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10/28/2013 10:41:00 AM Email this articlePrint this article 
Illinois high school football playoffs
Gillespie first up for Indians in 2A tournament
LAWRENCEVILLE - Next stop, Gillespie.

While earlier in the week it looked like Lawrenceville High School's football team might be paired against an opponent to the south and closer to home, when the Illinois High School Association announced the pairings Saturday evening, the Indians learned that they'd be making a much longer trip, to Gillespie.

LHS (7-2) is seeded sixth in the southern quadrant of the Class 2A bracket, while Gillespie (8-1) is seeded third.

"I had no idea we'd be going in that direction," Lawrenceville coach Greg Wood said, after seeing the bracket. "But that's the way things go. Fairfield knocked off Chester Friday night and that kind of started the ball in motion a little bit. Eldorado lost (Saturday, 14-13, to Vienna-Goreville), to a lower-seeded team. Those two games kind of made a mess of everything and we ended up with Gillespie."

Fairfield (8-1) earned the top seed in the quadrant by virtue of Friday's 36-32 win over previously undefeated Chester and will host eighth-seeded Staunton (5-4) in an opening round matchup. Should Fairfield win, it would face the winner of Eldorado (7-2) at Carlyle (8-1) game.

The LHS-Gillespie winner will play either Chester (8-1) or Carmi (6-3) in the second round.

Wood planned to meet Gillespie coach Don Borgini Sunday to exchange tapes.

"I don't know anything about Gillespie," Wood said. "(Borgini) has been around for a long time and is a pretty quality guy. At the same time, they don't know anything about us. They're going to have to go through the same process we do, breaking down film and that kind of thing."

The Indians are one of Four teams from either the Egyptian or Eastern Divisions of the Little Illini Conference to qualify for post-season play.

Casey is unbeaten at 9-0, but is seeded fourth in its half of the Class A tournament bracket. The Warriors will host Villa Grove (6-3) in the opening round, with the winner to play Fisher (6-3) or Carrollton (8-1).

Robinson (7-2) is seeded fourth in its quadrant in the 3A tournament and will host Anna-Jonesboro (7-2) in the opening round. Another area team, Mount Carmel (8-1), is seeded third in the same bracket and will entertain Breese Central (6-3) to start things off.

Olney (7-2) is seeded third in its quadrant of the Class 4A tournament and will host Breese Mater Dei (6-3) in the opening round.

The trip to the playoffs is the fourth for the Indians, and marks the first time that the Tribe has ever qualified for post-season play in back-to-back seasons.

LHS is still seeking its first post-season win. The Indians first made the playoffs in 1977 and suffered a 42-14 loss to visiting Murphysboro.

Lawrenceville did not make the playoffs again until 2002 when it suffered a 27-18 loss at Moweaqua Central A&M. Two years later, LHS made the playoffs with a 5-4 mark and suffered a 46-8 setback at Shelbyville. Lawrenceville didn't qualify again until last season and was sent to Cerro Gordo, which claimed a 42-14 win.

The Indians enter the tournament on a three-game winning streak. Lawrenceville's losses this season have been to Robinson (42-16) and Olney (21-14).

Gillespie finished 3-6 last season, but rebounded this season to finish 8-1. The Miners have lost only to South Central Conference foe Greenville, 42-20.

Gillespie will be making its 13th appearance in the state playoffs. The Miners were state runnersup in both 1976 and 1990.

Bismark-Henning, Taylor Ridge Rockridge, Clifton Central, Cerro Gordo and Pearl City Eastland will all take 9-0 record into the Class 2A tournament. There are 10 teams with 8-1 records, including Gillespie, while the Indians are one of six teams in the 2A field with a 7-2 record. In addition, five teams enter the 2A tournament with 6-3 records while both Virden (North Mac) and Chicago (Luther North) qualified a t5-4.

Aledo (Mercer County), Carlyle, Kewanee-Weathersfield, Spring Valley Hall, Sterling Newman Catholic and Taylor Ridge Rockridge are former state champions in the 2A field.


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