Preps Talk

Class 8A state final preview: Loyola vs. Marist


Class 8A state final preview: Loyola vs. Marist

What: Class 8A state championship game

Who: Loyola (13-0) vs. Marist (9-4)

When: 7 p.m., Saturday on CSN, Live streaming on and NBC Live Extra app

Edgy's Take: Loyola Academy had some special teams issues in the semifinals and needed to hang on for dear life in beating Palatine, 24-22. Loyola will look to senior quarterback Emmett Clifford (2,353 yards passing 32 touchdowns) and a defense that has allowed just 123 points in 13 games this season. Marist was able to run the football and ball control behind senior quarterback Brendan Skalitzky's arm and legs (4,596 total yards of offense, 47 touchdowns) in beating Waubonsie Valley, 31-16. Can Marist move the ball and finish off drives with points against the vaunted Loyola defense? Can Loyola's offense keep the Marist defense on the field and the Redhawks offense on the sidelines? 

Key matchup: Skalitzky's pass and run ability against the Loyola defense

EDGY's pick: Loyola Academy 36, Marist 21


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+, 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 a.m. with the 1A championship between Arcola and Stark County, and wraps up Saturday night with the 8A tilt between Loyola and Marist. A complete recap of the weekend’s championship action, including the Chicago Prep Bowl, can be seen at 11 p.m. Saturday night on High School Lites, hosted by Luke Stuckmeyer. Our schedule of live coverage is as follows:


10 a.m. — 1A: Toulon (Stark County) vs. Arcola, CSN

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

4 p.m. — 3A: Bishop McNamara vs. Tolono, CSN & CSN+

7 p.m. — 4A: Phillips vs. Belleville (Althoff), CSN+


10 a.m.  5A: Nazareth Academy vs. Lincoln-Way West, CSN

1 p.m.  6A: Montini vs. Crete-Montee, CSN

4 p.m.  7A: Glenbard West vs. Libertyville, CSN 

7 p.m.  8A: Loyola vs. Marist, CSN 

96 Days to Kickoff: Jacobs

96 Days to Kickoff: Jacobs 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: Jacobs

Head coach: Bill Mitz

Assistant coaches: Bubba Smith, Mike Warren, Brian Zimmerman, JM Foote, Ryan Arndt and Bob Mackey

How they fared in 2017: 6-4 (5-3 Fox Valley Conference). Jacobs made the Class 7A playoff field. The Golden Eagles lost to Lincoln-Way West in opening round action. 

2018 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 24 Hampshire 

Aug. 31 @ Huntley 

Sept. 7 Dundee-Crown 

Sept. 14 @ McHenry 

Sept. 21 Neuqua Valley 

Sept. 28 Prairie Ridge 

Oct. 5 @ Cary-Grove 

Oct. 12 Crystal Lake South 

Oct. 19 @ Crystal Lake Central

Biggest storyline: Can the Golden Eagles move up in the Fox Valley Conference pecking order in 2018?

Names to watch this season: OT Joacheim Price and OL Nick Zonta

Biggest holes to fill: The Golden Eagles will need to replace its entire starting linebacker group from a season ago.

EDGY's Early Take: Year in and year out, Jacobs is always a factor in the rugged Fox Valley Conference (seven playoff appearances in the last eight years). The Golden Eagles return some starters in several key spots. If the underclassmen group can step up this summer, look for Jacobs to challenge for the FVC conference title and a higher seed in 7A come IHSA playoff time. 

97 Days to Kickoff: Back of the Yards

97 Days to Kickoff: Back of the Yards 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 @NBCSPreps Top 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 24.

School: Back of the Yards

Head coach: Sheamus Murphy

Assistant Coaches: Will Johnson, Marty McNamara, Tim McNamara and Nick Teich

How they fared in 2017: 8-2 (6-0 CPL Great Lakes Conference). Back of the Yards made the Class 5A state playoff field. They lost to Solorio in opening round action. 

2018 Regular Season Schedule:

Week 1: @ Kelly

Week 2: vs. Goode

Week 3: @ Brooks

Week 4: vs. Schurz

Week 5: vs. Kenwood

Week 6: vs. North Lawndale

Week 7: @ Steinmetz

Week 8: vs. Payton Prep

Week 9: @ Clark

Biggest storyline: The Bobcats were a true feel-good story last season. Can the Bobcats build on its momentum and success going into the 2018 campaign?

Names to watch this season: OL/Dl Kevin Pacheco, WR/DB Carl McNickles, OL Armando Resendiz

Biggest holes to fill: The Bobcats bring back several returning starters from last season; however, can they find a new signal caller to replace the graduation loss of 2017 standout QB Jeremiah Harris (McKendree College)? 

EDGY's Early Take: One of the top stories from the 2017 season was the rise of this young program. The Bobcats made the IHSA state playoff field in just their third season of varsity football. As for 2018? The expectations have risen for this South Side school. A move to the CPL Illini Prairie State conference ramps up the overall competition level. If the Bobcats can find a steady signal caller, they have solid chance at competing for a potential IHSA state playoff spot come October.