Scouting Cook County quarterfinal football playoff games
No. 7 Palatine (10-1) at No. 1 York (11-0)
When: Saturday 1 p.m.
Last week: Palatine beat Minooka 47-14; York beat Marist 27-21, 2 OT
Last meeting: 1st meeting
Common opponent: Schaumburg. Palatine beat its conference rival 41-6 in Week 8. York beat Schaumburg 42-0 in the opening game of the season.
Advancement: Winner plays the winner of Lyons vs. Loyola
Outlook: It has been a long journey to the quarterfinals for both teams. York hasn't advanced this far since 2006 while Palatine has not been to the quarterfinals since 2016.
Palatine will be leaning hard on its defense. The Pirates, led by Filip Rolek, Jaylen Williams, Thomas Houser, Daevion Farrow, Thomas Coroneous, Trey Widlowski, Ryan Wagner and Michael Tokar, were dominant last week at Minooka. They have allowed just two teams to score more than 20 points against them all season. The Palatine offense has been on fire, especially in the last few weeks and are coming off a 500-yard performance against Minooka. Running back Dominik Ball has been the main cog and has rushed for 314 yards in the playoffs. Tommy Elter has done a terrific job at quarterback for the Pirates. He has had tremendous help from Coroneos, Nate Branch, Conner May and Ryan Donnely.
York won the West Suburban Silver and became the first York team in its 102-year history to go 9-0 during the regular season. The Dukes have done it thanks to the play of quarterback Matt Vezza, who has been dominant as a dual-threat. Vezza's overtime run last week enabled the Dukes to escape with a victory. The Dukes also boast a solid running attack with Kelly Watson while wide receivers Charlie Specht and Luke Mailander are huge threats in the passing game. Linebacker Evan Grazzini leads a York defense that has allowed just 8.8 points per game.
No. 5 Glenbard West (10-1) at No. 13 Maine South (9-2)
When: Saturday 6 p.m.
Last week: Glenbard West beat Glenbrook South 42-0; Maine South beat South Elgin 42-0
Last meeting: Glenbard West beat Maine South 45-28 in Week 1 of 2019.
Common opponent: Glenbrook South. Glenbard West beat the Titans last week. Maine South beat their conference rival 23-16 in Week 6.
Advancement: Winner plays the winner of Lincoln-Way East vs. Warren
Outlook: It will be the Hitters against Swagger High as two of the most storied suburban football programs surprisingly square off in the playoffs for the first time. Glenbard West is making its 15th playoff appearance with the Hilltoppers posting a 144-26 record during that span. The Hilltoppers are known for running the football and this season is no different. Junior running back Julius Ellens is coming off a five-touchdown, 312-yeard performance last week. Maine South will also have to guard against keeping their eye on Joey Pope, who also can run the ball well. Glenbard West's defense has allowed just one touchdown in the playoffs. The Hilltoppers' only blemish was a 17-13 loss to conference-rival York in week 6.
Maine South is making its 30th consecutive playoff appearance. The Hawks, who were second in the state last year, have been stingy on defense all season. That has been especially true in the playoffs where the Hawks defense, led by Brady Marques, Mike Migon, Emmett Wolf and Noah Collins, has yet to surrender a point. The Hawks offense has been flying high the past two weeks thanks to the return of quarterback Ryan Leyden. The senior, who was injured in the second week of the season in his team's loss to Warren, came back in week 9. He has led his team to victories in both playoff games, throwing five touchdown passes. Maurice Dunsmore, Evan Agosto, Martin Brosnan and Ryan Pothast could give Glenbard West trouble. Meanwhile, sophomore running back Michael Dellumo has been getting better and better each week.
Compiled by Dick Quagliano