NBC Sports Chicago will have cameras covering the biggest high school football games across Chicagoland on the season premiere of High School Lites, Friday at 11:00 p.m. The newly-realigned and expanded Southwest Prairie conference gets off to a quick start as Plainfield South travels to take on newcomer West Aurora. 19th-ranked Barrington travels to take on #8 Warren Township in Gurnee. Can the Blue Devils beat the Broncos for the first time ever? Can Antioch’s high octane offense, led by junior QB Athan Kaliakmanis (Minnesota), put a dent into a talent-heavy Lake Forest Scouts defense led by DE Rylie Mills (Notre Dame)? And can #6 ranked Naperville Central live up to its lofty preseason ranking and beat #21 ranked Hinsdale Central on the road?
Lyons Township at New Trier 7:00 p.m.
EDGY's Take: Lyons Township and first-year head coach Dan Hartman are looking to start the season off on a positive note as the Lions will look to get a road win. The Trevians are also in a bit of a reload mode. But having one of the top offensive linemen in the Midwest in junior OT David Davidkov (6-foot-7, 270 pounds), plus two talented playmakers in senior WR Charlie Hoban and senior WR Sean McNeely, helps their cause.
EDGY's Pick: New Trier 17 Lyons Township 7
Plainfield South at West Aurora 7:00 p.m.
EDGY's Take: West Aurora makes its debut in the Southwest Prairie West conference. The Blackhawks have a ton of speed and playmakers on both sides of the football. Senior QB Will Tammaru is a three-year varsity starter while senior DE Matt Johnson (NIU) leads a strong defensive line. Plainfield South and head coach Bill Bicker will rely on an experienced offense, energized by a power run game led by senior RB Niko Schutz and a big offensive line. The Cougars defense was a strength in 2018 but welcomes back just three returning starters. Ball control and avoiding big turnovers are keys for both teams in this opener.
EDGY's Pick: West Aurora 27 Plainfield South 16
Proviso West at Bolingbrook 7:00 p.m.
EDGY's Take: Bolingbrook will break in its brand new black and red turf field on Friday night. The Raiders have a nice balance of experience and talent on both sides of the football. Senior QB Devyn Suggs (Yale) is a catalyst, along with a big and experienced offensive line anchored by senior OT John Williams (Cincinnati). Also, look for senior TE Trevor Borland (Buffalo) and senior WR Antonio King as weapons in Suggs’ arsenal. It’s a new era in Hillside as Proviso West as Scottie Ware takes the reins as head coach. He’ll look to improve on the Panthers 1-8 record a season ago.
EDGY's Pick: Bolingbrook 34 Proviso West 6
Crete-Monee at Rich Central 7:00 p.m.
EDGY's Take: Crete-Monee head coach John Konecki will be leading his players in search of their 13th consecutive Southland conference title this season. The Warriors will rely on senior QB Trayvon Rudolph and a deep and speedy group in the offensive skills department. That list included senior RB Kavon Jones and senior WR Eric Morgan. Rich Central and head coach Terrell Alexander will look to get back into the state playoff field this season. The challenge for the Olympians will be reloading in some key spots after some heavy graduation losses this past spring.
EDGY's Pick: Crete-Monee 35 Rich Central 14
(19) Barrington at (8) Warren Township 7:30 p.m. #SendEDGY Game of the Week
EDGY's Take: Both Barrignton and Warren Township have high expectations this coming season. Barrington head coach Joe Sanchez welcomes back some key playmakers from a year ago. Senior QB Tommy Fitzpatrick, WR EJ Darlington and senior DE Lukas VanNess (Iowa) are several key players ready to make waves. Warren Township’s defense, under the guidance of head coach Bryan McNulty was one of the top units in Chicagoland in 2018. Like Barrington, the Blue Devils also return some key names including senior DT Willis Singleton Jr. (Iowa State) and senior LB Juan Delacruz. Warren’s offense will look to junior QB Phil Hird to lead the offense. He started in 2018 as a sophomore along with an experienced offensive line, led by senior Jaiden Lowery. Can Warren's offense generate more points in 2019? Can the Barrington offense dent a very strong Warren defense? Expect a very physical and exceptionally hard hitting game here.
EDGY's Pick: Warren Township 20 Barrington 14
Antioch at Lake Forest 7:30 p.m.
EDGY's Take: Antioch is looking to build off of their 6A playoff run in 2018, and having two FBS-level juniors in QB Athan Kaliakmanis (Minnesota) and his brother junior WR Dino Kaliakmanis (Minnesota) sure helps their cause. Coach Brian Glashagel’s crew also features senior WR/S Treshawn Watson, another key component . Lake Forest and veteran head coach Chuck Spagnoli also has his share of major D-1 names back. Be sure to check out senior four-star ranked DE Rylie Mills (Notre Dame) and junior LB Mac Uihlein— who's already added a handful of Power Five scholarship offers. Can the Sequoits get its offense rolling against the Lake Forest defense? What can Lake Forest’s offense do against the Antioch defense?
EDGY's Pick: Antioch 35 Lake Forest 34
Wheaton Warrenville South at Metea Valley 7:30 p.m.
EDGY's Take: Hall of Fame head coach Ron Muhitch looks for another strong Tigers football season after making it to the 2018 Class 7A state quarterfinal round. WWS went through a bit of a reloading phase this summer but will rely on senior RB Jacob Arthurs and one of the state's top kickers in senior Jack Olsen (Michigan State). First year head coach John Parpet has brought excitement to the Metea Valley program this summer. Keep an eye on senior Mustangs CJ Wilcox (RB) along senior TE/DE Austin Frederick.
EDGY's Pick: Wheaton South 27 Metea Valley 13
Providence Catholic at Willowbrook 7:30 p.m.
EDGY's Take: One of the most interesting opening week matchups. Celtics head coach Mark Coglianese welcomes back an experienced team, led by junior QB Kevin Conway, sophomore RB Aaron Vaughn and a big, experienced offensive line led by senior Jake Renfro (Cincinnati). Willowbrook head coach Nick Hildreth has taken the Warriors to the Class 7A state quarterfinal round in the past three seasons. The Warriors will rely heavily on senior QB Sam Tumilty. He’s a big threat with the run and the pass. Can Willowbrook match up on both sides of the line for four quarters against Providence Catholic?
EDGY's Pick: Providence Catholic 28 Willowbrook 21
Benet Academy at Naperville North 7:30 p.m.
EDGY's Take: This old-school rivalry game is back. Benet and Naperville North, two West suburban schools in close proximity, will share a field once again after a few decades without a regular season matchup. Benet head coach Pat New will rely on senior QB Colin Gillespie and senior DL Jacob Snell (Miami OH) as the Redwings enter their first season in the newly-realigned CCL/ESCC Orange conference. Naperville North and head coach Sean Drendel are looking to reload a bit. They will feature senior WR Matt Maschmeier along with four returning starters back on the defensive side of the football. Can the Naperville North defense slow down the Benet offense?
EDGY's Pick: Benet Academy 21 Naperville North 20
(6) Naperville Central at (21) Hinsdale Central 7:30 p.m.
EDGY's Take: Naperville Central graduated some key names from a season ago, but sophomore QB Sam Jackson (Minnesota) who played wide receiver in 2018, has a ton of potential under center. Jackson has a key weapon in senior four star-ranked WR Jadon Thompson (Illinois), who transferred in this summer along with sophomore WR Reggie Fluerima. The Redhawks now have one of Chicagoland's most explosive offenses. Hinsdale Central first year head coach Brian Griffin takes over the reins of the program after seeing former head coach Dan Hartman leave for the Lyons Township job. The Red Devils have headlines of their own, including senior Kiran Amegadjie (Yale), senior DB Owen Goss (Colgate) and senior WR Braden Contreras. What can Hinsdale Central Show in the offensive skills department? Can Naperville Central hold its own on the offensive line?
EDGY's Pick: Naperville Central 28 Hinsdale Central 21
(24) Joliet Catholic at St. Rita 7:30 p.m., Viewers Choice Game of the Week
EDGY's Take: Joliet Catholic coach Jake Jaworski and company are coming off a state title season. They will also bring experience back in the offensive skills department. Senior RB Kenyetta Williams, senior TE/DL Mac O'Connell and senior WR Izaiah Murphy are a few of the many headliners. The biggest question for the Hilltoppers is can the offensive line gel quickly with just one senior —OL Conor Kovas— back from a season ago? St. Rita had a rough start last year. But the Mustangs found another gear late in 2018 and wound up winning the Chicago Prep Bowl. The Mustangs are stacked with underclassmen talent, including sophomore RB Kaleb Brown and junior WR Henry Wilson Jr. The offensive line welcomes back three returning starters, led by senior Trevor Tovey. He returns after a mid-season injury last fall. Can the Hilltoppers win on the road against the Mustangs?
EDGY's Pick: St. Rita 24 Joliet Catholic 21