October 28, 2021 Local Stories in and Around St. Joseph, Illinois

SJO football back in the playoffs, meets Williamsville in first round

The last time St. Joseph-Ogden High School football met Williamsville in a playoff game, the Spartans ended up playing for a state title.

SJO will get its next chance to start the road back to DeKalb as they will travel to play at Williamsville next weekend in a Class 3A first-round playoff game.

Playoff pairings for all eight classes were revealed on Saturday night, with SJO (5-4) receiving the 15th seed and traveling to take on No. 2 Williamsville (9-0).

SJO and Williamsville have met only once before in playoff history, with the Spartans defeating the Bullets 38-26 in a 3A state quarterfinal game in 2013.

That victory helped springboard SJO to the state title game at Huskie Stadium in DeKalb, the same venue that will host all eight state title games this season.

SJO defeated St. Thomas More, Rantoul, Bloomington Central Catholic, Pontiac and Olympia in helping the program reach the playoffs for the second straight season and 28th time in the last 29 seasons.

Williamsville has reached the playoffs 26 times in school history and has reached the postseason every year since 2009.

The last time SJO met Williamsville, Dalton Walsh, now an assistant coach with the Spartans, was SJO’s starting quarterback.

The winner of the SJO-Williamsville game will meet either No. 10 Monticello (6-3) or No. 7 DuQuoin (8-1) in the second round of the playoffs.

If SJO pulls the upset and DuQuoin wins, the Spartans would host DuQuoin in the second round. If SJO wins and Monticello wins, Monticello would host SJO in the second round. The two Illini Prairie Conference teams met this past Friday night, with Monticello winning 35-6. Monticello is the defending 3A state champion and eliminated SJO from the playoffs last season with a 50-7 win in the first round.

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