Preps Talk

CSN Preps Power Rankings: Week 9

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CSN Preps Power Rankings: Week 9

1. Homewood-Flossmoor (8-0) (1)

Last Week: Beat Sandburg, 55-21

This Week: vs. Bolingbrook

EDGY's Take: The Vikings got out of the gates slow but finished strong in beating Sandburg. H-F's rival Bolingbrook is up next.

2. Loyola Academy (8-0) (2)

Last Week: Beat St. Rita, 56-14

This Week: vs. Mount Carmel

EDGY's Take: The Ramblers will try for a rarity this week in the CCL Blue, a rare undefeated regular season record.

3. Glenbard West (8-0) (3)

Last Week: Beat Proviso West, 42-0

This Week: @ Addison Trail

EDGY's Take: The Hitters have now won the West Suburban Silver conference title in seven of the past eight seasons.

4. Libertyville (8-0) (4)

Last Week: Beat Mundelein, 34-7

This Week: vs. Lakes

EDGY's Take: The Wildcats are all setting themselves up for a high seed in the upcoming IHSA state playoffs. 

5. Montini Catholic (8-0) (6)

Last Week: Beat Fenwick, 48-7

This Week: @ Marmion Academy

EDGY's Take: The Broncos backfield is as good as anyone's in the state this season. 

6. Naperville Central (7-1) (8)

Last Week: Beat Wheaton North, 34-14

This Week: @ Lake Park

EDGY's Take: The Redhawks better be ready this week for a hungry Lake Park team looking to secure a state playoff spot. 

7. Phillips (7-0) (7)

Last Week: Beat Solorio, 63-13

This Week: vs. Calumet Perspectives Friday @ Mandrake Park 

EDGY's Take: Whether it's 3A or 4A, the Wildcats will be considered one of the favorites to win a state title.

8. Brother Rice (7-1) (9)

Last Week: Beat Providence Catholic, 31-24

This Week: @ St. Rita

EDGY's Take: The Crusaders will look to finish off the regular season with a win this week against longtime rival St. Rita.

9. Mount Carmel (7-1) (10)

Last Week: Beat Hales Franciscan, 1-0 (forfeit)

This Week: @ Loyola Academy

EDGY's Take: The Caravan healed up after getting a forfeit win last Friday. Will Mount Carmel be rusty or ready this week?

10. Hinsdale Central  (7-1) (12)

Last Week: Beat Hinsdale South, 45-38 OT

This Week: @ Oak Park-River Forest

EDGY's Take: The Red Devils needed overtime to beat district rival Hinsdale South. This week doesn't get any easier at OPRF.

11. Oak Park-River Forest (7-1) (13)

Last Week: Beat Lyons Township, 35-7

This Week: vs. Hinsdale Central

EDGY's Take: Despite a late season rash of injuries the Huskies just keep marching forward. Beware of senior RB Antonio Cannon.

12. Lincoln-Way East (6-2) (14)

Last Week: Beat Joliet Central, 70-0

This Week: vs. Sandburg

EDGY's Take: The Griffins are starting to get standout RB Liam Morrissey back in time for the state playoffs. 

13. Joliet Catholic (7-1) (5)

Last Week: Lost to Benet Academy, 24-21

This Week: vs. Marist

EDGY's Take: JCA is also dealing with a handful of key injuries late in the season. Can the Hilltoppers defense slow down Marist?

14. Huntley (8-0) (15)

Last Week: Beat McHenry, 62-19

This Week: @ Dundee-Crown

EDGY's Take: The Red Raiders are getting a big season from QB Anthony Binetti this fall.

15. Nazareth Academy (6-2) (18)

Last Week: Beat Marist, 62-45

This Week: @ St. Viator

EDGY's Take: The Road Runners can score a bunch of points this season when needed. RB Ivory Kelly-Martin is dangerous at all times.

16. Batavia (7-1) (19)

Last Week: Beat Geneva, 24-14

This Week: @ Streamwood

EDGY's Take: Huge win over rival Geneva for the Bulldogs. QB Kyle Niemiec is an All State candidate.

17. Simeon (5-2) (17)

Last Week: Beat Taft, 1-0 (forfeit)

This Week: vs. Collins Thursday @ Gately 

EDGY's Take: The Wolverines also get a forfeit win last Friday and should be rested and ready for the post-season.

18. Neuqua Valley (6-2) (11)

Last Week: Lost to Lake Park, 28-21

This Week: vs. Glenbard North

EDGY's Take: The Wildcats will need to clean up the penalties and mistakes this week hosting Glenbard North.

19. Glenbard North (6-2) (21)

Last Week: Beat Metea Valley, 45-9

This Week: @ Neuqua Valley

EDGY's Take: The Panthers are getting a big season from RB Devion Hodges and RB Vittorio Tricase. 

20. Cary-Grove  (7-1) (22)

Last Week: Beat Dundee-Crown, 48-6

This Week: vs. Crystal Lake South

EDGY's Take: The Trojans are getting another huge season from FB Ty Pennington.

21. Lincoln-Way North (8-0) (23)

Last Week: Beat Lincoln-Way Central, 45-18

This Week: vs. Lincoln-Way West

EDGY's Take: The Phoenix will host rival Lincoln-Way West in the school's last regular season home game on Friday. How weird does that sound?

22. Notre Dame (7-1) (NR)

Last Week: Beat Marian Catholic, 50-12

This Week: vs. Carmel

EDGY's Take: QB Tyler Tsagalis is an All State candidate as well this fall for the Dons.

23. Barrington (7-1) (NR)

Last Week: Beat Fremd, 49-28

This Week: vs. Hoffman Estates

EDGY's Take: The Broncos will also get a Week 9 test against Hoffman Estates who is fighting for a state playoff spot.

24. Maine South (6-2) (NR)

Last Week: Beat Niles West, 52-21

This Week: vs. Evanston

EDGY's Take: The Hawks have now won 74 straight conference games and will get another big test this week from the Wildkits.

25. Geneva (7-1) (22)

Last Week: Lost to Batavia, 24-14

This Week: @ Larkin

EDGY's Take: The Vikings will bounce back after a tough loss to Batavia. QB Sean Chambers remains a key for the Vikings.

Beware of the Attack of the Lower Seeds

Beware of the Attack of the Lower Seeds

With the upcoming IHSA football playoff pairings announcement on Saturday night, here are some teams with modest win-loss records who opponents probably wouldn’t want to see in the early rounds of the postseason.

Loyola Academy (5-3): The Ramblers have struggled this season. But head coach John Holocek has, once again, led his team to the state playoff field. So what gives? Loyola has been inconsistent on offense and has turned the football over way too often. The team has also been dealing with various injuries. But the defense (minus a 35-3 loss to Brother Rice) has generally played well this season. If the Ramblers can clean up the turnovers and find a way to get their offense back in a rhythm, this team can undoubtedly surprise some teams along the way in Class 8A. 

Neuqua Valley (5-3): The Wildcats and head coach Bill Ellinghaus have dropped three tight games this season including a last possession, 21-14 decision to DuPage Valley Conference champion Naperville Central two weeks ago. If the Wildcats can continue to get steady production from a balanced offense, led by RB Will Cheviliar and QB John Gronowski, the defense is capable of keeping Neuqua Valley in every game this postseason.

Aurora Christian (5-3): Coach Dave Beebe’s Eagles have lost to three playoff-bound teams this season with a combined 21-3 record (IC Prep, St. Francis and Bishop McNamara). They have a potent spread-passing attack led by sophomore QB Ethan Hampton. Aurora Christian is also slated to wind up in the Class 1A bracket on pairings night. Their dynamic offense and passing game in general could be a tough matchup for opponents in, what usually is, Class 1A North bracket with teams that generally run the ball.

Barrington (5-3): The Broncos, under head coach Joe Sanchez, have also been dealing with a rash of mid-season injuries; that said, it looks like Barrington is getting healthy at the right time. Junior QB Tommy Fitzpatrick is back from injury and is a key catalyst for any Barrington postseason run. Fitzpatrick has weapons in junior WR EJ Darlington and senior RB Michael Curran. 

Lake Zurich (5-3): The Bears made a starting quarterback change last week as Jack Moses took the reins. He promptly led the Bears to a 42-0 win over Mundelein. If the Bears can limit turnovers and continue to get strong production from their offense, the L-Z defense is more than capable of making life very difficult for any higher seeds that they could draw in the 7A state playoff field. 

Edwardsville (5-3): The Tigers hit a rough patch starting the season with a 1-3 record. But they currently boast a four-game winnings streak heading into Friday night’s tilt at Collinsville. Edwardsville is led by senior QB Kendall Abdur Rahman (Notre Dame) and is a gamebreaker every time he touches the football. Sophomore RB Justin Johnson (and the team in general) possesses a ton of speed. There are athletes and playmakers on both sides of the football. 

Here are some more lower seeds who could wreak havoc:

Providence Catholic (5-3): If the Celtics can get their running game going, beware. 

Raby (5-3): The Raiders could be a handful in 4A.

St. Charles East (4-4): The Saints’ power-option game is always tough to defend. 

Joliet Catholic (4-4): IF the Hilltoppers can beat Notre Dame on Friday, they could be a very tough out in 5A.

Crystal Lake South (5-3): A huge offensive line leads the way for the Gators. 

Zion-Benton (4-4): The Zee-Bees can put as much talent on the field than most of their opponents. 

Lemont (4-4): Needs a win Friday over rival Oak Forest. If the offense can keep the chains moving, the Indians’ defense can do the rest. 

Crete-Monee (5-3): They are the Southland conference champs. Their first two losses in 2018? Lincoln-Way East (8-0) and Brother Rice (8-0).

Thornton (4-4): The Wildcats will need to upset Lincoln Way Central Friday. Thornton always has talent.

NBC Sports Chicago to air "IHSA Football Playoff Pairing Show" on October 20

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NBC Sports Chicago

NBC Sports Chicago to air "IHSA Football Playoff Pairing Show" on October 20

Bloomington, IL/Chicago, IL (October 17, 2018) -- The Illinois High School Association (IHSA) Football Playoff Pairing Show returns to NBC Sports Chicago for its eighth season in 2018. NBC Sports Chicago – THE Home of the #AuthenticFan – will air the show live on NBC Sports Chicago+ on Saturday, October 20 from 8:00 PM to 10:00 PM CT. Viewers are urged to visit NBC Sports Chicago’s “Channel Finder” page (NBCSportsChicago.com/channel-finder) for exact NBC Sports Chicago+ channel locations in their area.

The IHSA Football Playoff Pairing Show, which will reveal the brackets and first round match-ups of all 256 playoff qualifiers across eight classes, can also be viewed via Live stream beginning at 8:00 PM on Saturday at NBCSportsChicago.com/WatchLive, on Facebook Live (Facebook.com/NBCSChicago), and will also be accessible for viewing to authenticated NBC Sports Chicago subscribers via the brand new MyTeams by NBC Sports app (NOTE: MyTeams is available on iOS and Android devices, at no cost, to fans anywhere in the U.S. and can be downloaded from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store).

"The IHSA Football Playoff Pairing Show' continues to be one of the most highly-anticipated events in the state of Illinois and we couldn't be prouder to once again showcase two-straight hours of live, interactive coverage across all platforms on Saturday night," said Kevin Cross, Vice President of Content for NBC Sports Chicago.  

NBC Sports Chicago anchor Leila Rahimi hosts the show and will be joined by a panel of experts on-set, including long-time IHSA TV announcer Dave Bernhard and Illinois high school football bracketologist Steve Soucie. IHSA TV veteran Camron Smith will breakdown each class with media members from around the state, including NBC Sports Chicago prep football expert “Edgy” Tim O’Halloran. Viewers are encouraged to interact with the show and ask questions to be answered during the program by utilizing the Twitter hashtag #IHSAbrackets

The program will once again feature highlights, coaches interviews and media analysis from all over the state. In addition, NBC Sports Chicago will be gathering teams & fan reaction moments throughout the “Land of Lincoln” on Saturday from numerous school playoff pairing parties taking place that evening.

“This is one of the most anticipated nights of the year on the IHSA calendar,” said IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson. “Student-athletes, coaches and communities around the state have put their hearts into the last nine weeks, and for 256 teams, it’s an amazing chance to celebrate their accomplishments, while looking ahead to the path to the IHSA Football State Finals. We appreciate the time and effort that our partners at NBC Sports Chicago put into making this night so special.”

The IHSA Football Playoff Pairing Show kicks off NBC Sports Chicago’s playoff coverage of IHSA Football, which culminates with all eight state title games being televised and streamed by NBC Sports Chicago on Thanksgiving weekend (Nov. 23-24), live from Memorial Stadium on the University of Illinois campus in Champaign.