Prospects In 8A Playoffs

The IHSA state championship games are one step closer. FOXSports NEXT breaks down which teams remain in the hunt for the State title and prospects that highlight these teams.

The 8A state playoffs have reached the semi-final stage, and there are four teams left.

FOXSports NEXT breaks down which teams remain in the hunt for the State title and prospects that highlight these teams.

Glenbard North (11-1) at Loyola Academy (11-1)

Glenbard North:

Glenbard North entered the 8A state playoffs as the four seed, and knocked off one seeded Maine South 29-23 to advance to the semi-finals. Glenbard North is highlighted by one of the top 2014 prospects in the state, running back Justin Jackson. Jackson (who has offers from Illinois, Purdue, Northwestern, Indiana, Boston College and Toledo) has really established himself during the season, even though the past two games have been a grind. He is featured in their offense, along with senior quarterback Brian Murphy who is committed to Michigan to wrestle.

Loyola Academy

The two seed in 8A, Loyola Academy has a history of turning out good teams. Loyola played for the 8A state championship in 2011 -- but fell to Bolingbrook in Champaign. Saturday they defeated Palatine High 19-7 to advance to the semis. The team out of Wilmette, Ill., is led by senior quarterback Peter Pujals who has an offer from Eastern Illinois.

Mount Carmel (11-1) at Neuqua Valley (12-0)

In the second 8A matchup, three-seeded Mount Carmel defeated Lyons Township 45-10 Saturday to claim their spot in the semi-finals. The Chicago based team has been impressive all season -- and one of the top prospects on the team is defensive lineman Enoch Smith Jr. (offers from Cincinnati, Illinois, Indiana, Notre Dame, and Purdue) Along with Smith, are junior offensive lineman Nate Oquendo who has an offer from Purdue, Northern Illinois commit Draco Smith, and junior back Matt Domer.

Neuqua Valley snuck out of a close match-up between Waubonsie Valley Saturday, winning 23-20. They advance to take on Mount Carmel in the semi-finals. They are led by senior running back Joey Rhattigan, who has had an impressive season and has heard from the likes of Northern Illinois, Bowling Green and more. 2014 wide receiver Mike Dudek is also a prospect to watch in this matchup who provides a speedy option out wide.

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