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6A Football Preview: Bengals, Astros Set for Second Round Showdown

Oak Forest travels to Shepard Friday, Nov. 2, for a Class 6A football playoff second-round matchup with the Astros. The Bengals and Astros previously met in Week 4 of the regular season, with Oak Forest grabbing a 45-21 victory.

In a rematch of Week 4 action, the Oak Forest Bengals and Shepard Astros are set to tangle on the football field Friday night in IHSA 6A playoff action.

The Bengals marched their way into the second round after a 29-0 victory over Hinsdale South, while the Astros beat Perspectives Charter-Calumet 23-7. 

In their prior meeting, Oak Forest handed Shepard a 45-21 loss at Shepard.

On offense, both teams will rely heavily on their running games, which have piled up yardage all season.

The Astros' rushing attack is spearheaded by Lorenzo Lashley and Devon Landfair, with several others contributing, to the tune of almost 200 yards a game on the ground. While the run game will spark the Astros' offense, fans can expect fireworks from their aerial attack as well, as quarterback Jimmy McClinton and receiver Londell Lee have connected for 14 touchdowns.

The Bengals' ground game is led by quarterbacks Tom Zale and Nick Ciufia and fullback Ben Santiago. Zale and Ciufia call the shots on alternating series for the Bengals, while Santiago has filled in for injured three-year starter Matt Barry.

The three have cut, juked and steamrolled past opponents most of the year and should be expected to continue churning up the turf Friday night.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Bengals are no slouches either, having allowed just 102 points all season. The Astros can hang their hats on a strong second-half showing against Perspectives Charter-Calumet as a stepping stone toward Friday's matchup.

Kickoff for the 6A showdown at Shepard High School is set for 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 2. The winner of the game will face the winner of the Lemont vs. Richards game in the quarterfinals of the 6A playoffs.

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