Preps Talk

Edgy Tim Tale of the Tape: St. Charles East vs. Palatine

Edgy Tim Tale of the Tape: St. Charles East vs. Palatine

Matchup: No. 6 St. Charles East (11-0) at No. 3 Palatine (11-0), Saturday, 5 p.m.

Where to watch: Live broadcast on CSN and a live stream available on CSNChicago.com and the NBC Sports app

Overview: This Class 8A quarterfinal showdown on Saturday evening is shaping up to be a tight battle between two very strong teams. St. Charles East head coach William Farquhar has a team that took its lumps in 2015. But the Saints now have experience. Their biggest wins came in Weeks 4 and 5, beating rival St. Charles North, 28-21, then defending Upstate 8 River champion Batavia, 28-7. Palatine, led by head coach Rick Splitt, was expected to make a deep run this season after leading the Pirates to the Class 8A semifinal round in 2015, a 24-22 loss to eventual state champion Loyola Academy. The Pirates suffered a huge loss in their opening-round, 34-0 win over Niles Notre Dame, as senior quarterback Zach Oles was lost for the remainder of the playoffs with a shoulder injury. The Pirates have carried on behind a strong running game and defense. Junior backup quarterback D.J. Angelaccio played well in last week's 20-17 win over Lyons Township.

When St. Charles East has the football: The Saints want to run the football early and often with their power-option game. Senior quarterback Zach Mitchell has been a key for the Saints. He is a true threat with his reads in the option along with his running and passing ability. The Saints also have a nice group of skill position players including junior wide receiver Nick Garlisch, sophomore athlete Clayton Isbell and sophomore running back Justin Jett. East features a very good offensive line and senior offensive/defensive lineman Max Schumann is a name to watch on both sides of the football.

When Palatine has the football: The Pirates will also get it started with a shotgun run/pass read option offense. Palatine has a strong group of offensive skills that allow them to spread the wealth — and the football — with both the run and the pass. Angelaccio takes over for the injured Oles. The Pirates will also look towards senior running back Joshua Turner for yards. They also boast a big and physical group of receivers including juniors Jack Orlando and Johnny O'Shea along with senior Cornelius Cortland.

Key matchups to watch: The Palatine defense against the St. Charles East running game. The Saints won't try to fool anyone on offense. They want to establish their triple-option game and control time of possession. The Pirates defense has been a real strength all season long, and they have terrific overall team speed. The more possessions the Palatine defense can give back to the offense, the better.

Impact player for St. Charles East: Mitchell. Quite simply, he brings a lot to the table in the Saints offense. He has good patience, makes good reads in the option game, and he’s an overall strong runner and passer. East’s offense has several options and weapons — and it all starts with Mitchell on every play.

Impact player for Palatine: Angelaccio. It can't be easy being pushed into this position after serving as a backup to Oles, but that's exactly the position Angelaccio finds himself in this week. If Angelaccio can just relax and get the ball into the hands of the multiple threats surrounding him in the Pirates offense, his team should be fine.

So who wins? Palatine 17, St. Charles East 14 (OT). This should be a close, tight game that could come down to the last possession.

65 Days to Kickoff: Elmwood Park

65 Days to Kickoff: Elmwood Park

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: Elmwood Park

Head coach: Dylan Mack

Assistant coaches: Gabe Ostrander, Tim Eberhard, Mario Fiorito, Chad Nardi, Joe Kraft and Dwayne French

How they fared in 2017: 6-4 (4-1 Metro Suburban Red Conference), Elmwood Park made the Class 4A state football playoff field. The Tigers lost to Genoa-Kingston in opening round action. 

2018 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 24 vs St. Joseph

Sept. 1 vs Foreman

Sept. 7 vs Ridgewood

Sept. 14 @ St. Edward

Sept. 21 @ Fenton

Sept. 28 vs Leo

Oct. 5 @ Guerin Prep

Oct. 12 vs Chicago Christian

Oct. 19 vs Bishop McNamara

[MORE: 82 Days to Kickoff - Ridgewood]

Biggest storyline: An encore performance. Can the Tigers make back-to-back playoff appearances this season?

Names to watch this season: FB/DE Luciano Martino and WR/DB Kris Diallo

Biggest holes to fill: The Tigers will need to replace eight graduated starters on defense this fall.

EDGY's Early Take: Elmwood Park head coach Dylan Mack is looking to keep the winning momentum found last season going into 2018. The Tigers will rely on an experienced offense with eight returning starters back in the fold and if the defense can gel sooner rather than later, look for Elmwood Park to once again challenge for another state playoff bid this fall. 

66 Days to Kickoff: Rich Central

66 Days to Kickoff: Rich Central

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: Rich Central

Head coach: Terrell Alexander

Assistant Coaches: Quincy Woods (OC), Vince Brown (OL), Art Schuldt (ST), Les Hampton (DB), Jerrell Bibbs (DB), Steve Henley (DC), Jeff Spikner (WR), Derrick Goard (LB) William Pass (DL) Chuch Robinson (Skills), Guy Smith (RB) and Shawn Mitchell (Skills)

How they fared in 2017: 8-3 (4-1 Southland Conference). Rich Central made the Class 5A state football playoff field. The Olympians defeated Marion then lost to Dunlap in second round.

2018 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 24 @ Hillcrest

Sept. 1 vs Lemont

Sept. 7 @ Kaneland

Sept. 14 vs Rich South

Sept. 21 @ Crete-Monee

Sept. 28 vs Rich East

Oct. 5 vs Kankakee

Oct. 12 vs Bloom Township

Oct. 19 vs Christ the King

[MORE: 67 Days to Kickoff: Hillcrest]

Biggest storyline: The Olympians have reached the IHSA playoffs three consecutive seasons-- the first such streak in Rich Central history. Can they stay on a winning track and make a deeper playoff run this fall?

Names to watch this season: WR/S Mehki Miller (Miami of Ohio) and RB Sean Tyler (Western Michigan)

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

EDGY's Early Take: Rich Central and head coach Terrell Alexander has brought winning and stability to the Olympians football program.  The 2018 team has some firepower back in the aforementioned Miller and Tyler; however, the development of their underclassmen group this summer will determine just how far this team will go. The ingredients look to be there for another IHSA state playoff caliber team.