JERSEY - Legendary Jersey head football coach Ric Johns set a high benchmark for his Panthers at the beginning of the season to make the playoffs. This past Friday, Jersey made the playoffs with a 36-28 upset of Columbia this past Friday.
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Johns captured two state championships while coach at Calhoun and has had extraordinary success over the years as a head football coach at different Illinois schools.
Jersey, 5-4, in Class 5A, travels to Country Club Hills Hillcrest (9-0) in a 3 p.m. kickoff on Saturday afternoon.
Running back Kurt Hall and quarterback Matt Jackson lead the Panthers into the game. Hall has 82 carries rushing for 488 yards and six touchdowns. Jackson, a junior quarterback, has seven rushing touchdowns with 131 carries for 689 yards. Jackson has completed 43 of 88 passes for 453 yards. Will Medford has 14 catches for 153 yards and a touchdown at the receiver position.
In Class 3A, East Alton-Wood River (6-3) will travel to Carlinville (9-0) for the third consecutive year, with the kickoff set for Friday night at 7 p.m. In Class 1A, Carrollton (6-3) will be at Sesser-Valier (7-2) in a 1 p.m. kickoff on Saturday afternoon. In another 1 p.m. kickoff on Saturday, Greenfield Northwestern (6-3) will be at Camp Point Central (8-1).
East St. Louis (7-2) hosts Hoffman Estates (7-2) at 3 p.m. at East St. Louis in another Class 7A Saturday game.
Granite City (5-4), who made the field for the first time since 2011, are at defending Class 7A champion Batavia (9-0) at 7 p.m. Friday.
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