Spartans & Rockets first-round opponents are named for this year's state football playoffs

St. Joseph-Ogden's Ray Gutierrez is double teamed while trying to fight his way into the Bloomington Central Catholic backfield during their game on September 29. The Spartans and the Saints each earned a spot into this season IHSA football playoffs.
PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks

URBANA - The pairings are set for this year's IHSA state football playoffs. The Illini Prairie Conference will be well-represented in this year's playoffs. Six of the nine-member schools earned a slot for a chance to play in a state title game at Hancock Stadium in Normal on November 24-25, returning to ISU for the first time since 1998.

St. Joseph-Ogden (7-2) earned a #6 seed in the bottom half of the bracket. The Spartans will host Carlinville. The two school gridiron programs last met on November 7, 2015, when the undefeated Spartans prevailed 42-7 and were subsequently beaten by Unity at Hicks Field in the infamous Blizzard Bowl semifinal game.

The Cavaliers and Spartans are scheduled to play at Dick Duval Field at 2pm this Saturday.

Unity (7-2) will travel to Williamsville for a playoff rematch with the Bullets. This will be the third consecutive playoff clash between the two programs. The Rockets look to avenge their 12-7 semifinal loss on the road to last year's Class 3A state runner-up. In the fall of 2021, Unity eliminated WHS from the playoffs via a 28-7 quarterfinal victory.

Other IPC teams earning playoff spots include Bloomington Central Catholic (2A, 9-0), Prairie Central (3A, 5-4), Monticello (3A, 5-4), and Paxton-Buckley-Loda (3A, 5-4).

*** Editor's note: This story was updated after initial publishing with the date and time of St. Joseph-Ogden's first round contest.