Countdown to FNL: Providence Catholic

After a 7-2 regular season mark last year and a loss in the 2nd round of the playoffs, Providence Catholic is looking to make a deeper run into the playoffs this year.

One team who is a dark horse to make some real noise in Illinois high school football this year is Providence Catholic. The past few years, the Celtics have been knocking on the door, but with increased talent on the offensive side of the ball, this could be the year they break through.

It all starts up front for Providence. Senior offensive lineman Logan Plantz plays with a real mean streak. He doesn't have any division one offers yet, but strong play this spring could land him a few.

On the outside, junior Miles Boykin is a player that burst onto the scene. A tall, strong receiver gives the Celtics a bigtime threat in the passing game. He should have the advantage over just about every cornerback he faces, so if his quarterback can deliver the right passes, he'll be difficult to stop and should see double-coverage most of the season.

The schedule is tough, but Providence is a tough team. Here are a few games to keep an eye on:

Game, Set, Rematch: 10/18 at Mount Carmel

After turning the ball over several times in last year's match, Providence will look to take care of the ball better in this year's game and hope to come out on top. Mount Carmel's defensive line is disruptive, so this one may come down to how well the Providence line can protect the quarterback.

Reverse the Script: 9/21 at Loyola Academy

Providence again has a chance to get payback against one of the two teams that defeated them last year. Loyola is always a tough out, but by catching them early in the season, Providence might be able to notch the win and really gain some momentum. That Loyola defense is something fierce, though, so it won't be easy.

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