Pigskin Playoff Previews
(4) Amboy/LaMoille (8-2) at (8) Orion (6-4)
Gametime: 7 p.m. Saturday at Orion.
BCR insider: While the teams all play for the first time in the playoffs, they will become rivals in the Three Rivers when Orion joins the league next year, initially as potential crossover opponents in division play. The Chargers got a taste of Three Rivers/Big Rivers football last year, falling to Sterling Newman in the second round of the 2A playoffs. Orion finished the season strong, winners of four of their final five games, gaining their fifth win in week 9 with a 35-6 win at Princeton. Coach Chip Fuller told his team they made the big dance and would get to dance with all the pretty girls there. The Chargers made all the right dance moves last week against LEPC to advance. … The Clippers were running on full Powers in Saturday’s win over NSCD at the Harbor in Amboy where QB Tyson Powers had an impressive day passing for 78 yards and two TDs and rushing for 73 yards and two TDs. A/L tied St. Bede for second in the Big Rivers, falling to the Bruins and Newman in league play. … Orion finished fifth in the West Central, which sent its top five teams to the playoffs, four of whom playoff openers. … The winner of Saturday’s game will meet the winner between 2 seed Aledo Mercer County (10-0), the Lincoln Trail Conference champion, and 3 seed Rockford Lutheran (9-1). The Clippers would host either foe in the quarterfinals with a win.
Stat sheet: Offense - AL 27.4; Orion 27.7. Defense - AL 14.5; Orion 27.5.
Playoff history: Appearances - AL 18; Orion 12. Consecutive - AL 1; Orion 2. Record: AL 25-16; Orion 11-11. Best finish: AL 2A state champs, 1984, 2A runners-up, 1979, 80; Orion 2A semifinals, 2007.
Enrollments: AL 361; Orion 312.
Last week: AL - beat North Shore Country Day 36-12; Orion - beat Lanark Eastland/Pearl City 31-24.
Last year’s advancement: AL - did not make playoffs; Orion - lost to Sterling Newman 47-36 in second round.
Other playoff games
Class 1A: (7) Forreston (8-2) at (2) Ottawa Marquette (10-0), 6 p.m. Saturday.
(6) Stark County (8-2) at (3) Mooseheart (9-1), 4 p.m. Saturday.
(1) Clifton Central (9-1) at (5) Carthage Illini West (8-2), 3 p.m. Saturday.
Class 2A: (3) Annawan/Wethersfield (9-1) at Downs Tri-Valley (9-1), 1 p.m. Saturday.
Class 3A: (7) Monmouth-Roseville (8-2) at (2) Sterling Newman (10-0), 2 p.m. Saturday.
Class 4A: (2) Coal City (9-1) at (6) Geneseo (6-4), 2 p.m. Saturday.
(1) Macomb (9-1) at (5) Peoria Notre Dame (7-3), 7 p.m. Saturday.
Class 6A: (3) Rock Island (8-2) at (2) Ottawa (10-0), 2 p.m. Saturday.
— Kevin Hieronymus