Preps Talk

Class 3A state final preview: Bishop McNamara vs. Tolono Unity

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Class 3A state final preview: Bishop McNamara vs. Tolono Unity

What: Class 3A state championship game

Who: Bishop McNamara (12-1) vs. Tolono Unity (10-3)

When: 4 p.m., Friday on CSN, CSN+, Live streaming on CSNChicago.com and NBC Live Extra app

Edgy's Take: Bishop McNamara and Hall of Fame head coach Rich Zinanni (333-127 over 41 seasons) is looking to capture the school's fifth state title, and their first since 1998. The Fighting Irish bring a pretty balanced offense to the table, led by senior RB Jonathon Ware (Central Michigan) along with senior QB Kobe Shutter (1.335 yards passing 20 touchdowns). Their defense is led by senior LB/FB Jerrico Johnson. Tolono Unity and head coach Scott Hamilton is also very familiar to the IHSA state final as the Rockets have placed second in state four times (2000/2005/2009 and 2012). Unity is balanced on offense, led by senior QB Steven Migut (2,806 combined yards of offense, 35 TD), RB Chandler Cousins (1,356 yards rushing, 24 TD) and WR Skyler Shepard (39 catches, 532 yards, 3 TD). Can the Bishop Mac offense get another big game from Jonathon Ware? Can Unity move the football against the Fighting Irish defense?

Key matchup: Bishop Mac’s offensive line against the Unity defensive line

EDGY's pick: Bishop McNamara 31, Unity 21

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CSN Chicago is the home for IHSA state championship football this weekend. Every title game from DeKalb can be seen live on CSN or CSN+, csnchicago.com/ihsa and the NBC Live Extra App. Please visit our Channel Finder for the exact channel location in your area. Coverage kicks off Friday morning at 10:00 with the 1A championship between Arcola and Stark County, and wraps up Saturday night with the 8A tilt with Loyola and Marist. A complete recap of the weekend’s championship action, including the Chicago Prep Bowl, can be seen at 11:00 Saturday night on High School Lites, hosted by Luke Stuckmeyer. Our schedule of live coverage is as follows:

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 27

10:00am— 1A: Toulon (Stark County) vs. Arcola, CSN

1:00pm— 2A: Downs (Tri-Valley) vs. Auburn, CSN 

4:00pm— 3A: Bishop McNamara vs. Tolono, CSN & CSN+

7:00pm— 4A: Phillips vs. Belleville (Althoff), CSN+

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 28

10:00am – 5A: Nazareth Academy vs. Lincoln-Way West, CSN

1:00pm –  6A: Montini vs. Crete-Montee, CSN

4:00pm –  7A: Glenbard West vs. Libertyville, CSN 

7:00pm –  8A: Loyola vs. Marist, CSN 

67 Days to Kickoff: Hillcrest

67 Days to Kickoff: Hillcrest

NBCSportsChicago.com preps reporter "Edgy" Tim O’Halloran spotlights 100 high school football teams in 100 days. The first 75 team profiles will focus on teams making strides across Chicagoland and elsewhere in the state. Starting July 30, we’ll unveil the @NBCSPrepsTop 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 24.

School: Hillcrest

Head coach: Morgan Weaver

Assistant coaches:  Mike Young, Kyran Weaver, Rob Hancock, Ryan Keen, Nicholas Schultz, Tramaine Weaver, Phillip Burkett and Langdon Mattox

How they fared in 2017: 9-3 (5-1 South Suburban Blue Conference). Hillcrest made the Class 5A state football playoff field. The Hawks defeated Peoria and Glenwood then lost to Dunlap in the quarterfinal round.

2018 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 24 vs Rich Central

Sept. 1 @ Rich South

Sept 7 @ Shepard

Sept. 14 vs Oak Forest

Sept. 21 vs Lemont

Sept. 28 @ Tinley Park

Oct. 5 @ T.F. South

Oct. 12 @ T.F. North

Oct. 19 vs Bremen

[MORE: 79 Days to Kickoff - Crete-Monee]

Biggest storyline: Consistency. After two straight postseason berths, can the Hawks reload and get back into the IHSA playoff field once again this fall?

Names to watch this season: WR Corey Crooms (Western Michigan) and DE Cam Mattox (NIU)

Biggest holes to fill: The Hawks welcome back 11 returning starters (six offense, five defense); hoewever, they will need to reload on the offensive line and at linebacker. 

EDGY's Early Take: Head coach Morgan Weaver was able to get the Hawks into the state playoffs in his first season. What can they do as an encore? Hillcrest has the potential to be a real threat in 5A. Keep an eye on a strong and experienced group of receivers and backs led by senior Corey Crooms (Western Michigan). They also boast a defense that features an experienced secondary and a ton of speed. 

68 Days to Kickoff: Oswego East

68 Days to Kickoff: Oswego East

NBCSportsChicago.com preps reporter "Edgy" Tim O’Halloran spotlights 100 high school football teams in 100 days. The first 75 team profiles will focus on teams making strides across Chicagoland and elsewhere in the state. Starting July 30, we’ll unveil the @NBCSPrepsTop 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 24.

School: Oswego East

Head coach: Tyson LeBlanc

Assistant coaches: Dan Dunbar, Andy Brogan, Jeremy Main, Erik Aister, Dru Filkins, Connor Downs, Zac Sadek, Reggie Cribbs and Mike Harden

How they fared in 2017: 7-3 (7-2 Southwest Prairie Conference). Oswego East made the Class 8A state football playoff field. The Wolves lost to St. Charles East in opening round action.

2018 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 24 vs Plainfield East

Aug. 31 @ Joliet West

Sept. 7 vs Romeoville

Sept. 14 vs Joliet Central

Sept. 21 @ Plainfield South

Sept. 28 @ Plainfield North

Oct. 5 vs Oswego

Oct. 12 vs Plainfield Central

Oct. 19 vs Minooka

[MORE: 73 Days to Kickoff - Joliet Central]

Biggest storyline: Can the Wolves get out of the rugged Southwest Prairie conference and make a run in the IHSA state playoffs?

Names to watch this season: ATH Justin Clark and WR Kieon Battle

Biggest holes to fill: The Wolves will need to replace their entire starting defensive line from a season ago.

EDGY's Early Take: Oswego East head coach Tyson LeBlanc is shooting to make the IHSA playoff field and the fourth straight year in 2018. He has a 36-24 record since coming over from Curie High School back in 2012. Oswego East will rely on a strong group of returning offensive skills led by D-1 recruit Justin Clark, who can --and will-- play multiple positions this season for the Wolves.