Hononegah Football reaches the quarterfinals for the first time in a quarter century

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The Hononegah Indians take the field before their win against Pekin on Nov. 6, 2021. Photo: Andrea Van Briesen Photography

UPDATE: The final score was 16 Hononegah, 36 St. Rita. Many photos on Flickr, courtesy of Hononegah Photos.

In the third round of Class 7A football playoffs, Hononegah faces St. Rita in the quarterfinals Saturday afternoon.

Last week, Hononegah (11-0) won the regional match against Pekin, their first such victory since 1996. They play against Chicago St. Rita (9-2) on Saturday. Naturally, as they advance through the play-offs, the competition gets tougher. The Indians are not counting on lucky breaks.

St. Rita's potential strengths include promising sophomore running back Ethan Middleton and Kaleb Brown, the future Ohio State receiver who was injured in the first minutes of the first game of the season but is back in uniform just in time for the playoffs. So is running back Kyle Clayton, who had missed the first two playoff games, but may not miss this one.

Hononegah's potential strengths include all-conference defensive tackle Aiden Peters, senior running back Stuart Hale, senior quarterback Isaac Whisenand and a commitment to the basics, well-played. They are very big, with an offensive line averaging 300 pounds. And they have the only undefeated record in the Class 7A playoffs.

Buy tickets for $7.00 or watch online on the NFHS Network. Tickets will not be sold at the gate. A student fan bus will leave the fieldhouse parking lot at noon on Saturday.

Photos courtesy of Andrea Van Briesen Photography.

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