Tonight: Alleman travels to Evergreen Park for a Class 4A semifinal at 6.|
Twitter updates: @danmak57
Directions: I-80 east 150 miles to exit 151B, merging left onto I-57 north toward Chicago. Follow 10 miles north to exit 355. Turn left onto West 112th Street for 2.1 miles. Turn right onto South Kedzie Avenue and go 1.5 miles. Turn right onto 99th Street and the school will be on your right.
Up next: The winner advances to next Friday's 7 p.m. 4A championship game at Memorial Stadium against Rochester or Harrisburg.
Why watch: Alleman looks to secure its fifth state championship berth; Evergreen Park plays in the state semifinals for the first time in program history. The Pioneers are 4-1 in the state semifinal. ... This is a rematch from last year's second round, a game Evergreen Park won 19-18 after a last-second field goal. ... Seeded seventh in their quadrant, the Mustangs have beaten North Chicago (23-7), Richmond-Burton (34-27) and Chicago Brooks (37-14). Evergreen Park averages 312.3 yards of offense per game. "They just kind of picked up where they left off last year," Alleman coach Dave DeJaegher said. "They're a big, powerful team." ... Evergreen Park's top threat is senior QB Brandon White, who has 1,576 passing yards and 1,011 rushing yards. "He's improved his passing a whole bunch. He completed some big passes against us last year, but he's a little more polished," DeJaegher said. "He's a load. They're offense runs through him." Junior WR Jacquet McClendon is White's top target. McClendon, who the Sun-Times Media Group reports as having received interest from Indiana, Northwestern and Vanderbilt, has 25 catches for 573 yards and 7 TDs. ... Alleman senior QB John Tracey leads the team with 846 rushing yards and 609 passing yards. The Pioneers average 335.5 yards of offense."We see a lot of option football," Evergreen Park coach Dan Hartman said, "but we don't see that much of the old-school stuff they run." ... The Mustangs, a member of the South Suburban Conference Red Division, have lost to Oak Lawn Richards (35-0), Blue Island Eisenhower (16-13) and Palos Hills Shepard (62-24). In the regular season, Evergreen Park beat two teams who finished the regular season with a winning record. ... Alleman has never lost a state semifinal game on the road.
Alleman coach Dave DeJaegher: "I'm sure we'll be ready. They're going to get our best shot. And we'll get their best shot. I'm not much into payback -- we just need to execute."
Evergreen Park coach Dan Hartman: "I don't think our kids are overconfident. They know the team we play this week is the best team we've played all year. It's going to take a really good game for us to hang with them."
-- By Daniel Makarewicz, firstname.lastname@example.org