No. 7 Batavia (9-2) at No. 2 Nazareth Academy (11-0)
When: 1 p.m. Nov. 16 at Nazareth
Advancement: Winner plays the winner of Rolling Meadows/Wheaton Warrenville South
About the Bulldogs: Batavia has hardly been tested so far in the playoffs, outscoring two opponents 97-8. That certainly changes against the reigning 7A champs. The Bulldogs feature a vaunted rushing attack headlined by Art Taylor, who ran for 226 rushing yards last week. Quarterback Kyle Oroni has played efficient football, and Trey Urwiler could be looking for another solid performance. Defensively, the Bulldogs play the run exceptionally well, and have plenty of pass rushers in Josh Costello, Quinn Urwiler and more leading the charge.
About the Roadrunners: Nazareth features the No. 1 overall recruit in the state of Illinois for the Class of 2021 in quarterback J.J. McCarthy, a Michigan recruit. Derrick Strongs Jr., who ran for 162 yards and four touchdowns last week, is one of several talented playmakers for Nazareth. The list also includes Tyler Morris at wide receiver. Nazareth has outscored opponents 370-123. The Roadrunners have won 10 straight games since a Week 1 loss to Cardinal Ritter Prep, which later had to forfeit the game for using an ineligible player.
Friday Night Drive pick: Nazareth
No. 4 St. Francis (10-1) at No. 1 Coal City (11-0)
When: 2 p.m. Nov. 16 at Coal City
Advancement: Winner plays the winner of Richmond-Burton/IC Catholic Prep.
About the Spartans: St. Francis advanced past the second round, reaching an internal goal after last year's second-round loss. St. Francis remains without starting quarterback Tommy Rittenhouse, who hasn't been available since leaving Oct. 18 vs. IC Catholic with a left arm injury. The offense continues to roll with Mike Baffa starting in his place. He's thrown six touchdowns to two interceptions. Defensively, the Spartans are led by Mike Bumpus (68 tackles) and Luke Meyer (52 tackles).
About the Coalers: Winners of the Illinois Central Eight Conference, the Coalers have rolled over teams all year. They have outscored two playoff opponents by a combined 74-0 margin. Defensively, Coal City has allowed only 87 total points this season. Linebacker Austin Pullara has a team-high 73 tackles and nine tackles per game. Offensively, the Coalers appear to prioritize running the football, rushing for 278 yards per game. Dan Jezik headlines the rushing attack with 1,829 rushing yards on the season.
FND pick: Coal City