Edgy Tim

A look at all the conference races heating up in high school football

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A look at all the conference races heating up in high school football

Several conference races are starting to heat up. Here are some that you should keep an eye on as we get closer to IHSA state playoffs.

Central Suburban North

Maine West (5-1, 2-0) has been a great story so far, but the Central Suburban North is far from decided. Both Deerfield (3-3, 2-0) and Highland Park (3-3, 2-0) all have a very strong shots, and the winner this Friday between those two will get a leg up. Maine West finishes the regular season at Highland Park and playing host to Deerfield. Maine West also is in need of a sixth win with a pretty low playoff point total (21 playoff points) heading into games this weekend.

Central Suburban South

Maine South (5-1, 2-0) plays host to Glenbrook South (5-1, 2-0) this Friday in Park Ridge, and the winner will take a nice lead for the conference title. Defending conference champ New Trier (4-2, 2-0) is still very much in the picture. The Trevians finish the regular season in Week 8 playing host to Maine South then travel to Glenbrook South in Week 9.

Chicago Catholic League Blue

Loyola (5-1, 2-0) and Providence Catholic (4-2, 2-0) have a lead and square off in Week 9 in New Lenox.

Chicago Catholic League Green

Marmion Academy (5-1, 2-1) just lost in Week 6 to Fenwick (4-2, 1-1). Montini Catholic (4-2, 2-1) lost to Marmion back in Week 5. DeLaSalle (5-1, 1-1) just lost to Montini last Friday. So what does it all mean? It means the Green is still way up for grabs.

Chicago Catholic League White

Both Aurora Christian (4-2, 1-0) and St. Laurence (4-2, 1-0) are in the lead and square off in Week 8 in Aurora.

DuPage Valley

Naperville Central (5-1, 5-0) leads, but keep an eye on Wheaton North (5-1, 4-1) and Neuqua Valley (5-1, 4-1). Several teams, including Naperville North (4-2, 3-2) and Lake Park (3-3, 3-2), could also be factors.

East Suburban Catholic Conference

Marist (6-0, 4-0) plays host to Nazareth Academy (6-0, 4-0) Friday, and the winner will take a big step toward a conference crown. Notre Dame (5-1, 3-1), Benet Academy (4-2, 3-1) and St. Viator (4-2, 3-1) still have a shot at the conference title, as well.

Metro Suburban Blue

Immaculate Conception (5-1, 2-0) and Glenbard South (4-2, 2-0) square off in Week 8 in Elmhurst. Riverside-Brookfield (5-1, 1-1) still has a shot but lost to IC last Friday.

Mid Suburban East

Buffalo Grove (6-0, 2-0), Hersey (5-1, 2-0) and Rolling Meadows (5-1, 2-0) all enter this week on a roll, and the next two weeks will provide answers, including this Friday with Buffalo Grove playing at Hersey.

Mid Suburban West

Barrington (6-0, 2-0) plays host to Hoffman Estates (6-0, 2-0) on Saturday in Barrington, and the winner will have a very good shot at the conference crown. Palatine (3-3, 1-1) still has an outside shot, but the Pirates' loss to Barrington last Thursday didn't help.

North Suburban

Lake Zurich (6-0, 2-0) plays Stevenson (5-1, 2-0) on Friday in Lincolnshire. Warren Township (4-2, 1-1) still has a shot but will need some help, meaning rooting for Stevenson to beat Lake Zurich this Friday.

Northern Lake County

Antioch (6-0, 4-0) travels to Lakes (6-0, 4-0) in a huge conference showdown. North Chicago (5-1, 3-1) is still very much in the picture, and the Warhawks close out the 2017 season Week 8 at Antioch then Week 9 playing host to Lakes.

South Suburban Blue

Lemont (5-1, 3-0) has a lead thanks to its Week 3 win over Hillcrest (5-1, 3-1).

South Suburban Red

Richards (4-2, 3-0) has the lead and already has wins over Shepard (5-1, 3-1) and Eisenhower (5-1, 2-1). Eisenhower plays host to Shepard in Week 8.

Southwest Prairie

When all the dust settles, Oswego (5-1) looks to be in the driver's seat once again with wins already over Minooka (5-1) and Oswego East (5-1).

Southwest Suburban Blue

Lincoln-Way East (6-0, 4-0) will be hard to beat, already with wins over Andrew (5-1, 4-1), Lincoln-Way Central (5-1, 4-1) and Homewood-Flossmoor (5-1, 4-1). The Griffins' biggest test will come in Week 9, when they take on Bolingbrook (5-1, 3-1) in Bolingbrook.

Upstate 8 River

Batavia (6-0, 4-0) has the lead, but a Week 9 showdown with St. Charles North (5-1, 3-0) could wind up being a dandy.

West Suburban Gold

Willowbrook (5-1, 3-0) has a leg up on Hinsdale South (4-2, 3-1), who the Warriors beat back in Week 5. Downers Grove South (3-3, 3-1) could potentially play spoiler, however, with a Week 9 win over Willowbrook.

West Suburban Silver

Hinsdale Central (5-1, 4-0) faces Glenbard West (5-1, 3-0) on Saturday at Duchon Field in Glen Ellyn in a huge conference game. Lyons Township (5-1, 2-1) also has an outside shot for a conference title but needs some help.

High School Lites Week 6 football capsules and picks

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High School Lites Week 6 football capsules and picks

CSN Chicago will have cameras covering the biggest high school football games across Chicagoland on the Week 6 edition of High School Lites, Friday at 11 p.m. Can Morris beat DeKalb at home in one of the top Northern Illinois Big 12 East Conference showdowns of the season? Can H-F find a way to dent the Lincoln-Way East defense this week and dethrone the top-ranked Griffins? Can Glenbard West slow down Lyons Township and QB Ben Bryant in a huge West Suburban Silver showdown? Can Loyola travel well and beat St. Rita on the South Side in another big CCL Blue match up?  Watch the show on CSN or live stream at csnchicago.com/watchlive.

No. 2 Prairie Ridge at McHenry, 7 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Prairie Ridge (5-0), coached by Chris Schremp, has continued to roll this season behind Iowa commit QB Samson Evans. He’s averaging nearly 10 yards per carry running the Wolves’ option attack. McHenry (2-3) was a state playoff team last season but the Warriors will need to play inspired football this week to avoid their fourth loss on the season. Can the McHenry defense find a way to derail the Wolves’ power running game? 

EDGY's Pick: Prairie Ridge 45, McHenry 21

No. 25  DeKalb at Morris, 7:15 p.m. #SendEDGY

EDGY's Take: Both DeKalb (5-0/2-0) and Morris (5-0/1-0) will square off this week in what is shaping up to be the conference championship game in the Northern Illinois Big 12 East. DeKalb and head coach Matt Weckler will look to the running game, led by RB Jaylin Hobson. The Barbs’ defense is also very strong. Morris and head coach Alan Thorson also wants to establish its running game with RB Kameron Dransfeldt and RB Austin Hatcher. The Redskins are also getting a nice season from QB Mitchell Mayberry. Can the Morris defense slow down the Barbs’ running game? Can the DeKalb defense slow down the Redskins’ running game? Last possession wins?

EDGY's Pick: DeKalb 35, Morris 34 (OT)

No. 1 Lincoln-Way East at No. 7 Homewood-Flossmoor, 7:30 p.m.

EDGY's Take:  Lincoln-Way East (5-0/3-0) withstood a poor first half and defeated rival Lincoln-Way Central 28-14 last week thanks to the running game of senior QB Brendan Morrissey and sophomore WR/RB AJ Henning. The Griffins will also rely on their defensive line, led by Northwestern commit Devin O'Rourke. H-F (5-0/3-0) has rolled so far this season behind an explosive offense. It is centered around senior RB Justin Hall (NIU), but sophomore QB Dominick Jones has also developed into yet another key weapon this fall for the Vikings. Can the Lincoln-Way East defense contain H-F’s speed and weapons on offense? Can the Vikings defense take away the Griffins running game?

EDGY's Pick: Lincoln-Way East 28, H-F 27

No. 19 Batavia at Geneva, 7:30 p.m.

EDGY's Take: This game is one of the state's oldest and best rivalry games. Batavia (5-0/3-0) and head coach Dennis Piron feature QB Riley Cooper and a Bulldogs defense that's been lights out all season. That includes last week's 7-0 win over St. Charles East. Geneva (3-2/2-1), coached by Rob Wicinski, is dealing with a rash of injuries this week and will need to reshuffle the deck in several key spots. Can Geneva find some offense this week against the Batavia defense? 

EDGY's Pick: Batavia 27, Geneva 10

No. 10 Loyola at No. 17 St. Rita, 7:30 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Loyola (4-1/1-0) has been impressive since its Week 1 loss to Phillips. The Ramblers will look to senior QB Quinn Boyle and the always-tough Loyola defense. St. Rita (4-1/1-1) was able to get its offense going last Friday over Mount Carmel. Senior QB Jake Zlyman and senior RB Chris Childers (Indiana State) have been keys for the Mustangs. Can St. Rita slow down the Loyola offense and Boyle? Can the Loyola defense limit the St. Rita offense and slow down the running game?

EDGY's Pick: Loyola 21, St. Rita 14

No. 20 Glenbard West at No. 9 Lyons Township, 7:30 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Glenbard West coach Chad Hetlet adjusted some defensive personnel after the Hilltoppers’ opening week loss to Maine South. The results? Big improvements. Their offense has also played well. Key contributors include QB Alex Hollensbe, RB Dre Thomas, RB Ryan Diver and WR Alec Pierce. Lyons Township (5-0/2-0) and head coach Kurt Weinberg will rely on QB Ben Bryant (Cincinnati) plus a strong core of backs and receivers and a veteran offensive line. Can the Lyons defense slow down the Glenbard West offense? Can the Glenbard West defense contain the passing attack from L-T? 

EDGY's Pick: Lyons Township 27, Glenbard West 24

VIEWERS' CHOICE: Oak Lawn at Shepard, 7 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Oak Lawn (3-2/1-1), coached by Nick Novak, has gotten a nice season so far from junior RB Nick Puente along with senior OL/DL Patrick Michaels. Coach Dom Passolano’s Shepard Astros (4-1/2-1) are loaded with speed, highlighted by junior QB Marquel Porter, junior WR Rishard Blake and senior WR Nieko Carter. Can Oak Lawn's defense contain Shepard's speedy offensive skills department? Can the Spartans offense run the football and win time of possession?

EDGY's Pick: Shepard 34, Oak Lawn 21

High Five: Edgy Tim's biggest undefeated surprises

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High Five: Edgy Tim's biggest undefeated surprises

With Week Six of the IHSA football season on the horizon, here are several teams having eye-opening performances thus far in 2017:

Marmion Academy (5-0): The Cadets and head coach Dan Thorpe are on a roll this fall, topped off by last week's big 28-27 win over Montini Catholic. Senior QB Brandon McPherson is a two sport standout (football/baseball) and the unquestioned team leader.  Marmion Academy will have its hands full for the remainder of the regular season, with the likes of Fenwick, St. Laurence, De La Salle and St. Rita looming on the schedule. That said, the Cadets have a very good chance at earning a higher seed in the 6A state playoff field. 

Oswego East (5-0): The Wolves graduated several key players from last year's playoff team, which included RB Ivory Kelly-Martin (Iowa) and QB Jaylon Banks (EIU). But head coach Tyson LeBlanc and staff have reloaded quite well this season. Junior QB/S Justin Clark just added his first offer recently from NIU. Illinois commit senior WR/DB Antwain Walker is another key contributor for the Wolves, who travel to rival Oswego (4-1) Friday night.

Buffalo Grove (5-0): The Bison, coached by Jeff Vik, had cautiously-high hopes entering 2017 with 11 starters back from last season's team. Buffalo Grove has received big seasons so far from junior RB/LB Tom Trieb and junior QB Connor Adams.  Buffalo Grove will have a few big tests remaining in Hersey (4-1) and Rolling Meadows (4-1). This is another team that is on pace for a higher seed in Class 7A. 

Eisenhower (5-0): The Cardinals have been able to post a few solid wins so far, but last Friday's 23-16 win at Oak Forest was undoubtedly the eye-opening victory. Coach Travis Moore and company still have South Suburban Red foes to deal with down the stretch. They will face Richards (3-2) on Friday and Shepard (4-1) in Week 8. Could the Cardinals be thinking conference title? 

Johnsburg (5-0): The Skyhawks, who made it to the 2016 4A state title game, also needed to reload the roster going into this season. They graduated 15 starters, 10 of which on offense. Senior Adam Jayko, who played defensive back and kicked last season, is having an All-State season at quarterback so far for head coach Dan DeBouef. 

[MORE: Preps Power Rankings, Week 6]

IHSA state playoff qualifiers from last season who have already been eliminated (0-5 teams) or are on the verge of being eliminated (1-4 teams) from the 2017 IHSA state playoff field:

Fremd (0-5)

Thornwood (0-5)

Vernon Hills (1-4)

Brother Rice (1-4)

Wheeling (1-4)

Bradley (1-4)