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Well, if it's November in the state of Illinois, it must mean two things.

First of all, winter is coming — or has already arrived.

Secondly, the Gibson City-Melvin Sibley and Sterling Newman Central Catholic football teams will be set to play in a frigid playoff game.

It is the third straight year in which GCMS and SNCC will face each other in the playoffs. Each of the past two times, it was a close battle that came down to the final moments, with the Falcons coming out on top.

Last year, GCMS defeated the Comets 27-12 as Austin Spiller returned an interception for a touchdown with less than two minutes remaining. In 2017, the Falcons defeated SNCC 14-8 after scoring eight points in the fourth quarter to erase an 8-6 deficit.

At 6 p.m. Saturday, the two teams should be set for another close, hard-fought battle.

Both teams go in with 9-1 records, and have been battle-tested.

The Falcons faced four playoff teams in the regular season, including wins over Class 3A teams in Paxton-Buckley-Loda and Eureka, who are each moving on to the second round.

The Comets, meanwhile, beat 3A playoff teams Princeton and Spring Valley Hall and 4A playoff team Kewanee.

Even though SNCC played two more playoff opponents in the regular season than GCMS did, I am picking the Falcons based on how their defense is playing.

Last week against Orion, the Comets held the ball for 17:36 in the second half and produced 136 second-half rushing yards. That will be hard to do against a GCMS defense that has not allowed a single point to be scored against it since week six.

Plus, the Falcons have more experience beating SNCC than the other way around.

Projected score: GCMS 14, Sterling Newman Central Catholic 7