Preps

Viewers' Choice: Vote for High School Lites game coverage

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Viewers' Choice: Vote for High School Lites game coverage

Who wants it more?

We are putting High School Lites, Chicagoland's top prep sports show, in the hands of area football fans in our "Viewers' Choice Game of the Week." Fans will get the chance to pick one game that the NBC Sports Chicago (@NBCSPreps) crew will cover on Friday night. We will send our cameras to the game that gets the most votes; highlights of that game will appear on that night's "High School Lites" broadcast at 11 p.m. The show also live streams at NBCSportsChicago.com/watchlive. High School Lites will also have broadcast replays at 6:30 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. the following Saturday. This week, it's all about Bubble Watch. All of the featured games below include teams who are fighting to get on the right side of the playoff bubble. Which game is the most worthy for our cameras?

Evergreen Park at Tinley Park, 7:00 p.m.

Woodstock at Richmond-Burton, 7:00 p.m.

Elmwood Park at Aurora Central Catholic, 7:00 p.m.

Poll opens Monday at 12 p.m. and closes Thursday at 4 p.m. Here is what fans need to do to vote:

— Follow @NBCSPreps on Twitter.
— Note the "pinned Tweet" atop the @NBCSPreps feed. Vote for the game you want us to cover.
— Spread the word! 

We will make an announcement on @NBCSPreps just after 4 p.m. Thursday with the official results of which game will be covered. And as a reminder, be sure to follow @NBCSPreps for updates on the "Viewers' Choice Game of the week," along with other high school sports news, scores and highlights this season.

2017 AP preps football rankings: Week 7

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2017 AP preps football rankings: Week 7

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: Naperville North 10, Hinsdale Central 7, Gurnee Warren 4, Stevenson 2, Oswego 2, St. Charles East 2, South Elgin 2, Oswego East 1

Class 7A

Others receiving votes: Hoffman Estates 18, Willowbrook 5, Jacobs 4, Benet 4, Rockford Auburn 3, Lincoln Park 2, Hersey 1

Class 6A

Others receiving votes: Lemont 17, Danville 8, St. Laurence 5, Oak Lawn Richards 4, Riverside-Brookfield 4, Peoria Central 2

Class 5A

Others receiving votes: Triad 9, Rich Central 5, Payton 4, Chicago (Solorio Academy) 2, Rochelle 1, Lindblom 1

Class 4A

Others receiving votes: Raby 15, Taylorville 10, Chicago Sullivan 1

Class 3A

Others receiving votes: Anna-Jonesboro 10, Fairfield 9, Wilmington 4, Sesser (S.-Valier) 3, Vandalia 2, Watseka Coop 1

Class 2A

Others receiving votes: Chicago (Hope) Academy 8, Trenton Wesclin 5, Aurora Christian 2, Alton Marquette 1, Clifton Central 1

Class 1A

Others receiving votes: Fulton 21, Aquin 11, Princeville 5, Camp Point Central 3, Dakota 2, Argenta-Oreana 1

Dream on? Some fantasy-like HS matchups could become a reality

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Dream on? Some fantasy-like HS matchups could become a reality

With two more weeks left until the IHSA state playoffs, here are some fun dream matchups to consider.  I would love to see some of these happen-- and in some cases, a few of these actually have a chance to occur.

Homewood-Flossmoor vs East St. Louis: The 8A Vikings, coached by Craig Buzea, have a ton of playmakers. They feature a speedster in NIU-bond senior RB Justin Hall; plus, their speed and athleticism on both sides of the football is eye-catching. As for East St Louis, the Flyers (Class 7A) also have a ton of talent and speed including senior dual-threat QB Christian Perez and a big, very physical offensive line. This would be an excellent back-and-forth game-- a possible 'last possession wins' type of finish.

Marist vs Lincoln-Way East: Both 8A schools could very well see each other on the IHSA playoff road. Coach Rob Zvonar's Griffins feature one of the state's top defensive lines, built around senior Northwestern commit Devin O'Rourke. They also have a strong running game and good overall depth. Marist, under first-year head coach Ron Dawczak, also boasts a fantastic defensive line led by Indiana commit DE Gavin McCabe and Minnesota pledge Elijah Teague. The Redhawks' offense can beat you with the run and the pass. QB Mike Markett, RB Delonte Harrell and a ton of quality receivers are helping Marist rack up nearly 45 points per game. I'd pay to see these two teams compete in any postseason playoff round.

Barrington vs Huntley: It's another matchup that could potentially happen in 8A this postseason. How much fun would it be to see both do-it-all quarterbacks (Barrington's Ray Niro and Huntley's Eric Mooney) battle each other for four quarters?

[MORE: Edgy Tim's Week 8 Power Rankings]

Maine South vs a Rochester/Sacred Heart-Griffin CO-OP team: Since 4A perennial power Rochester and 5A-sized Sacred Heart-Griffin are both smaller than Maine South (from an enrollment standpoint) I'd allow a CO-OP for both schools here. How wild would a combined Leonard Family-led team be? Maine South has great balance on offense with QB John O'Sullivan, NIU commit RB Fotis Kokosioulis and a ton of quality receivers. Team Leonard's offense would undoubtedly be equal to the task. 

Glenbard West vs Loyola: Sort of like Godzilla meets Godzilla? Both Loyola (8A) and Glenbard West (8A/7A bubble team) pride themselves on defense first, but both are pretty diverse on offense as well. How cool would this be: two of the top overall programs in Illinois over the past decade going head to head? We can only hope. 

Lake Zurich vs Prairie Ridge: It's the unstoppable force (6A's Prairie Ridge offense with QB Samson Evans) against the immovable object (The 7A Lake Zurich defense). The matchup between the Bears' offense, which has opened up considerably under first year head coach Luke Mertens, against the Wolves' speedy and hard-hitting defense could potentially be just as impressive. 

Phillips vs Peoria: Peoria (4-3), the defending 5A state champs, seem headed to 6A. Of course, they would have to qualify for the state playoff field first. Phillips, the 3A/4A-sized school voluntarily moved up to 5A for the next two seasons. How would the Wildcats defense contain Peoria's offense, led by Illinois commit QB Coran Taylor and company?