Rochester football to face Loyola Academy this week after previous game canceled by COVID-19
NOTE: A previous version of this story had incorrect information about the multiplier rule.
The Rochester football team, a seven-time Class 4A state champion since 2010 and the 2019 Class 5A state champ, will face its largest opponent ever on Saturday when it travels to face another state power in Class 7A Wilmette Loyola.
Rochester had its Week 2 schedule open after Decatur MacArthur canceled its game at Rochester on Friday because of COVID-19 protocols. MacArthur, which beat Normal U-High 50-9 in Week 1, also announced Thursday it will cancel its Week 3 game against Southeast.
Rochester (1-0) is scheduled to face 7A No. 2-ranked Loyola at 3 p.m. Saturday, according to the Rochester Twitter account. Rochester is ranked No. 2 in Class 5A with one first-place vote. Loyola received four of nine first-place votes in 7A.
Loyola is a member of the Chicago Catholic League/East Suburban Catholic Conference and plays in the blue division with Chicago Brother Rice, Chicago Marist and Chicago Mount Carmel. Last week, the Ramblers took down Milwaukee's Marquette University, 42-14.
The Ramblers have been a Class 8A playoff team every season since 2006 and won state championships in 2015 and 2018 with runner-up finishes in 2011, 2013, 2016 and 2017.
According to the Illinois High School Association’s school directory, Loyola has an enrollment of 1,985 students while Rochester has an enrollment of 793. With the typical multiplier for non-boundaried schools of 1.65, Loyola's number becomes 3,275.25 but since the program hasn't advanced past the quarterfinals for the past two seasons — including the 2020-21 season when no postseason was held — no multiplier is applied.
Rochester won its first 5A state title with a 42-28 win over Chicago St. Rita in 2019. The Mustangs had a non-multiplied enrollment of 1,161 because they did not meet the criteria for a multiplier.
As of Friday morning, the Decatur Public Schools COVID-19 dashboard shows two students and two staff members as positive for the coronavirus since Sunday. But according to a MacArthur High School Athletics Facebook post, the two games “(have) been cancelled due to the team being quarantined.”
In the last 14 days, MacArthur has had four students test positive.
Southeast football coach Matt Lauber said efforts will be made in earnest to find a Week 3 opponent after Friday, when the Spartans (1-0) travel to play Sacred Heart-Griffin (1-0).
Messages left for Rochester coach Derek Leonard, Rochester athletic director J.R. Boudouris and MacArthur coach Derek Spates were not returned.
Contact Ryan Mahan: 857-246-9756, email@example.com, Twitter.com/RyanMahanSJR.