Illinois High School / NFL Rematch
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Illinois High School / NFL Rematch

Philadelphia (Veterans Stadium) - Ever have a hard time convincing your out of state friends (or anybody from Texas) that Illinois has some of the best high school football in the country? Just have them tune into the Philadelphia Eagles/ Tampa Bay Buccaneers game on Sunday.

That game will feature three of Illinois high schools top Gridiron Graduates on the same field eleven years after they played against each other in high school.

For the eight to ten thousand people who attend the first matchup at Chicago's Gateley Stadium on the south side, they may never forget. While the Bucs & Eagles didn't play an exhibition game on the south side, three of their star athletes did give an exhibition of their own as the 1990 4A State ChampJoliet (Catholic)beat 1990 5A State ChampChicago (Mt. Carmel)in a thrilling come from behind double overtime game, 37-31 in week #1 of the 1991 season.


In what could easily be argued as one of the greatest games played in Illinois high school in the 1990's, little did anyone know, but that game held in store a glimpse of three of the NFL's top players. On the field that evening were Mike Alstott, fullback forJoliet (Catholic), Simeon Rice, at defensive tackle forChicago (Mt. Carmel)& a sophomore Donovan McNabb as a backup QB forChicago (Mt. Carmel).

All three would go on to separate colleges and were drafted by separate NFL teams. Rice's signing with the Buccaneers in 2001 would put him on the same team with Alstott and making the Eagles Bucs game week 18 of 2001 their first time on the same field since '91. Although this game won't be the first or even second time the three have been on the same field again (they played again in the first round of the playoff in 2001) it's still promises to be a great game and good ammo to use against loud mouth braggers from other states.

By Vincent Johnson
































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