When the coaches and players for the Ready High School football team looked at their schedule before the season, they believed seven wins would be the number necessary to make it back to the playoffs after not qualifying the past two years.

When the coaches and players for the Ready High School football team looked at their schedule before the season, they believed seven wins would be the number necessary to make it back to the playoffs after not qualifying the past two years.

That ended up being correct, although struggles by some of the teams they defeated made it closer than expected.

The combined record of the teams the Silver Knights defeated was just 22-48, but their 42-0 victory over Fayetteville on Oct. 28 combined with the secondary points they earned by Wheeling (West Virginia) Linsly's 28-13 win over Beaver Eastern that same night helped land them the eighth and final seed for the Division VI, Region 23 playoffs.

Ready now must travel two-and-a-half hours east Friday, Nov. 4, to top-seeded Hannibal River, which is 10-0 and is making its eighth playoff appearance.

The Pilots are 4-7 in the postseason, including losing 56-15 to Grandview in the first round a year ago when they finished 10-1.

Six of River's 10 opponents competed in Division VII, and another was the Columbus Crusaders' club team.

"We're very happy to make it and that we won enough games to make it," coach Brian Cross said.

The winner will play fourth-seeded Bellaire or fifth-seeded Newark Catholic in a regional semifinal Nov. 11 at a site to be announced.

Against Fayetteville, Devin Dukes rushed for five touchdowns to give him 29 on the season. Brandan Burks also had a touchdown as the Knights posted their second shutout of the season.

According to Cross, much of River's offense revolves around junior quarterback Lukas Isaly. He's a 5-foot-10, 170-pounder who rushed for a touchdown and was 6-for-8 passing for 193 yards and two scores in a 56-7 win over New Matamoras Frontier on Oct. 28.

That win gave River its fourth perfect regular season.

"Most of the teams they've played like to throw the football, and they probably haven't faced anybody that runs the football the way we do," Cross said. "They seem to be a base 4-4 defense with a linebacker that seems to blitz every single play. I don't know if they've seen a back like Dukes before who's 220 pounds, and Brandan Burks had over 100 yards last week.

"Offensively, they've got a quarterback who seems to carry the ball about 75 to 80 percent of the time out of the shotgun. They run kind of a wing-T where the quarterback runs the ball."

julrey@thisweeknews.com

@UlreyThisWeek