CSN Chicago will have cameras covering the biggest high school football games across Chicagoland on the Week 9 edition of High School Lites, Friday at 11:00 p.m. Can the surging Evanston Wildkits break Maine South’s 74 game conference winning streak? Can Bolingbrook shock the IHSA prep football world and beat No. 1 ranked Homewood-Flossmoor secure a state playoff bid? Can Elmwood Park beat St. Edward in Elgin and grab a spot at the IHSA playoff table? And who comes away with a win when Hersey travels to Rolling Meadows in a must-win playoff scenario for both teams?
Solorio at Morgan Park, 4:15 p.m. at Gately Stadium
EDGY's Take: This first round CPL Playoff game will feature two very solid teams to watch in Solorio (5-3) and Morgan Park (6-2), both of whom will make the IHSA state playoff field. Solorio has lost two of its last three games, including last week's 63-13 loss to Phillips. The Sun Warriors could definitely use a win here. Morgan Park and head coach Terry Atkin's are battle tested. Their only two losses this season came to Thornton Township (7-1) and Mount Carmel (7-1).
EDGY's Pick: Morgan Park 31, Solorio 14
Evanston at (24) Maine South, 7:00 p.m.
EDGY's Take: Maine South (6-2) and head coach Dave Inserra have bounced back well from a rough 0-2 start behind senior QB Brian Collis. He’s guided by a big and physical line led by senior OL/DL Liam O'Sullivan (Cincinnati) and junior D-1 level OG Kevin Jarvis. Evanston (6-2) also has plenty of talent behind senior QB Matt Little (Western Michigan) plus senior WR/DB Travion Banks (Miami of Ohio) and senior DL Naquan Jones (Michigan State). Can the Hawks offense keep the Wildkits defense on the field—and the Evanston offense on the sidelines?
EDGY's Pick: Maine South 35, Evanston 34
Elmwood Park at St. Edward, 7:00 p.m.
EDGY's Take: Elmwood Park (4-4) is in must-win mode to make the IHSA state playoff field. And even if the Tigers win, they will be sweating it out Saturday night due to low playoff points. Look for St. Edward (5-3) to get the ball into the hands of standout senior RB Dwayne Allen early and often. The game is also expected to be played on the new playing surface at Greg True Field, which earlier this season was ruined by a landscaping incident which became a national story. The newly sodded field was donated to the school by corporate donor.
EDGY's Pick: St. Edward 31, Elmwood Park 21
Shepard at Bremen, 7:00 p.m.
EDGY's Take: In our Viewers’ Choice Game, Shepard (4-4) and head coach Dom Passolano should get a state playoff bid with a win here against rival Bremen (1-7). The Astros will put its fate in the hands of junior QB Jack Carberry and a strong group of backs and receivers. Can the Bremen defense slow down the Astros offense this week?
EDGY's Pick: Shepard 31, Bremen 13
Wheaton Academy at Aurora Central Catholic, 7:15 p.m.
EDGY's Take: Wheaton Academy (5-3) looks to be in the state playoff field win or lose. The Warriors still want to enter the state playoffs on a positive note. Look for Wheaton Academy to get its offense in gear with QB David Thrasher. Aurora Central Catholic (3-5) and head coach John Belskis might be out of the state playoff field, but expect the Chargers to play this like a state championship game. Keep an eye on junior QB Johnny Belskis for Aurora Central Catholic. Can ACC slow down the passing attack from Wheaton Academy?
EDGY's Pick: Wheaton Academy 35, Aurora Central Catholic 21
Manteno at Wilmington, 7:15 p.m.
EDGY's Take: A terrific Week 9 Interstate Eight conference crossover here between the champions of the I-8 Large division (Manteno, 8-0) and the I-8 Small division (Wilmington, 8-0). Wilmington and head coach Jeff Reents will give the ball early and often to senior RB Nick Hawkins. Manteno is much more pass friendly this season with QB Gavin Zimbelmanand. Also, keep an eye on RB/LB Logan DuVuall for the Panthers. Last possession wins?
EDGY's Pick: Wilmington 36, Manteno 35
Hersey at Rolling Meadows, 7:30 p.m.
EDGY's Take: This Mid-Suburban East showdown just might be one of the state's most intriguing matchups on Friday night. Hersey (4-4/3-1) needs a win to get into the state playoffs. Rolling Meadows (5-3/3-1) is low on playoff points and certainly needs a win here to get in. Here’s the kicker: Wheeling (3-5/3-1) is also involved. A Hersey win, combined with a Wheeling win (they face 2-6 Elk Grove) gives Wheeling the Mid-Suburban East conference—and they would get the automatic bid for being the conference champ. A Rolling Meadows win eliminates both Wheeling and Hersey from playoff consideration. Everyone get that?
EDGY's Pick: Rolling Meadows 34, Hersey 26
West Aurora at Metea Valley, 7:30 p.m.
EDGY's Take: West Aurora (5-3) is looking to lock up its first state playoff bid since 1994. Metea Valley (3-5) is out of the state playoffs, but don't look past the battle-tested Mustangs. West Aurora has speed to burn with senior RB/S Drake Spears (Illinois), junior RB/DB DeQuan Cross and his twin brother junior DB/RB DaVion Cross. Metea Valley will get the ball in to the hands of senior RB Maurice Burkely as much as possible.
EDGY's Pick: West Aurora 29, Metea Valley 28 (OT)
Bolingbrook at (1) Homewood-Flossmoor, 7:30 p.m.
EDGY's Take: Bolingbrook (4-4) wasn't expected to be in a must-win situation this week but here they are. The Raiders will need to get a big performance from senior LB/TE Tuf Borland (Ohio State) and an offense that has been prone to turning the ball over. H-F (8-0) needed a quarter to kick things into gear last week. After trailing 13-0 to Sandburg last Friday, the Vikings never looked back and beat the Eagles 55-21. Can the Raiders’ offense finish drives and not turn the football over against the Vikings’ speedy defense?
EDGY's Pick: Homewood-Flossmoor 38, Bolingbrook 14
Brother Rice at St. Rita, 7:30 p.m.
EDGY's Take: Brother Rice (7-1) and head coach Brian Badke have been on a roll ever since a Week 3 loss to Loyola. The Crusaders offense is paced by QB Cam Miller and a very strong group of offensive skills group, including junior WR Ricky Smalling. St. Rita (3-5) will miss the IHSA state playoffs for only the second time since 1999. Can the Mustangs defense contain the spread passing attack from the Crusaders?
EDGY's Pick: Brother Rice 38, St. Rita 14