Hononegah plays host to Normal Community in Round 1 of the IHSA football playoffs
In August of every year, over 250 teams statewide start the campaign with three major goals in mind:
#1 Win Conference
#2 Get to the Playoffs
#3 Win State
If during the season you fall out of the conference race, you still have your two remaining goals. That is squarely what Hononegah has in its sights. After having a very good regular season of 7-2 in the NIC 10, Hononegah now begins the journey of the postseason - starting this Friday Night Oct 28th at 7 pm from Kelsey Field in Rockton.
Hononegah has the task of taking on a very well-equipped and strong Normal Community squad from the Big Twelve conference. Normal finished 4th
in the Big Twelve with a 5-2 conference record and 6-3 overall. The Ironmen are on a five-game winning streak coming into the postseason. In the five game streak, they have averaged 40 points per game while only allowing 19.4 points per game.
Head coach for Normal Community is Jason Drengwitz. He was hired as the 24th coach in program history on March 14,
2018. He was an assistant for 14 years prior to taking on the head coaching role. Coming into this season, he had 184 players sign up for football. Coming off a conference crown last season helped boost the numbers, as lots of younger players wanted to join the program that has been trending up.
A quick review of the film available shows an explosive passing game with multiple wideouts able to get behind defenders. This means the Hononegah defensive line that has become a strength this season will need to get pressure and see lots of time in the Ironmen’s backfield. On offense, Cole Warren and the passing game will need to be a strength and open up the ever-improving running game.
The Indians' season was filled with ups and downs, as expected with so much turnover from last season. Many new players got put into unfamiliar roles and exceeded what could have been expected. The Indians were led on offense by junior QB Cole Warren and junior WR Isaiah Houi. Both would give credit to the improving offensive line as a big reason why the Indians were so high-scoring this season, averaging 32.5 points per game.
Four other teams made the postseason from the NIC 10:
- Boylan, winner of the NIC 10 title, made it in 5A and takes on Hillcrest at home.
- Guilford made it in 7a and takes on Batavia at home.
- Belvidere North takes on Grayslake Central at home.
- Harlem travels in round 1 to take on Amundsen out of Chicago.