Preps Talk

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)
 

2017 AP preps football rankings: Week 8

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USA TODAY

2017 AP preps football rankings: Week 8

Here are the latest rankings of Illinois high school football teams in each class, according to an Associated Press panel of sportswriters:

Class 8A

Others receiving votes: Oswego 3, South Elgin 3, St. Charles East 1, Stevenson 1, Minooka 1

Class 7A

Others receiving votes: Hoffman Estates 9, Lincoln Park 3, Rockford Auburn 3, Hersey 2, Willowbrook 2

Class 6A

Others receiving votes: Providence 12, Danville 9, Peoria Central 5, Oak Lawn Richards 2, Montini 2, Riverside-Brookfield 1

Class 5A

Others receiving votes: Rich Central 9, Payton 5, Lindblom 4, Morton 4, Rochelle 2, Chicago (Solorio Academy) 2

Class 4A

Others receiving votes: Rock Island Alleman 9, Coal City 3, Chicago Sullivan 2, Genoa-Kingston 1

Class 3A

Others receiving votes: Wilmington 9, Fairfield 6, Sesser (S.-Valier) 5, Elmwood-Brimfield 1

Class 2A

Others receiving votes: Chicago (Hope) Academy 8, Clifton Central 5, Alton Marquette 3, Fieldcrest 2

Class 1A

Others receiving votes: Stockton 6, Camp Point Central 5, Dakota 5, Fulton 3, Argenta-Oreana 3

Five teams you can't overlook come IHSA playoff time

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Five teams you can't overlook come IHSA playoff time

With the IHSA Football Playoff Pairing Show just days away, here are five teams that you need to keep in mind when the brackets are announced. They could cause big matchup problems once the postseason begins. You can catch show live this Saturday night starting at 8 p.m. on NBC Sports Chicago+ with live streaming at nbcsportschicago.com/IHSAPairingShow and via the NBC Sports app.

Class 8A

Edwardsville: The Tigers (5-3) got off to a rough start and lost their first three games, including an opening week stunner, 53-49, to Naperville North. It was a game that the Tigers led 42-0 in the second quarter. However, coach Matt Martin and company are riding high with a five-game winning streak. They feature an explosive offense led by junior QB Kendall Abdur-Rahman and a deep group of backs. Keep an eye on freshman RB Justin Johnson. 

Naperville North: The afforementioned Huskies (5-3) have lost two of their last three games but don't be fooled. Naperville North can trade offensive punches with everyone in the 8A field behind QB Drake Davis, WR Nick Calcagno and a deep group of receivers. Senior LB Ryan Marrano leads the Huskie defense. The team has marquee wins over Edwardsville, Wheaton North, Lake Park and Naperville Central.

Class 7A

Mount Carmel: The Caravan (5-3) will wind up starting the state playoffs on the road.  And trust me: every opponent will not be excited to see this tradition-heavy program come to town. Mount Carmel will look towards its running game with QB Alek Thomas (a TCU baseball and football commit) along with a big offensive line led by senior Jeremy Cooper (Cincinnati). 

[MORE: Edgy Tim's Week 9 Power Rankings]

Class 6A

Providence Catholic: The Celtics (5-3) are coming off a tough Week 8 loss to Loyola. Don't let the three losses fool you. The combined record of the three teams Providence lost to is 22-3. Keep an eye on senior RB Deshon Gavin (WIU commit), a big and physical offensive line and a strong group on defense. Providence has won five of its last six games.

Class 5A

Rochelle: It is the last season for Hubs' veteran head coach Kevin Crandall. Rochelle (5-3) will look to run the football early and often. They also have a fast, physical defensive unit. Rochelle's three losses this season come to the likes of Sterling (8-0), Morris (7-1) and Johnsburg (8-0) and this team will be a tough out for every opponent in 5A. Rochelle is 157-95 under Crandall, including three 12-win seasons.