Rockets and Spartans ready to tackle postseason opponents

Unity's Brock Suding flexes after the Rocket's homecoming game against Rantoul Township on October 7. The Rockets will host Harrisburg as their first-round opponent in the 2022 IHSA football playoffs. Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks

URBANA -- Unity (8-1), who earned a first-round home playoff game, will host Harrisburg at Hicks Field. Kickoff will be announced early next week. This is the fifth consecutive playoff appearance for the 2021 Class 3A runner-up team. The Rockets have lost just two of their last 20 football games in the past two years.

The Bulldogs finished third in the Southern Illinois River-to-River conference and is making their first playoff appearance in Class 3A since the 2011-2012 season. Last fall, the team finished 5-5 in the 4A bracket.

Meanwhile, St. Joseph-Ogden guaranteed their spot into the 2022 playoffs picking up their sixth win with a 34-20 win over Paxton-Buckley-Loda. The Spartans will host Robinson, who also finished the regular season, 6-3. The school's official Twitter feed announced a game time of 3pm on Saturday, October 29.

The survivor advances to face the winner of the contest between #2 seed Benton and Olympia in the second round the following week.

Six of the nine football teams in the Illini Prairie Conference made the first-round cut. In addition to SJO and Unity, Bloomington Central Catholic, Prairie Central, Monticello, and Paxton-Buckley-Loda are all in the hunt for a state football title game appearance at Memorial Stadium in November.