Football makes playoffs for first time since 2001, looks to keep rolling

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Football makes playoffs for first time since 2001, looks to keep rolling

The E-Rabs take the field in hopes of making the playoffs for the first time since 2001.

The E-Rabs take the field in hopes of making the playoffs for the first time since 2001.

photo by Madie Miller

The E-Rabs take the field in hopes of making the playoffs for the first time since 2001.

photo by Madie Miller

photo by Madie Miller

The E-Rabs take the field in hopes of making the playoffs for the first time since 2001.

Nikolas Bowers, Editor-in-chief

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The varsity football team has done something that hasn’t been accomplished since 2001, thanks to the help of Coach Gary Griffin; they made the playoffs.

The E-Rabs started their season by winning their season opener for the first time since 2004. They defeated Belvidere 12-0. Following two straight losses, East looked to get back on track and did it in a big way. They won their next three games, outscoring their opponents 84-33.

Now at 3-2, East turned their attention towards a rivalry game against Jefferson that would make the team playoff-eligible. Behind a huge day from Jalen Griffin and Tyvionne Horton, combining for 277 yards rushing, East defeated their rivals 30-19.

“We are making history, and now we are going to the playoffs for the first time in years. We are doing big things out here now,” said Tyvionne Horton, varsity wide receiver, class of 2018.

The job was not done yet, as they needed one more win to seal a playoff berth as they faced Boylan in hopes of not only making their dream come true, but also crushing their opponents, a rival that has stymied the E-Rabs up until last season where East finally broke through and defeated the Titans.

“It feels really good to be a part of this. I used to tell seniors when I was a freshman that we would make the playoffs, and we did it,” said Kedric Hardy, varsity quarterback, class of 2018.

This team looks to finish strong against Belvidere North as they retool and get set for a big moment in E-Rab history. The team will compete for a State Championship, and they hope to win it all for the first time since 1985.

“I want to thank everyone for the support. From the staff to the kids, we appreciate you all. We did it, and now it’s time to take the next step towards an even bigger goal,” said Gary Griffin.

East will be playing on Friday, Oct. 20 against Belvidere North at Swanson Stadium as the home team. Student fans must get wristbands in the athletic office during their lunch hour to attend the game and cheer on their E-Rabs.

Keep close to easthighlights.com for coverage throughout the E-Rabs’ playoff run.