Cubs

CSN's Top 20 Preps rankings - Week 4

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CSN's Top 20 Preps rankings - Week 4

Sunday, Sept. 18, 2011
Posted: 10:00 p.m.
By Joe Collins and Taylor Bell
CSNChicago.com

1 - Maine South (4-0)

Last Week (Ranked 1): Defeated Niles North 42-6

Next Game: Friday at New Trier, 7:30pm

QB Matt Alviti racked up another four touchdowns (three passing) in the victory. The Hawks, who enter conference action next week, will play three of their next four games on the road. Will that even matter? Maine South continues to be a football machine.

2 - Glenbard West (4-0)

Last Week (Ranked 2): Defeated Hinsdale Central 45-14
Next Game: Saturday at Oak Park-River Forest, 1:00pm

The Hilltoppers scored on seven of their first eight possessions, which included the first play from scrimmage: a 75-yard touchdown from Justice Odom to Avery Balogh. Penn State-bound defensive lineman Tommy Schutt even got in on the act, scoring on a one-yard touchdown run.

3 - Mount Carmel (4-0)

Last Week (Ranked 3): Defeated St. Joseph 62-8

Next Game: Friday vs. Brother Rice, 7:00pm at Gately Stadium

Head coach Frank Lenti becomes the states all-time winningest coach in Illinois (307), passing former Richards coach Gary Korhonen. Don Butkus threw three touchdowns as the Caravan put the game away early. Now the fun begins: back-to-back Catholic Blue showdowns with Brother Rice, then Loyola.

4 - Lincoln-Way East (4-0)

Last Week (Ranked 4): Defeated Homewood-Flossmoor 38-21

Next Game: Friday vs. Sandburg, 7:30pm

Illinois-bound wide receiver J.J. Robertson helped the Griffins carve up the Vikings defense. He had 230 yards on five receptionstwo of them went for touchdowns. LWE cant afford to coast, as a tilt against undefeated Sandburg awaits. Bolinbgrook (4-0) lurks the following week.

5 - Joliet Catholic (4-0)

Last Week (Ranked 5): Defeated St. Viator 63-3

Next Game: Saturday at Benet Academy, 7:30pm

For the second straight game, the Hilltoppers put 63 on the scoreboard. Mailn Jones and Tyler Reitz chipped in with two rushing touchdowns apiece. Ty Isaac also rushed for a touchdown and added another on a punt return. JCA is averaging 50 points per game.

6 - Glenbard North (4-0)

Last Week (Ranked 7): Defeated Glenbard East 49-0

Next Game: Friday vs. West Aurora, 7:30pm

A five-touchdown second quarter lifted the Panthers in the western suburbs Friday night. QB Brian Murphy accounted for three touchdowns, while running back Phil Jackson tallied two more. The Panthers have now shutout three straight opponents.

7 - Loyola (4-0)

Last Week (Ranked 8): Defeated Providence 32-6

Next Game: Saturday vs. Gordon Tech, 1:30pm

Quarterback Malcolm Weaver and running back William Palivos rushed for two touchdowns each as the Ramblers earn their first Catholic Blue victory. Loyola has to take care of business this week against Gordon Tech before the October 1st showdown against Mt. Carmel.
8 - Downers Grove South (4-0)

Last Week (Ranked 9): Defeated Leyden 49-0

Next Game: Friday vs. Downers Grove North, 7:30pm

Can anybody stop running back Josh Williams? he Mustang senior running back was menacing Friday night, scoring six touchdowns on 282 yards. He is averaging 12.5 yards per carry on the season. Like Glenbard North, DGS has shutout three straight opponents.
9 - Homewood-Flossmoor (3-1)

Last Week (Ranked 6): Lost To Lincoln-Way East 38-21
Next Game: Friday vs. Bolingbrook, 7:30pm

The Vikings could not overcome five turnovers, including four interceptions by quarterback Tim Williams. H-F cant stew over the loss for too long, as another ranked team (13 Bolingbrook) comes into town Friday night.

10 - Carmel (3-1)
Last Week (Ranked 10): Defeated Marian Catholic 44-20

Next Game: Friday vs. Wayzata (MN), 6:30pm at the University of Dubuque

Who needs a passing game? Not the Corsairs, who rolled up 332 yards of offense against Marian Catholicall of it on the ground. Running backs Jordan Kos and Mike Panico had 131 yards apiece.
11 - St. Rita (3-1)
Last Week (Ranked 11): Defeated Brother Rice 21-17

Next Game: Friday vs. Providence, 7:30pm

The Mustangs get a nice win on the road in the Catholic Blue, thanks in part to Charles Elmore. The senior DB intercepted a pass in the final minute to preserve the St. Rita victory. Kenny Golladay had a nice night, tallying 137 yards receiving with a touchdown.
12 - Prairie Ridge (4-0)

Last Week (Ranked 12): Defeated Dundee-Crown 55-0

Next Game: Friday vs. Crystal Lake Central, 7:15pm

Jordan Getzelman ran wild against the Chargers, scoring four touchdowns in the victory. The Wolves defense let up a mere three yards in the first half. Prairie Ridges opponents have only scored 14 points on them this season.
13 - Bolingbrook (4-0)

Last Week (Ranked 13): Defeated Joliet West 49-12

Next Game: Friday at Homewood-Flossmoor, 7:30pm

Junior quarterback Aaron Bailey accounted for five touchdowns (two passing, three rushing) as the Raiders triumphed. They face a challenge in going for 5-0, as a date with Homewood-Flossmoor awaits.

14 - Crete-Monee (4-0)

Last Week (Ranked 14): Defeated Glenbard South 64-19

Next Game: Friday at Kankakee, 6:00pm

The Warriors finally had a chance to show their home crowd why they deserve to be ranked. Quarterback Marcus Terrell threw for 317 yards and five touchdowns in C-Ms first home game of the season.
15 - Lake Zurich (3-1)

Last Week (Ranked 15): Defeated Lakes 28-0
Next Game: Friday at Mundelein, 7:30pm

Quarterback Zach Till and running back Mike Shield had two touchdowns apiece as the Bears cruised. Till went 9-12 for 168 yards and also rushed for 100 yards on 16 carries.

16 - Crystal Lake South (4-0)

Last Week (Ranked 17): Defeated Huntley 48-12

Next Game: Friday at McHenry, 7:15pm

The Gators tallied 229 yards on the ground in the first half, en route to a 42-6 lead and never looked back. Austin Fowler also threw three touchdowns. CLS cannot afford to look past McHenry to the Prairie Ridge game on September 30th.
17 - Morris (4-0)
Last Week (Ranked 18): Defeated Ottawa 34-14
Next Game: Friday at Yorkville, 7:30pm

Running back Collin Grogan and QB Austin Feeney helped guide the Redskins to their 20th straight win over Ottawa, a streak that dates back to 1973. They face a big challenge Friday night in 4-0 Yorkville.
18 - Cary-Grove (3-1)

Last Week (Ranked 19): Defeated Hampshire 35-6

Next Game: Friday at Jacobs, 7:15pm

Junior quarterback Quinn Baker came off the bench to spark the Trojans, scoring four touchdowns in the victory. Baker finished with 193 yards on 12 carries. An intriguing opponent (4-0 Jacobs) awaits.
19 - Lemont (4-0)
Last Week (Unranked): Defeated T.F. South 30-0
Next Game: Friday vs. Tinley Park, 7:00pm

Another game, another shutout. The Indians cruise past the Rebels thanks in large part to capitalizing off turnovers. Something has to give next week: Lemont has given up only six points on the season, while Tinley Park (also 4-0) is averaging over 48 points per game.

20 - Geneva (4-0)

Last Week (Unranked): Defeated Elgin 45-14
Next Game: Friday at St. Charles North, 7:30pm

Senior quarterback Matt Williams went 9 for 15 for 221 yards and three touchdowns, while running back Parker Woodworth found the end zone twice as well as Geneva gets their first taste of the Top 20.

Looming and Lurking: Brother Rice, Stevenson, Addison Trail, Antioch, Wheaton North, Naperville Central, Simeon, Streamwood, Sandburg, Marian Central, Bremen, Conant, Batavia, Glenbrook South, Oak Forest.

Willson Contreras, Jon Lester carry Cubs to eventful win in the first game of the series with Atlanta

Willson Contreras, Jon Lester carry Cubs to eventful win in the first game of the series with Atlanta

The Cubs and Braves got through roughly one inning of Stranger Things Night at Wrigley Field before Willson Contreras made the evening his own. 

The catcher went 2-4 with three RBI, and provided the most notable moment from the game: a 2nd inning solo homer that caused both benches to clear. Contreras had taken issue with a few of the called strikes earlier in the at-bat, and said something to home plate umpire John Tumpane about it. Contreras continued to make his feelings known as he left the box, drawing the ire of Braves catcher Tyler Flowers.

“To be honest, those pitches weren’t even close to the strike zone,” he said. “[Flowers] got mad because I was talking to the umpire about that, and he jumped into the conversation. 

Contreras then proceeded to shout in the direction of Atlanta’s dugout while rounding first base, and the two catchers exchanged more words as he crossed home plate. The benches quickly emptied, and after a few moments of posturing, returned to their dugouts. 

“It was a lot of emotions together,” he said after the game. “I was having a conversation with the umpire, and it ended up with [Flowers], so that’s all I can say. I just basically told him to do his job and I’ll do mine. I don’t know why he got pissed off because that’s all I said - you do your job and i’ll do mine.”

“I was kind of amused by the whole thing,” Joe Maddon added. “I don’t really know Mr. Flowers - we had a nice conversation, walked away, and it was over. It really wasn’t worth more than what happened.

The confrontation was just one of a few testy moments between these two teams. In the top of the 2nd inning, Braves third baseman Josh Donaldson was caught on cameras shushing the Cubs dugout: 

Two innings later, it was Javy Baez who returned serve by blowing the Braves a kiss after stealing second on Flowers: 

“It’s fun because they’re good,” Maddon said. “And we’re good - that’s the fun part. Monday night, at 7:05, to have that kind of attitude and atmosphere is outstanding. That’s what baseball needs.” 

On the mound, Jon Lester bounced back from a run of three straight underwhelming performances. June hasn’t been kind to Lester, as the lefty had allowed 14 runs over the last 23 IPs prior to Monday’s start, good for a 5.93 FIP. He threw 94 pitches against the Braves, lasting six innings while allowing two runs -- both unearned, though -- and striking out seven. He only threw 94 pitches, but his control (0 BB) was excellent. Lester spotted his strikeout pitch well all night, getting four of his six right-handed K’s on the low outside corner:

“I just tried to stay down there, and had the backdoor cutter to those guys,” Lester said. “We were able to kind of exploit that, and then when we felt that guys were reaching out there a little bit, I ran the cutter in on some guys too. I was just able to command both sides of the plate tonight, which is huge against an offense like that.” 

“Great job by Jon,” Maddon added, “Jon had great stuff. Coming off of [throwing 114 pitches], he’s been throwing a lot of pitches on regular rest, so I wanted to limit that tonight. He was lobbying to go back out, but I didn’t feel good about it based on the longevity of the season and we had a rested Kintzler.

“But Jon was really good, and really good against a tough lineup.”

What Olli Maatta and Calvin de Haan trades mean for future of Blackhawks defense

What Olli Maatta and Calvin de Haan trades mean for future of Blackhawks defense

After finishing 30th in goals against average (3.55) and 31st in penalty kill percentage (72.7) this past season, the Blackhawks are clearly making it a priority to patch up their defense this summer. And that's been evident with the acquisitions of defensive-minded defensemen Calvin de Haan and Olli Maatta.

But it raises some interesting questions about the future of the Blackhawks blue line.

With the de Haan and Maatta additions, the Blackhawks now have five defensemen under contract through at least the 2021-22 season: Brent Seabrook ($6.875 million cap hit), Duncan Keith ($5.538 million), de Haan ($4.55 million), Maatta ($4.083 million) and Connor Murphy ($3.85 million). That's $24.8 million tied up to five guys.

The money isn't the primary concern, though. It's the limited amount of roster spots available. The Blackhawks don't have to immediately figure out how it's going to work a year from now and beyond, but it makes you wonder how the cards may eventually be shuffled.

Let's run through the situations:

— Erik Gustafsson had a breakout season and is set to become an unrestricted free agent next summer. He's obviously not part of the five current players under contract after next season, putting the Blackhawks in a spot where they have to consider trading him or be comfortable with letting him walk for nothing if he isn't re-signed. (They could always trade his negotiating rights after next season and pull off a sign-and-trade as well, if it came to that).

And even if Gustafsson is re-signed, the Blackhawks would then have six players locked up for the 2020-21 season and on, and that's enough to submit a lineup.

— Henri Jokiharju, who was drafted No. 29 overall in 2017, is probably ready to take the next step and become an everyday player. Where does he fit into the long-term plans?

— Adam Boqvist, who was taken No. 8 overall in 2018, likely needs one more year in the OHL before making the jump to the NHL, which would put him on a timeline to become part of the Blackhawks next season. Does he occupy that sixth spot if another one isn't opened by then?

— Nicolas Beaudin, who was drafted No. 27 overall in 2018, is expected to start the upcoming season in Rockford after four years in the QMJHL but might be NHL-ready by the 2020-21 campaign.

— And then there's Ian Mitchell, who's returning to Denver for his junior season and will serve as the team's captain. He's said all along that he intends to sign with the Blackhawks once he's finished with college, but does the organization value him enough to create a spot for him when he's ready?

To make things a little more complicated, the Seattle expansion draft is set to occur in 2021 and the same rules will apply as Vegas in 2017.

The Blackhawks have the option to protect seven forwards, three defensemen and one goaltender or eight skaters and one goaltender. All players with no-movement clauses at the time of the expansion draft (and who decline to waive them) must be protected; Keith and Seabrook have a NMC. And all first- and second-year pros are exempt; Jokiharju would have to be protected.

As of this moment, the Blackhawks are likely to use the eight-skater option, but they will also have valuable forwards to protect. They're going to lose a good player one way or another, and it's probably going to come from the defensive group. All of this comes into play when weighing roster decisions for next season and beyond.

As stated above, the Blackhawks do not have to make an immediate decision on the future of their blue line corps. They can play out the 2019-20 season with the group as currently constructed. But the decisions the Blackhawks have to face next season could impact how Stan Bowman operates the rest of this summer and throughout the upcoming campaign.

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