After a record-setting turnout, the Interstate Eight Large Division match-up between Manteno (5-1) and Coal City (6-0) held off a pair of battles between unbeaten teams.
A total of 9,064 votes made the Coalers and Panthers this week's host for the NBC 5 "Prep Destination of the Week" segment, which means our NBC 5 News Today Cameras will be at Coal City High School bright and early Friday morning.
The record total for one match up edged out the Glenbard West-Addison Trail game while Prairie Ridge-Jacobs came in third place.
A total of 21,523 people voted on our NBC 5 News Today poll, the most ever in a single week for the segment.
Two months into the season, there have been nearly 90,000 votes cast this fall in choosing a weekly prep destination. This is the first appearance for both Manteno and Coal City in the segment's 3-year history.
Friday night's winner on the gridiron is in the drivers seat for the Interstate Eight Large Division crown. The Panthers can set a school record for victories and clinch first ever back-to-back playoff appearances with a win Friday night.
The Coalers look to return to the playoffs after a rare absence in 2010. Coal City has only missed the postseason twice since 1987 and can push for its first unbeaten season in 4 years, but they'll have to elude Manteno, a decade old football program still looking for its signature win.
NBC 5 News Today will broadcast live from Coal City starting at 5:45 a.m.
Coalers and Panthers, bring your signs, wear your school colors and show us your spirit, as we hope to showcase your community pride all throughout Chicagoland.