Football

IHSA PLAYOFFS: NORMAL WEST AT WASHINGTON

IHSA Playoffs
Randy Reinhardt/The Pantagraph

The Normal West Community High School Wildcats take on the Washington Panthers, Friday night at 7pm at Babcock Field in Washington. This battle of the cats is a first round match up of the IHSA playoffs. Normal West is 6 and 3 overall and 6 and 2 in the Big 12 conference. The Wildcats are coming off a loss against rival Normal Community 45 to 7. The Washington Panthers are co-Mid-Illini champs with a victory over co champion Morton earlier in the season. The Panthers are 7 and 2 overall along with 6 and 1 in the Mid-Illini Conference.

WEAPONS WEAPONS WEAPONS

The Washington Panthers are loaded on offense and present quite the challenge for the Normal West defense. Who are coached by Nathan Fincham who took over in 2018 after 11 seasons as an assistant, he teaches Science and is Wildcat to his core. Coach feels the keys to the game are tempo and ball control. Coach Fincham is most proud of how his team responded to loosing eight producers from last years squad. The Wildcats know its a tall order for rock solid, hard hitting linebacker Dylan West and company. They believe they are up to the task of slowing down the juggernauts from the Mid-Illini.

Washington has speed and mobility in quarterback Noah Berlett but, don’t sleep on this kids arm, he can throw it too. With a talented receiver core Andrew Lewis and company, you can bet on the Panthers coaching staff, doing just that. The Panthers feature a balanced attack with running back Thomas Borges and Cade Biedschied leading the way behind a talented offensive line. A D1 talent in kicker Paul Sporrer, the weather may spoil any chance he has to show off one of the states best legs.

Illinois State bound

The Normal West Wildcats have the real deal in Max Ziebarth a 6 foot 5 inch 230 lb tight end. Stopping him will be key for a Panther defense who has multiple shutouts this season. Max will be following in his dads footsteps and staying close to home and suiting up for the Illinois State Redbirds. You can bet on previously mentioned fullback Cade Biedschied having a good idea of where Max is all night. Cade and company are going to have all the spooks they can ask for this Halloween weekend in Mr Ziebarth.

My prediction Washington 32 Normal West 14

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