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Football: By the numbers for state semifinals

Here are some numbers that help explain the semifinal round of the high school football playoffs.


That's how many plays Mercer County ran against Newman on Saturday. The Comets ran 71 offensive plays. The Comets had the ball for 34 minutes, 58 seconds opposed to 13:02 by the Golden Eagles.

The time of possession dominance has been a trend for the Comets. They held the ball for 32:37.


That's how many yards the Mercer County managed once subtracting the 52-yard gain by all-stater Chris Neeld early in the fourth quarter.

The Eagles also had two turnovers.


That's how many games the Newman Comets have won in a row after losing 21-9 to Rockridge in the first regular-season game.

Rockridge lost 26-20 in overtime to Mercer County in the second round of the 2A playoffs.


That's the Newman Comets all-time record in state semifinal games.

They also won semifinal games in 1990, 1993, 1994, 1998, 2004 and 2010.

The only losses came in 1995 and 2012.

In six trips to the state championship game, Newman is 4-2.


That's how many playoff qualifiers over the years with 5-4 records advanced to the state championship game. Staunton, who will play Newman on Friday, is one of them.

Two of the teams went on to win the title. Immaculate Conception won the 2A title in 2008 and Montini won the 5A title in 2009. Glenbard North finished 9-5 after losing in the 8A championship game in 2007.


That's how many seconds were left in Saturday's semifinal game when Staunton quarterback Jake Brunh hit receiver Marcus Sitko for a 33-yard touchdown pass to beat Auburn 32-28.

Staunton trailed Auburn 28-18 with 5:17 left in the game. Staunton used good defense, big plays on offense and a 97-yard kickoff return to rally back.


That's the distance, in miles, Newman will be traveling from the high school to Huskie Stadium in DeKalb for the Class 2A championship game on Friday. This marks the first year the finals are in DeKalb, and they will be there in odd-numbered years through 2021.

When the Comets won their last state title, in 2010, they traveled 192.7 miles to Memorial Stadium in Champaign.

Staunton, on the other hand, has a much longer bus ride. The Bulldogs will venture 239.3 miles to Huskie Stadium. Had the championship games remained in Champaign, the trip would have been 142.9 miles.


That's how many playoff games Aurora Christian had won in a row before losing to Stillman Valley 28-26 on Saturday in the 3A semifinals.

The Eagles had won the last two 3A state titles, with their last playoff loss coming in 2010, also to Stillman Valley (46-16).


That's how many times that Stilman Valley has qualified for the state championship game.

The Cardinals are 4-1 going into Friday's matchup with St. Joseph-Ogden.


That's how many sets of siblings are on the Geneseo Maple Leafs' roster. Geneseo will play Rochester in the 4A championship game on Friday.

The set of siblings include senior twins Alex and Trevor Craig, and sophomore twins Conner and Sam Welch.

Other siblings are brothers Rayce and Quinn Singbush, Matt and Ben Rowley, Zack and Tyler Mackey, and Kaleb and Devin Haxby.

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