ALTON - The Riverbender.com area high school football teams all look to either become playoff eligible, solidify their seedings, or close out their seasons as week nine, the final week of the regular season, takes place this Friday and Saturday, with the IHSA announcing the first round playoff pairings on Saturday night at 8 p.m. in the annual television extravaganza.
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In the Cahokia Conference Mississippi Division, Roxana plays at Marquette Catholic and if the Shells win, they will post an undefeated 9-0 overall mark for the regular season. For those who can't make the Roxana-Marquette game, it will be live on Riverbender.com.
The playoff pairings show can be seen on KNLC-TV subchannel 24.5 on Saturday evening and also will be live-streamed on the IHSA TV network via the NFHS Network on computers, smartphones, and other devices. A subscription is required to live stream on the NFHS Network.
The week nine schedule starts out on Friday, with all games starting at 7 p.m., unless otherwise indicated, with Edwardsville playing at traditional St. Louis power DeSmet Jesuit in Creve Coeur, Mo. as this week's must-watch game.
Edwardsville (7-1) is coming off their first loss of the season, falling to East St. Louis 27-15 in a very hard-fought game that saw the Flyers stop the Tigers short of the goal line in the third quarter, then turn the game around on a two-play, 99-yard drive that gave East Side a 19-0 lead.
The loss brought the Tigers down from a No. 4 ranking in Class 7A to No. 7.
The Tigers face a powerful Spartan team that goes into the game 7-0, having won last week over St. Louis St. Mary's Catholic 26-0. DeSmet has put up big numbers on the area's traditional Catholic powers, scoring 42 on St. Louis U. High, 49 on CBC, 53 on St. John Vianney, and 63 on Chaminade College Prep. The Spartans have also scored 44 on St. Louis suburban power Kirkwood and their closest game was a week two win over Glen Ellyn Glenbard West 10-0 at Clyde C. Jordan Stadium in East St. Louis.
In other Southwestern Conference matchups, Aton plays at Mt. Vernon, Belleville East at Granite City, Belleville West plays at Hickman of Columbia, Mo., and O'Fallon is at Cahokia.
East St. Louis will enjoy a bye week and has been awarded a 2-0 forfeit win for their final game, allowing the Flyers to finish 7-2.
In the Mississippi Valley Conference, Civic Memorial hosts Taylorville, Highland is at Decatur St. Teresa Catholic, Jersey hosts Columbia, Mascoutah is at Carbondale and Triad plays at Collinsville.
The South Central Conference slate is Gillespie at Carlinville, Greenville at Virden North Mac, Hillsboro at Piasa Southwestern, Litchfield at Vandalia, and Pana at Staunton.
In the South Seven Conference, Marion is at Mattoon, while Centralia hosts Effingham, while in the Western Illinois Valley, Hardin Calhoun is at Beardstown, Winchester West Central plays at Camp Point Central, Greenfield Northwestern visits Concord Triopia, Mendon Unity is at White Hall North Greene, Mt. Sterling Brown County plays at Pleasant Hill, while on Saturday afternoon, Carrollton goes to Jacksonville Routt Catholic in a 1 p.m. kickoff.
In other Cahokia Conference Mississippi Division matchups, Breese Central hosts Herrin, Freeburg plays at Waterloo, Salem is at Charleston and East Alton-Wood River hosts Red Bud. In the eight-man division, Metro-East Lutheran hosts Pawnee.
The Redbirds go in 1-7 and will close out their season at a good Mt. Vernon team, who are playoff eligible at 5-3 and look to officially clinch a berth into the postseason. The Rams defeated Centralia last week 70-41 and the week before, won over Granite City 62-0.
Meanwhile, the Kahoks are 5-3, becoming playoff eligible with a home win over Cahokia 28-6, while Triad also became playoff eligible at 5-3 with a 51-6 win at home over Civic Memorial in head coach Calvin Potthast's first year.
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