing since 2006.
Experience plays a big part this time of the year, but the more telling factor is that the Trojans just seem to know how to win in this year’s playoffs even when the odds are stacked against them.
Soucie’s pick: Maroa-Forsyth 20, GCMS 14
Lena-Winslow (13-0) vs. Tuscola (13-0)
A classic contrast in styles game as Lena-Winslow’s three top running backs led by the explosive Rahveon Valentine have scored a combined 61 touchdowns while Tuscola’s spread offensive attack can score points in bunches.
Whatever team can get a few defensive stops will likely take control of the contest. Lena’s defense continually answered the bell in the second half against Forreston in the semifinals and might be the reason it grinds out the win here.
Soucie’s pick: Lena-Winslow 29, Tuscola 27
• Steve Soucie brings more than two decades of Illinois high school football knowledge as a contributor to Shaw Media. Follow him on Twitter @thesouc.