Posted On: 04/7/21 7:00 AM

In this Week 4 Matchup, we’re taking a look at the Wilmington Wildcats vs the Coal City Coalers. Both of these teams have talented players on both sides of the ball. Wilmington is coming off of a tough battle against Reed-Custer and Coal City is coming off of a dominant win against Lisle. Both of these teams are 3-0 heading into this matchup and have showcased their dominance in the season thus far. Enough talk, let’s dive into the preview for this Week 4 Matchup on Friday, April 9th.


Coal City has an explosive offense with Asa Cooper Asa Cooper 5'10" | ATH Coal City | 2021 IL , Kyle Gockman, and Nick Seplak. All three of these players have playmaking abilities can get it done in the ground game as well as in the air attack. Look for Asa Cooper Asa Cooper 5'10" | ATH Coal City | 2021 IL to be the focus of this offensive unit with Kyle Gockman and Nick Seplak being the supporting roles. Look for the Coalers to establish the run early with carries to all three athletes mentioned above and use that to open up the playbook for counters, jet sweeps, and reverses.

Wilmington plays smash-mouth football where they line up and pound the ball down the throat of the opposing defense. They have stellar backs Jacob Friddle, AJ Meyers, and Cody Franzen who all are dominant when the ball is in their hand. They are aggressive upfront and play physical throughout all quarters. The Wildcats are going to look to establish their ground game early and I wouldn’t be surprised if they take one or two deep shots in the first half.


Coal City has been dominant on this side of the ball as well by only allowing 6 points over three games. They do a good job of limiting their opponent’s top players and all of their players fly to the ball. They’re going to need to bring their A-game when facing Wilmington and will need to be ready for a dog fight.

Wilmington has allowed 51 points over these first three games of the season so they have to work on tightening up on this side of the ball. Heading into this matchup they’re going to need to focus on stopping this dominant Coal City ground game, if they don’t it’s going to be a long game for them. To stop the run, the Wildcats will need to stay disciplined in their gap responsibilities to make sure no cutback lanes leak out.

Key Points to Win

Coal City

On offense, the Coalers will need to establish the run early with Asa Cooper Asa Cooper 5'10" | ATH Coal City | 2021 IL and company. In doing so it will open up the rest of the playbook with counters, reverses, jet sweeps, and the passing game. On defense, the Coalers have to shoot the gaps and play aggressively upfront. In doing so, they can limit the yardage gained on each play and stall out the Wildcats drives throughout the game. If the Coalers are able to execute their game plan it will set them up to win the game.


On offense, the Wildcats will need to establish the run early with Jacob Friddle, Cody Franzen, and AJ Meyers. They run the double-wing offense so they are able to utilize multiple backs at once never knowing who will get the ball. Once they get the ground game going, look for a deep shot or two to come to light to catch the Coalers off guard. On defense, they will need to focus on Asa Cooper Asa Cooper 5'10" | ATH Coal City | 2021 IL . If the Wildcats are able to limit his production it’s going to set themselves up to win the game.

Closing Thoughts

Overall, both of these teams are very talented and have had a great season so far both being ranked in the top 15 for their class (3A – Wilmington & 4A – Coal City) voted on by coaches. Both of these teams are coached very well and have playmakers on both sides of the ball, that being said I do think that the dominance that Coal City has showcased so far will give them the edge needed to win this game. That’s why I have Coal City winning 31 – 28 against Wilmington in a back and forth battle that will come down to the wire.

That’s my preview for this Week 4 matchup between the Wilmington Wildcats and the Coal City Coalers taking place on Friday, April 9th. I look forward to watching the game and seeing these young men compete. Keep an eye out for the post-game report to drop Sunday with the score of the game and the top performers from each team.

Be sure to follow @jamaskane regarding news & information for Illinois High School Football,  @PrepRedzoneIL, and @PrepRedzone.