High school football playoff brackets to be unveiled live on Stateline CW

ROCKFORD (WREX) — Just hours after the 2019 Illinois prep football season comes to an end, you will see the brackets and matchups revealed live on the Stateline CW.

The IHSA Football Playoff Pairings Show, which will reveal the brackets and first round match-ups of all 256 playoff qualifiers across eight classes, will air live statewide as part of the IHSA’s new TV Network partnership with Quincy Media Inc., the parent company of 13 WREX, on Saturday, Oct. 26 from 8 to 9 p.m.

“High school football in Illinois is appointment viewing and the IHSA Football Playoff Pairings show tees off the championship season,” said Quincy Media Regional Vice President Jim McKernan. “Quincy Media is proud to bring this important show to Illinois viewers and fans of the best high school football in the land!”

“October 26 has been circled on the calendars of high school football players, coaches and fans since August,” said IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson. “We are excited to be partnering with Quincy Media on the annual playoff pairing show. Releasing the pairings through this show has become a special tradition, and thanks to the amazing TV network Quincy Media has put together, we are confident more fans in Illinois will be able to find it than ever before.”

IHSA TV veteran Dave Bernhard will join WGEM-TV Sports Director Tony Cornish, Jr., and WEEK-TV Sports Director Jim Mattson to reveal and react to the first round matchups in what has become one of the most anticipated nights of the high school football season.

Adding to the tradition, the Chicago Bears and the IHSA will partner to offer viewers a new playoff pairings night experience, streaming a pre and post pairings reveal show on the NFHS Network at www.IHSA.tv.

The IHSA Playoff Pairing Preview Show and IHSA Playoff Pairing Breakdown Show will feature WRMJ’s Jim Taylor, Illinois prep football guru “Edgy” Tim O’Halloran of EdgyTim.com, and the state’s resident high school football bracketologist Steve Soucie of Friday Night Drive. The IHSA Playoff Pairing Preview Show will stream on IHSA.tv from 7:30 to 8 p.m., before returning with the IHSA Playoff Pairing Breakdown Show on IHSA.tv from 9 to 10 p.m.

“We commend the Chicago Bears on their support of high school football in Illinois,” said Anderson. “As the Bears celebrate their centennial season, we are proud to have their amazing tradition associated with the IHSA Football Playoffs, and our pre and post show coverage on the NFHS Network.”

The trio of O’Halloran, Soucie and Taylor will highlight the top storylines of the night from 7:30 to 8:00 PM, then return from 9 to 10 p.m. to react to the pairings, building to their state championship predictions.

“Every pairings night seems to write its own story,” said Soucie, who also serves as the Sports Editor of Joliet Herald News. “From the playoff point cutoff to seeing what class perennial power East St. Louis lands in, we will be discussing all the top storylines. It will be a relaxed atmosphere with three football fans talking about what we know. We are going to have fun with it and think the audience will as well.”

Fans and teams are encouraged to use the hashtag #IHSAPairings throughout the evening on social media to interact with both shows, ask questions and share pictures from team watch parties.

First Round IHSA Football Playoff games will unfold on Friday and Saturday, November 1-2, beginning the drive toward the State Championship games at Destination DeKalb. Northern Illinois University will host the State Championship games at Huskie Stadium in DeKalb on Friday, November 29 (1A-4A) and Saturday, November 30 (5A-8A).

7:30 p.m. – 8 p.m. 
IHSA Playoff Pairing Preview Show begins on www.IHSA.tv
Hosted by Tim O’Halloran, Steve Soucie & Jim Taylor

8 p.m. – 9 p.m. 
Eight playoff classes revealed on statewide TV (see stations above)
Hosted by Dave Bernhard, Tony Cornish Jr., & Jim Mattson

9 p.m. – 10 p.m. 
IHSA Playoff Pairing Breakdown Show begins on www.IHSA.tv
Hosted by Tim O’Halloran, Steve Soucie & Jim Taylor

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