LINCOLN PARK — Having won their first conference football title, the Lincoln Park High School Lions open the state playoffs at 6 p.m. Friday at Lane Stadium.
The 8-1 Lions haven't lost since dropping their opening game to downstate powerhouse Geneseo and are seeded sixth in the state in Class 7A for schools with enrollments between 1,889 and 2,364 students. Even so, they claimed the underdog role against downstate Alton, seeded 28th after a 5-4 season.
"We are huge underdogs," school parent Shannon Waterfield said.
Principal Michael Boraz urged Lincoln Park to "keep supporting your conference champs."
LP football v highly rated Alton at Lane Stadium this Friday Oct 27 at 6 pm. Keep supporting your conference champs— LPHS Principal Boraz (@mjboraz) October 24, 2017
Lincoln Park pretty much manhandled its Chicago conference rivals in an undefeated, untied season, winning by scores of 53-0 over Schurz, 48-0 over Steinmetz and 46-0 over Lake View. The Lions claimed the conference title with a 31-8 victory over Mather on Friday, also at Lane, 2601 W. Addison St.
But overall the Lions' opponents had a losing record, and they played just three state playoff teams, while Alton, which plays in the rough-and-tumble Southwestern Conference against the likes of East St. Louis and two Belleville high schools, played five state playoff teams.
Alton won three of its last four games, scoring 50 points in each victory, and lost to conference champ East St. Louis on Friday in a squeaker, 22-19.