Preps Talk

Edgy Tim's Top 25 Preps Power Rankings: Playoffs/Second Round

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NBC Sports Chicago

Edgy Tim's Top 25 Preps Power Rankings: Playoffs/Second Round

Here are the latest @NBCSPreps Top 25 Power Rankings as teams embark on the IHSA quarterfinals.

1. Lincoln-Way East 11-0 (1)
Last Week: Beat Notre Dame, 23-13
This Week: vs Homewood-Flossmoor
EDGY's Take: The Griffins get to host Southwest Suburban rival H-F for the second time this year. East won the weather-postponed Week 5 game 28-14.

2. Mount Carmel 11-0 (2)
Last Week: Beat Glenbard North, 34-14
This Week: vs Phillips
EDGY's Take: The Chicago Bowl is lurking. The Caravan will look to take care of business against their Public League foes on Saturday.

3. Nazareth Academy 11-0 (3)
Last Week: Beat Thornton, 49-21
This Week: vs Batavia
EDGY's Take: Huge game for Derrick Strongs against Thornton. The Roadrunners now square off against Bataiva, a team they beat in last year's 7A semifinals 47-28.

4. Warren Township 11-0 (4)
Last Week: Beat Fremd, 31-6
This Week: @ Bolingbrook
EDGY's Take: The Blue Devils' offense has kicked things into a higher gear in the postseason. On 'D, they've only given up 34 points all year.

5. Homewood-Flossmoor 10-1 (5)
Last Week: Beat Neuqua Valley, 38-22
This Week: @ Lincoln-Way East
EDGY's Take: And now, the rematch. Can the Vikings win on the road at Lincoln-Way East on Saturday?

6. Loyola 8-3 (8)
Last Week: Beat Glenbard West, 28-27
This Week: vs Marist
EDGY's Take: The Ramblers simply refused to quit. A healthy Vaughn Pemberton helped matters. The Ramblers needed a power runner to bost the offense and he has certainly stepped up.

7. Minooka 11-0 (9)
Last Week: Beat Edwardsville, 34-17
This Week: @ Brother Rice
EDGY's Take: The Indians looked strong against Edwardsville; winning at Brother Rice in the quarterfinals will be a tall task.

8. Bolingbrook 8-3 (10)
Last Week: Beat Oswego, 31-30 2-OT
This Week: vs Warren Township
EDGY's Take: The Raiders get another big performance from RB Antonio King. His TD in the second overtime helped secure the win.

9. Glenbard West 10-1 (6)
Last Week: Lost to Loyola, 28-27
This Week: Season Completed
EDGY's Take: The Hilltoppers gave Loyola everything they could handle on Saturday and simply fell short.

10. Neuqua Valley 9-2 (7)
Last Week: Lost to H-F, 38-22
This Week: Season Completed
EDGY's Take: The H-F power running game/offense kept the Wildcats' offensive playmakers on the sideline.

11. Batavia 9-2 (11)
Last Week: Beat Hononegah, 48-0
This Week: @ Nazareth Academy
EDGY's Take: The Bulldogs now look to get a win on the road. Can they figure out a way to get the Batavia Water Tower to LaGrange Park?

12. Hillcrest 10-1 (12)
Last Week: Beat Fenwick, 28-7
This Week: vs St Rita
EDGY's Take: All of Hawks Nation is wondering just how injured RB Mar'Kiese Irving was in Saturday's win over Fenwick.

13. Willowbrook 10-1 (14)
Last Week: Beat Yorkville, 33-24
This Week: @ Lake Zurich
EDGY's Take: The Warriors will make their fourth straight quarterfinal appearance. Should be a great game against Lake Zurich.

14. Prairie Ridge 10-1 (17)
Last Week: Beat Simeon, 49-0
This Week: vs Cary Grove
EDGY's Take: Well...well...well. Look at who the Wolves face next: Fox Valley Conference rival Cary-Grove. 

15. Rolling Meadows 11-0 (18)
Last Week: Beat Prospect, 26-14
This Week: @ Wheaton South
EDGY's Take: The Mustangs get the rematch win over Prospect. Chris Divito carried 22 times for 155 yards and three touchdowns.

16. St. Rita 8-3 (21)
Last Week: Beat Sterling, 32-0
This Week: @ Hillcrest
EDGY's Take: The Mustangs get a huge road win against a previously-undefeated Sterling team to advance. Rita will stay on the road this week (at Hillcrest).

17. Brother Rice 7-4 (NR)
Last Week: Beat South Elgin, 25-7
This Week: vs Minooka
EDGY's Take: South Elgin's defense was the story going on, but Brother Rice's defense earned the spotlight in this one.

18. Marist 7-4 (NR)
Last Week: Beat Huntley, 14-7
This Week: @ Loyola Academy
EDGY's Take: The Redhawks, who beat the Ramblers in Week 9 to get into the state playoff field, now get to take on Loyola in Wilmette for the second time in a month.

19. Huntley 9-2 (15)
Last Week: Lost to Marist, 14-7
This Week: Season Completed
EDGY's Take: The Red Raiders went toe-to-toe with heavyweight Marist for four quarters on Saturday.

20. Maine South 7-3 (13)
Last Week: Season Completed
This Week: Season Completed
EDGY's Take: Season Completed 

21. Phillips 9-1 (NR)
Last Week: Beat Normal Community, 20-0
This Week: @ Mount Carmel
EDGY's Take: The Wildcats have been eyeing a big-time playoff game against the Caravan ever since moving "up" to Class 7A. They will get their wish.

22. Wheaton South 8-3 (NR)
Last Week: Beat Downers Grove North, 28-7
This Week: vs Rolling Meadows
EDGY's Take: The Tigers have now made back-to-back quarterfinal appearances after three straight two-win seasons.
  
23. Providence Catholic 8-3 (NR)
Last Week: Beat Crete-Monee, 61-37
This Week: vs Glenwood
EDGY's Take: The Celtics get a huge showing from the offense, led by sophomore RB Aaron Vaughn Jr. He ran for 366 yards and four touchdowns in the win.

24. Fremd 8-3 (20)
Last Week: Lost to Warren Township, 31-6
This Week: Season Completed
EDGY's Take: The Vikings just couldn't get the offense on track against one of the state's top defenses.

25. Notre Dame 8-3 (22)
Last Week: Lost to Lincoln Way East, 23-13
This Week: Season Completed
EDGY's Take: The Don wrap up a very strong 2019 season and will look to QB Anthony Sayles to led the way in 2020.

Top five under the radar teams to watch in 2020

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NBC Sports Chicago

Top five under the radar teams to watch in 2020

There are several teams that finished with losing records this past season; they will undoubtedly be flying under the radar come August.  Who are the top 5 teams who could surprise IHSA football fans next fall?

St. Charles North (4-5): It was a tough 2019 season for the North Stars both on and off the field. The school administration and head coach Ron Pomazak had to deal with the serious brain injury to sophomore RB Aidan Carlson-- an issue which impacted the entire community. St. Charles North still has talent in the program including several starters on the offensive line, namely junior OL/DL Carmine Bastone and junior OT Ian Erickson. They are on the rise along with junior ATH Jordan Nubi, the younger brother of former North Star and current Minnesota Gopher safety Tyler Nubin. 

Naperville Central (4-5): The Redhawks had a ton of hype in the preseason, then the reality of a brutal schedule set in. Naperville Central ended up losing three games to eventual state champions (Lincoln-Way East, Ohio’s Pickerington Central and East St. Louis). They lost another two games to teams with a combined record of 17-4. The 2020 Redhawks will still have one of the state's most dangerous athletes in QB Sam Jackson (Minnesota) along with a deep group of talented young receivers led by junior Keon Green and sophomore Reggie Fluerima.

Stevenson (4-5): The Patriots missed the IHSA state football playoff field for the first time since 1988. Can postseason football come back to Lincolnshire? Stevenson head coach Brent Becker will need to replace a very big senior class; however, this remains one of the top programs year in and year out in Illinois. Don't look for Stevenson to be down for very long.

Lockport (4-5): Easily one of the better stories of 2019. Former longtime Porter assistant coach George Czart was given the reins of this program in the offseason. Czart was also the head coach at Lincoln-Way North and led the Phoenix to a 54-29 record in eight seasons before the district closed the school. The Porters have numbers in the program; Czart’s staff did an outstanding job of getting everyone to buy in and the program became competitive as a result. The overall talent level is still a work in progress but the ingredients are in the building. They have the potential of becoming an eventual monster to watch in the Southwest suburbs.

Oak Park-River Forest (4-5): The Huskies, under head coach John Hoerster, wound up posting a losing record—a rarity for this Western Suburban Silver program. But outside of a 42-0 Week 9 loss to Glenbard West, OPRK was in every game last season. Several of the Huskies top players in 2019 will be back in 2020, led by QB/S Jaden McGill, LB Naahlyee Bryant and junior OL/DL Amarion Jones.

VOTE: Wintrust Viewers' Choice Game of the Week

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NBC Sports Chicago

VOTE: Wintrust Viewers' Choice Game of the Week

Who wants it more?              

NBC Sports Chicago and Wintrust present our “Viewers’ Choice Game of the Week.” We are putting High School Lites, Chicagoland’s top prep sports show, in the hands of passionate high school basketball followers. Fans will get the chance to pick one game that the @NBCSPreps crew will cover on Friday night. We will send our cameras to the game that gets the most votes; highlights and postgame reaction of that game will appear on that night’s “High School Lites” broadcast at 11:00 p.m. The show also live streams at www.nbcsportschicago.com/watchlive and appears in the MyTeams app.  High School Lites will also have broadcast replays at 7:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. the following Saturday on NBC Sports Chicago. 

This week, we're going to get a taste of the Chicago Public League/White division. Which game should we attend for High School Lites?

Mather at Foreman, 5:00 p.m.

Jones at Wells, 5:00 p.m.

Perspectives-MSA at Raby, 6:30 p.m.

To participate, our fans are encouraged to do the following:

**Follow our NBC Sports Chicago preps Twitter page: @NBCSPreps.

**Note the pinned tweet that is atop the feed.

**Vote for the game you want NBC Sports Chicago to cover Friday night.

**Spread the word!

The poll will start promptly at 12:00 p.m. Monday. We will make an announcement with the official results on @NBCSPreps just after 4 p.m. Thursday. And as a reminder, be sure to follow @NBCSPreps for updates on the “Viewers’ Choice Game of the Week,” along with other high school sports news, scores and highlights, all season long.