Preps Talk

Class 4A state final preview: Phillips vs. Belleville Althoff

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Class 4A state final preview: Phillips vs. Belleville Althoff

What: Class 4A state championship game

Who: Phillips (13-0) vs. Belleville Althoff (13-0)

When: 7 p.m., Friday on CSN+, Live streaming on CSNChicago.com and NBC Live Extra app

Edgy's Take: Phillips, coached by Troy McAllister, is attempting to win the first ever IHSA state football title for the Chicago Public League. The Wildcats want to establish the running game with senior QB Quayvon Skanes (UConn) and junior RB Kamari Moseby (2,246 yards rushing, 18 touchdowns), yet Phillips also is more than capable of the play action passing game when needed. Althoff has been explosive on offense all season long behind QB Jordan Augustine (3,509 yards passing, 40 touchdowns) and a speedy group of backs and receivers. Can Phillips run the ball against the Althoff defense? Can Althoff ‘out-quick’ one of Chicago's quickest teams? 

Key matchup: Phillips’ defensive line against the Althoff offensive line

EDGY's pick: Phillips 41, Althoff 27

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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 

NBC Sports Chicago's 100 Days to Kickoff

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USA Today

NBC Sports Chicago's 100 Days to Kickoff

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.

In case you missed any of our previews, here is our rundown:

100. De La Salle

99. Crystal Lake South

98. Eisenhower

97. Back of the Yards

96. Jacobs

95. Waubonsie Valley

94. Kaneland

93. West Aurora

93 Days to Kickoff: West Aurora

93 Days to Kickoff: West Aurora

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: West Aurora

Head coach: Nate Eimer

Assistant coaches: Tony Melchiori, DC Bob Fowler, DL Patrick Stremel, LB Charlie Graves, DB Mike Runge, OL Joe Howell, RB Ron Murphy and QB Alex Shaw

How they fared in 2017: 7-3 (4-1 Upstate Eight Valley Conference). West Aurora made the IHSA Class 8A playoff field last season. The Blackhawks lost to Naperville Central 35-14 in opening round action.

2018 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 24 @ Larkin

Aug. 31 @ West Chicago

Sept. 7 vs Streamwood

Sept. 14 @ Glenbard East

Sept. 21 vs Bartlett

Sept. 28 vs Glenbard South

Oct. 5 @ Elgin

Oct. 12 vs East Aurora

Oct. 19 vs South Elgin

[MORE: 94 Days to Kickoff - Kaneland]

Biggest storyline: Game 11. Can the Blackhawks get back to the IHSA state playoffs for the fourth straight season and then advance past the opening round?

Names to watch this season: QB Will Tammaru, RB/DB JaQuan Buchanan and DT Denver Warren

Biggest holes to fill: The Blackhawks welcome back an impressive 17 starters (nine offense, eight defense) to the mix. However, the group will be a bit inexperienced in some spots on both the offensive and defensive line.  

EDGY's Early Take: The Blackhawks' turnaround under head coach Nate Eimer and staff has been a terrific story to follow. That said, the bar for West Aurora football has also been raised. No longer are they satisfied by just "getting" to state. The Blackhawks welcome back a deep group on both sides of the football led by a potentially high powered, balanced offense. On paper, this team has the makings of being one of the better Blackhawks teams in their history. They will challenge for the Upstate Eight conference title and get another shot at the Class 8A playoff field.