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Bremen has been one of the Southland’s pleasant surprises this season.
At 4-2, the Braves are in position to earn consecutive postseason trips since the 2005 and ’06 seasons.
The final three games on their schedule, however, are anything but certainties: Bremen plays T.F. South (5-1), Lemont (5-1) and Oak Lawn (1-5).
To compound matters, all three of those games are on the road.
“It’s a meat grinder for us,” Bremen coach Dan Stell said of the remaining schedule. “Every week is going to be a battle. We need to stay together and push through.”
The Braves are coming off a tough 17-14 loss to Tinley Park.
For the Braves to turn the tables and transform into road warriors, a productive Devonta Wilson (116 carries, 876 yards) and Tyler Banovich will be keys.
Wilson ranks among the area’s leading rushers. His success didn’t happen by accident.
“The kid’s a workhorse,” Stell said. “He lives in the weight room. We didn’t think he was going to be this explosive. He’s 230 pounds, but when he gets in the open field, he’s tough to chase down.”
Banovich, a junior quarterback, has done a fine job running the spread attack.
“Tyler has great character and is a great leader,” Stell said. “He doesn’t get rattled easily and he’s not afraid to run with the football. He has no problem getting his nose dirty. He’s just a pleasure to coach.”
Stars hope to shine
Similar to Bremen, Rich South faces a formidable schedule to close out the regular season.
The Stars travel to Rich East on Saturday, then face Crete-Monee and Moline.
“They’re all big games for us to get to six wins and guarantee a spot in the playoffs,” Rich South coach Dave Connell said.
Connell, in his first year as coach, has been pleased with his team’s effort and dedication.
The bright spot has been the Stars passing game. Quarterback Brendon Zachery (94-of-213, 1,654 yards) ranks among the area leaders in passing yards and has two primary targets in receivers Jaylen Zachery, Brendon’s brother, who has 40 catches for 826 yards; and Roy Hickman (20, 433).