St. Rita (7-3) at Sterling (10-0)

When: 1 p.m. Saturday

Where: Roscoe Eades Stadium, 1609 Fourth Ave.

Last matchup: First meeting

About Sterling: The Golden Warriors are into the second round of the playoffs for the 5th straight season, and are looking to advance to the quarterfinals for the 4th year in a row. Sterling has outscored its opponents 451-168 this season, an average of 45.1-16.8 per game. Cooper Willman leads the area in rushing (125 rushes, 1,246 yards, 15 TDs), and is second in the area in passing (65-for-92, 954 yards, 6 TDs, 1 INT).

About St. Rita: The Mustangs are back in the playoffs after missing out last year for just the third time since 2000; they did win the Chicago Prep Bowl last season. They won a Class 7A state title in 2006, and haven’t been in the 5A playoffs since 2000 – before the expansion to 8 classes the next season. RB Kaleb Brown (170 rushes, 1,438 yards, 21 TDs; 15 catches, 246 yards, 2 TDs) is a 5-star recruit. St. Rita holds a 315-165 scoring edge over its opponents this season.

FND pick: Sterling

Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley (9-1) at Newman (9-1)

When: 6 p.m. Saturday

Where: Roscoe Eades Stadium, 1609 Fourth Ave.

Last matchup: 2018 class 2A quarterfinals – GCMS 27, Newman 12

About Newman: This will be the third straight season the Comets have met up with Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley in the playoffs; the Falcons defeated Newman 14-8 in the 2017 semifinals and 27-12 in last year’s quarterfinals on their way to back-to-back 2A state titles. The Comets hold a 251-119 scoring edge over their opponents this season.

About GCMS: The Falcons had a 31-game winning streak snapped by Fieldcrest in Week 4, after back-to-back 14-0 seasons in 2017 & ’18. GCMS has qualified for the playoffs in 15 of the last 16 years, and has won at least one playoff game in 5 straight seasons. The Falcons have outscored opponents 307-46 this season, meaning they’re giving up an average of 4.6 points per game.

FND pick: GCMS

Kirkland Hiawatha (9-1) at Morrison (10-0)

When: 1 p.m. Saturday

Where: E.M. “Bud” Cole Field, 643 Genesee Ave.

Last matchup: First meeting

About Morrison: The Mustangs’ first trip to the playoffs since 2012 has netted their first postseason victory since the 2011 Class 2A state championship game. With a big-play offense and a stingy defense, Morrison has outscored its opponents 341-47, and its 58-6 win over Ridgewood in the first round was its ninth game giving up one score or fewer; the 13 points the Mustangs allowed to Rockridge in Week 8 was the most in a game this season.

About Hiawatha: The Hawks are in the playoffs for the third time in 4 years, and just the fifth time in program history. Last week’s 44-6 win over Abingdon-Avon was just their second playoff victory ever; their other one came in 1987. Hiawatha lost to LeRoy in the first round in 2016 and Forreston in the first round last year. The Hawks have outscored their opponents 436-120 this season.

FND pick: Morrison

Lowpoint-Washburn (4-4) at Polo (9-0)

When: 2 p.m. Saturday

Where: 100 S. Union Ave.

Last matchup: First meeting

About Polo: After sitting out the first round of their inaugural trip to the 8-man playoffs with a bye, the Marcos are eager to get back on the field. They’ve been dominant on both sides of the ball all season long, as their average margin of victory is 41.5 points per game; their closest contest was a 34-8 win over River Ridge in Week 8. Polo’s 395 points is the second-most among the state’s 16 8-man teams, while the 62 points it’s allowed are the fewest by 112 points.

About L-W: The Wildcats are in their first year as a program after being part of the River Valley co-op since 2001. River Valley’s lone trip to the playoffs came in 2013, and ended with a first-round loss to Erie-Prophetstown in Class 3A. This season, Lowpoint-Washburn has been outscored 220-108, but it comes in off a 44-28 win over Metro-East Lutheran – a team that Polo has beaten by a combined 156-26 the last 3 years.

FND pick: Polo