It’s rematch week for three of the top five Super 25 games this week, with playoff pairings that mirror regular-season matchups.
No. 6 Butler (Matthews, N.C.) vs. Independence (Charlotte), Friday
Butler (11-0) has only allowed 59 points, but 14 of them were against Independence in their regular-season meeting, a 33-14 Butler victory on Oct. 26. Friday’s meeting is a 4AA second-round playoff. Butler has won the last six meetings. Independence (10-2) has a high-scoring offense, led by quarterback Jason Connella, who has thrown 21 touchdown passes.
No. 15 St. Joseph’s (Philadelphia) vs. La Salle (Wyndmoor, Pa.), Saturday
The top teams in the city face off in a Philadelphia Catholic League second-round playoff just a month after their regular season meeting, a 24-16 win by St. Joseph’s (9-0) that ousted La Salle from the Super 25. That loss is the only blemish for 9-1 La Salle.
Quarterback Jordan Bishop has thrown 22 touchdown passes for Kirkwood (9-0). The Pioneers have had to come back several times, overcoming a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit when they defeated Rockwood Summit 28-24 on Sept. 15. Kirkwood also had to come from behind to beat Webster Groves 21-14 on Monday to reach’s Saturday’s Class 5 quarterfinal with Rockwood Summit (8-3). Summit lost its last two regular-season games but was helped last week by the return of middle linebacker Eric Beisel from a broken foot.
No. 4 Bellevue (Wash.) vs. Ferndale (Wash.), Friday
This is also a rematch, but it’s been a long time coming. The last time these two played, Bellevue defeated Ferndale 31-28 for the Class 3A title in 2004, overcoming a late surge led by then-Ferndale quarterback Jake Locker. Bellevue (10-0) is the big favorite in this 3A first-round playoff, though Ferndale is 9-1.
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No. 9 Colerain (Cincinnati) vs. Elder (Cincinnati), Saturday
It will be the first meeting between the schools since Colerain beat the Panthers 44-12 in 2010 during the regular season. The last meeting in the playoffs was a 27-20 double-overtime victory for Elder in 2008. Colerain (11-0) has been led by quarterback Alfred Ramsby, who has thrown for 1,425 yards and 14 touchdowns and run for 1,240 yards and 17 touchdowns. Elder’s offense is paced by running back Chris Schroer, who has run for 1,382 yards and 23 touchdowns.
Follow Jim Halley on Twitter @jimhalley.