Preps Talk

High School Lites Preview: IHSA Playoffs Round 2

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High School Lites Preview: IHSA Playoffs Round 2

CSN Chicago will have cameras covering the biggest IHSA second round football playoff games across Chicagoland on High School Lites, Saturday at 11:00 p.m. In Class 8A, can Loyola Academy get payback against Stevenson, who eliminated the Ramblers at the same playoff stage last year? Can Waubonsie Valley beat Neuqua Valley in one of the state's best rivalry games? In 7A, can Mount Carmel upset Glenbard West on the shores of Lake Ellyn? In 6A, can Richards upset Lincoln-Way North in Oak Lawn in the last meeting between these two rivals? Catch highlights from games in 8A through 3A on this Saturday IHSA playoff edition of High School Lites.

Friday’s Viewers’ Choice Game, Class 7A: 

Geneva (9-1) at Bradley-Bourbonnais (7-3), 7:30pm

EDGY's Take: Geneva and head coach Rob Wicinski will rely on senior QB Sean Chambers (Princeton) and a strong running game led by senior RB Justin Taormina. Bradley and head coach Mike Kohl got a huge win on the road last week over Glenbrook North, 60-59, in 2 OT. Bradley will give the football to junior RB Camron Harrell early and often here. Can the Bradley defense slow down a Geneva offense that has been strong all year? Can Geneva win on the road at Bradley, where the Boilermakers have been known to pull off a few playoff upsets over the years?

EDGY's Pick: Geneva 37, Bradley 20

 

Saturday’s Schedule:

Class 8A: 

#16 Stevenson (7-3) at #1 Loyola (10-0), 12:00pm

EDGY's Take: This is a rematch from a year ago when Stevenson eliminated Loyola Academy 24-21 en route to the 8A championship. The Patriots will rely on senior QB Jack Sorenson (Miami of Ohio), along with a deep group of offensive skill players including RB/DB Tyler Vincent. Loyola Academy has been strong all season long on both sides of the football. Senior QB Emmett Clifford runs the Ramblers no huddle shotgun spread offense, and their skill players provide a tough matchup for the opposition. But the Ramblers defense remains its calling card. Senior DT Ben Leroy (NIU) is just one of several impact players. Can the Patriots defense slow down the Ramblers offense here?

EDGY's Pick: Loyola Academy 41, Stevenson 14

[MORE: Recruiting fallout from Minnesota situation

#9 New Trier (9-1) at #8 Homewood-Flossmoor (9-1), 7:00pm

EDGY's Take: New Trier and head coach Brian Doll will hit the road and try to slow down one of the state's most explosive offenses in Homewood-Flossmoor. The Trevians will rely on junior QB Clay Czyzynski along with a solid group of skill players including junior WR Eric Nicholas and senior RB Max Rosenthal. H-F counters with senior QB Bryce Gray along with the Harley-Hampton twins, senior RB/LB Devonte and senior RB Deante. Senior WR/S Kendric Pryor (Wisconsin) is also a key in all three phases for the Vikings this season. Can New Trier slow down the Vikings? Can the Vikings defense get the football back from the Trevians offense?

EDGY's Pick: HF 38, New Trier 17 

 

#15 Oswego (8-2) at #2 Huntley (10-0), 2:00pm

EDGY's Take: Oswego will be the second straight Southwest Prairie opponent for Huntley. Oswego and head coach Brian Cooney features a D-1 quarterback recruit in senior Steven Frank; however, the Panthers always look to establish the running game as their top priority. Huntley, coached by John Hart, was able to outmuscle Minooka in last week's 49-7 romp as the Red Raiders ran for nearly 300 yards in the win. Keep an eye on senior QB Anthony Binetti and sophomore RB Eric Mooney. Huntley’s defensive line is also a strength. Can Oswego outmuscle the Red Raiders on both sides of the line? Can Huntley avoid turnovers and win time of possession? 

EDGY's Pick: Huntley 28, Oswego 27

 

#30 Waubonsie Valley (6-4) at #19 Neuqua Valley (7-3), 6:00pm

EDGY's Take: Waubonsie Valley pulled off an impressive, 20-17, OT win last Saturday at Edwardsville to advance. The Warriors are guided by senior RB Max Ihry, QB Jack Connolly and a defense that has been consistently strong all season. Neuqua Valley also played well in beating Hinsdale Central, 29-26, last Saturday night to advance. The Wildcats have big play potential all over the field. Junior WR/S Isaiah Robertson had a big game back in the 28-7 win over the Warriors back in Week 3. Can the Wildcats get the big plays again in this rematch? I expect a very close game here.

EDGY's Pick: Neuqua Valley 21, Waubonsie Valley 14 

 

Class 7A: 

#16 Mt. Carmel (8-2) at #1 Glenbard West (10-0), 1:00pm

EDGY's Take: This could wind up being one of the top games in the entire state this weekend. Mount Carmel and head coach Frank Lenti looked like a state title contender in last week's 42-15 win over Glenbard North. The Caravan ran the ball effectively and senior QB Anthony Thompson (NIU) is a key. Head coach Chad Hetlet’s Glenbard West squad features one of the state's top players in senior RB Sam Brodner (Vanderbilt). The Hilltoppers always play very fast and physical on defense. Can both teams avoid the turnover monster -- and also limit the penalties? This has the makings of a down-to-the-wire type of finish. 

EDGY's Pick: Glenbard West 24, Mount Carmel 21 

[MORE: The good and bad from Round 1 of the playoffs

#12 Benet (8-2) at #5 Cary-Grove (9-1), 1:00pm

EDGY's Take: Benet Academy and head coach Pat New needed to go to the running game in beating St. Charles North last week. The Redwings got a big game from RB Alec McEachern; senior QB Jack Sznajder runs the football well to complement his passing attack. Cary-Grove and head coach Brad Seaburg doesn’t play around: they will run the football right at you and play tough defense week in and week out. Junior FB Ty Pennington has been a varsity starter for Cary Grove since his freshman year and is a name to watch here. Can the Benet defense handle the power running game from Cary Grove? The Redwings have fared pretty well against power running/option teams this season including beating Joliet Catholic 24-21 back in Week 8.

EDGY's Pick: Cary-Grove 27, Benet Academy 21 

 

#14 Lincoln-Way East (8-2) at #3 Libertyville (10-0), 1:00pm

EDGY's Take: Lincoln-Way East and head coach Rob Zvonar will travel to take on Libertyville and one of the state's top game-breaking players in senior QB Riley Lees. Lincoln-Way East’s offense is led by senior QB Brandon Bauer and a solid running game with backs Nigel Muhammad and Liam Morrissey. Libertyville and head coach Mike Jones will continue to run his offense through Lees, who is headed to Northwestern. On defense, the Wildcats are strong. They’re led by senior DE Ben Kimpler (Miami of Ohio). Can the Griffins defense contain Lees? Can the Libertyville defense take away LWE’s running game?

EDGY's Pick: Libertyville 20, Lincoln-Way East 14 

 

Class 6A: 

#5 DeKalb (8-2) at #13 Deerfield (7-3), 2:00pm

EDGY's Take: DeKalb has been strong all season. The Barbs have relied heavily on the arm and legs of junior QB Derek Kyler. Also, keep an eye on DeKalb senior OL Hayden LaPointe. Deerfield and head coach Steve Winiecki will look to senior QB Brian Ranallo and senior WR/DB Lukas Kerstein. Can Deerfield control the ball on offense, win time of possession and keep the DeKalb offense off the field? Can the DeKalb defense tighten up after giving up 44 points in last week's win over Hampshire?

EDGY's Pick: DeKalb 45, Deerfield 34

 

#1 Lincoln-Way North (10-0) at #9 Richards (7-3), 6:00pm

EDGY's Take: This game is a rematch from Week 1 as Lincoln-Way North beat Richards, 30-29. The Phoenix, coached by George Czart, feature a balanced offense led by QB Jake Arthur and standout athlete Jaylin Branch. North’s defense has also been solid all season. Richards and head coach Tony Sheehan has some serious speed on both sides of the ball. They will look to get the football into the hands of junior RB Pat Doyle. Richards has eliminated Lincoln-Way North from the state playoffs for the past three seasons.

EDGY's Pick: Lincoln-Way North 35, Richards 34 OT 

 

Class 5A: 

#6 Marian Central Catholic (8-2) at #3 Joliet Catholic Academy (9-1), 1:00pm

EDGY's Take: This game is a rematch from Week 5 as Joliet Catholic beat Marian Central Catholic, 41-3. Marian Central Catholic head coach Mike Maloney played for JCA’s current head coach Dan Sharp. Both are very familiar with each other. Can the Hurricanes get their running game on track this time around against a very strong JCA defensive line? Could we see Marian Central Catholic open things up a bit more in the passing game with senior QB Joe Budmayer? Can Joliet Catholic continue to pound opposing teams with its power running game? The Hilltoppers are more than capable with the passing game -- if needed-- with QB Cade Earl.

EDGY's Pick: Joliet Catholic 35, Marian Central Catholic 20

 

Class 4A: 

#7 Plano (8-2) at #2 Marengo (10-0), 3:30pm

EDGY's Take: Plano and head coach Brad Kunz have been very balanced on offense this fall behind junior QB Tyler Ward and junior RB/DB Michael Marshall. Marengo has been beating teams with a strong passing attack, led by QB Zach Knobloch. Their defense has been stingy, limiting Coal City to just 138 yards of total offense in last week’s 28-10 win. Can the Reapers offense dent the Indians defense? Weather permitting, can Marengo throw the football on the Plano defense?

EDGY's Pick: Marengo 28, Plano 16

Class 3A: 

#6 Elmwood-Brimfield (9-1) at #3 IC Catholic Prep (9-1), 4:00pm

EDGY's Take: Immaculate Conception is always a dangerous team come state playoff time. The Knights feature one of the top running back recruits in the Class of 2017 in Jordan Rowell, but their play action passing game is also capable behind sophomore QB Luke Ricobene. Elmwood-Brimfield, out of the Peoria area, ran the ball all game long in its 45-7 win over DePaul Prep. Keep an eye on RB Jackson Harkness. Can Elmwood-Brimfield find a way of slowing down the Knights? 

EDGY's Pick: Immaculate Conception 42, Elmwood-Brimfield 14

64 Days to Kickoff: T.F. South

64 Days to Kickoff: T.F. South

Head coach: Bob Padjen

Assistant coaches: Trent Jensen, Jesse Kikkert, Jonathan Hill, Doug Smith, Mike Tisza, Rob Shell and Tim Russell

How they fared in 2017: 6-4 (3-3 South Suburban Blue Conference), T.F. South made the Class 6A state football playoff field. The Rebels lost to Danville in opening round action. 

2018 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 24 @ Thornwood

Sept. 1 vs Julian

Sept. 7 vs Oak Forest

Sept. 14 @ TF North

Sept. 21 vs Bremen

Sept. 28 @ Reavis

Oct. 5 vs Hillcrest

Oct. 12 @ Lemont

Oct. 19 @ Tinley Park

[MORE: 86 Days to Kickoff - Reavis]

Biggest storyline: T.F. South has advanced to the playoffs 20 times in the past 24 seasons. Can the Rebels get back to the IHSA state playoff field and make more noise this fall?

Names to watch this season: QB Kamron Clayton LB Michael Smith

Biggest holes to fill: The Rebels will need to replace seven starters on each side of the football this fall. 

EDGY's Early Take: T.F. South head coach Bob Padjen was able to keep the Rebels on a winning path in his first season as Rebels head coach after several years serving in an assistant role. South always has talent. If the underclassmen can step up this summer, look for the Rebels to challenge for the top half of the South Suburban Blue conference race. 

Recruiting News and Notes: Wynston Russell verbally commits to Oregon State

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Rivals

Recruiting News and Notes: Wynston Russell verbally commits to Oregon State

Homewood-Flossmoor’s senior three star-ranked defensive back Wynston Russell (5-foot-10, 160 pounds) announced his verbal commitment to Oregon State via his Twitter account.

"I really like the coaches at Oregon State a lot and they played a big role in my decision," Russell said. "Coach Tibs (Tim Tibesar) and head coach (Jonathon) Smith along with the rest of the coaches at Oregon State are a newer staff and they are going to win a lot of games at Oregon State. On my official visit I was able to learn more about the great academic support system in place. The academic support that is offered at Oregon State is great and they also work hard on career planning and placement."

"Everyone on the official visit really bonded last weekend, and the guys already on the team also made us feel like part of the team already. The guys on the team are great guy. I also really liked the campus life at Oregon State. You have plenty of things to do but you can also focus on academics and you don't have a ton of distractions. I just felt very comfortable at Oregon State and that was another big part of my decision. I just felt like I fit in there."

Russell was holding multiple scholarship offers and also considered Wisconsin, Western Michigan and Toledo before giving the Beavers his commitment. 

Chicago Mount Carmel senior offensive guard recruit Marcelo Mendiola (6-foot-5, 290 pounds) impress the University of Cincinnati coaches at a recently-held North Central College satellite camp. A few weeks later Mendiola added a Bearcat offer, visited the campus and then gave Cincinnati his verbal commitment.

"It's (Cincinnati) just a great fit for myself and my family," Mendiola said. "We talked it over and I just have a lot in common with the coaches and the philosophy in the football program at Cincinnati. I looked hard at things like the overall depth chart and I'll have a chance to come in and earn early playing time."

Joliet Catholic senior offensive tackle Dave Monnot III (6-foot-6, 285 pounds) decided to give Purdue his verbal commitment after adding a camp offer from the Boilermakers. Monnot III camped at Purdue last Monday, added a Boilermakers offer last Thursday and immediately gave the Purdue staff his verbal commitment.

"One of the big things that sold me on (Purdue) was the coaching staff," Monnot III said. "I love the way Coach (Dale) Williams coaches. He's an Ohio guy and he's going to hold me accountable if I mess up, and that's something I look for in a coach. The final factor was the players (at Purdue). I didn't get a chance to talk to any of the players while I was there, but at my gym here at home, Rudy's, Evan Panfil used to go there, so I had his number. I gave him a call and asked him about his experience there and he sold me."

Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin senior three star-ranked offensive tackle Nick Broeker (6-foot-5, 290 pounds) decided earlier this week to give Ole Miss his verbal commitment. Broeker, who was holding 18 scholarship offers this summer pointed towards his connection to Ole Miss as one of his reasons on giving the Rebels his commitment.

"Ole Miss just has so much to offer," according to Broeker. "It's a great fit for me in so many ways. They play in the best conference in the nation in the SEC West. My goal has always been to play at the highest possible level in college and you can't find a higher level of college football than the SEC. Ole Miss offers a good education plus I just feel at home. Ole Miss offered and recruited me as an offensive tackle. I looked at several schools and in the end I found myself comparing everyone else to Ole Miss. My family is also really excited about Ole Miss and they also really loved it.