CENTRAL-SOUTHEASTERN at BELLEVILLE ALTHOFF
What: Class 2A semifinal
When: 2 p.m. Saturday
Where: Lindenwood Stadium, Belleville, Ill.
Radio: 97.5 WBBA FM
Records: Central-Southeastern – 12-0 (5-0, first in the Western Illinois Valley-North). Belleville Althoff – 9-3 (3-2, second in South Seven Conference).
Coaches: C-SE – Brad Dixon (22-1 at C-SE, second season). Althoff – Ken Turner (27-23, fifth season).
Scouting Althoff: Quarterback Eric Mertens leads an Althoff offense that has passed for 2,204 yards and 19 touchdowns. He does have a tendency to turn the ball over, with 16 interceptions. Garland Henley is the Crusaders' leading receiver with 649 yards and leads the team with 14 touchdowns (nine receiving, five rushing). Dennis Jackson leads the team with 892 rushing yards.
On defense, Eric Furmanek leads the team with 146 tackles and has intercepted four passes. Michael Harris has a team-high eight interceptions.
Althoff played a regular-season schedule loaded with big schools and did not face an opponent with an enrollment under 923 until the postseason. Althoff suffered a pair of regular-season losses to eventual Class 5A playoff qualifiers and another to a Class 7A playoff qualifier.
Scouting C-SE: Central-Southeastern hopes to maintain the excellent line play that helped them muscle past Du Quoin Saturday. The Panthers rushed for 326 yards and had Doug Weese and Dalton Heubner reach the 100-yard plateau.
The Panthers pass defense will need to play better than it did in the second half Saturday. Indians quarterback Brandon Fred passed for 179 yards and two touchdowns, most of it coming in the second half.
-- Josh Rizzo