Preps Talk

High School Lites Preview: Playoffs Round 1

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High School Lites Preview: Playoffs Round 1

CSN Chicago will have cameras covering the biggest high school football games across Chicagoland on the IHSA playoff opening round edition of High School Lites, Friday at 11:00 p.m. In Class 8A, can Notre Dame get payback against Marist in after losing to the Redhawks back in September? Can Bolingbrook shock the IHSA prep football world once again and beat Naperville Central on the road? In 7A, can Downers Grove North hang with Libertyville? In 6A could the Thornton Township-Hinsdale South matchup be the best opening round game of the entire state playoffs?  

8A Playoffs (seeds in parentheses)

(25) O'Fallon at (8) Homewood-Flossmoor, 7:00pm

EDGY's Take: O'Fallon (5-4) makes the five-plus hour drive up north to face the Vikings. O'Fallon started off the season 0-4 and has won 5 straight games behind Illinois verbal commit RB Kentrail Moran who leads the O'Fallon offense. Can H-F (8-1) bounce back after a stunning 22-21 loss to rival Bolingbrook last week? Look for the Vikings to rely on its speed on both sides of the football and including WR/DB Kendric Pryor (Wisconsin) along with a strong group of offensive skills players. 

EDGY's Pick: H-F 41 O'Fallon 20 

(23) Marist at (10) Notre Dame, 7:00pm

EDGY's Take: This is an East Suburban Catholic Conference rematch from Week 4 when Marist (5-4) defeated Notre Dame (8-1) 49-42. The Dons will rely on senior QB Tyler Tsagalis (WIU) along with WR Tim Simon while Marist will counter with senior QB Brendan Skalitzky and the Redhawks also have big play potential on offense. Last possession wins? Be prepared for a ton of offense in  this terrific rematch.

EDGY's Pick: Notre Dame 48 Marist 47

(29) Fremd at (4) Oak Park-River Forest, 7:00pm

EDGY's Take: Fremd (5-4) started off the season at 5-1 but has since dropped three straight games-- not exactly the way the Vikings wanted to enter the state playoffs. Keep an eye on senior RB Kenney Lyke (Michigan State) along with junior QB Tom Josten. Oak Park-River Forest (8-1) have survived various injuries this season including losing standout junior QB Jeremy Hunt for the season. The Huskies have gotten it done with its running game led by senior RB Antonio Cannon along with a stellar defensive effort all season. Can Fremd dent the OPRF defense this week? Can the Vikings defense shut down the Huskies running game?

EDGY's Pick: OPRF 24 Fremd 14 

(27) Bolingbrook at (6) Naperville Central, 7:00pm

EDGY's Take: No one outside of Bolingbrook (5-4) saw the Raiders beating H-F last Friday, and thus getting into the state playoff. But the Raiders have indeed crashed the IHSA party. If Bolingbrook can avoid turnovers, look out. The Raiders defense is as solid as anyone in 8A and watch out for senior LB/TE Tuf Borland (Ohio State). Naperville Central (8-1) has seen its offense come alive late in the regular season behind senior QB Connor Joyce and a deep group of skills led by senior WR Emmanuel Rugamba (Iowa). Can the Raiders offense hold onto the football and finish drives with points? Can the Redhawks offense keep the Raiders defense on the field for extended drives?

EDGY's Pick: Naperville Central 21 Bolingbrook 14 

(17) Conant at (16) Stevenson, 7:30pm

EDGY's Take: You would expect a very close game when 16-seed Stevenson (6-3) will host 17-seed Conant (6-3) and I have a feeling that's exactly what we will get. Conant and head coach Bill Modelski will look towards senior QB Kyle Bradley along with do-it-all WR/DB Palmer Graham. Stevenson (6-3) and head coach Bill McNamara will let standout senior QB Jack Sorenson (Miami OH) lead the Patriots offense. Senior RB Tyler Vincent has also emerged as a big time running threat. Can the Conant defense hang with the Patriots? Can the Stevenson defense rise up?

EDGY's Pick: Stevenson 28 Conant 27 

(23) Bradley-Bourbonnais at (10) Glenbrook North, 7:00pm

EDGY's Take: If you needed an example that the new Class 7A 1-32 seeding system works, this game features two teams in Bradley (6-3) and Glenbrook North (8-1) who would have never dreamed of facing each other. Bradley and head coach Mike Kohl will rely on WR/DB Camron Harrwell and LB Mason Delong. Glenbrook North  and head coach Bob Pieper will give the football to senior RB John Clark early and often while QB Kevin Burnside is more than capable of getting the Spartans play action passing game on track. Can the Boilermakers defense shut down the Spartans running game? 

EDGY's Pick: Bradley 27 Glenbrook North 20

(30) Downers Grove North at (3) Libertyville, 7:00pm

EDGY's Take: Libertyville (9-0) has lived up to the preseason hype. The Wildcats are led by senior QB Riley Lees (Northwestern) and very strong line play on both sides of the football. Downers Grove North (5-4), coached by John Wander, play a very run-based conservative offense, who look to control time of possession and the football. Can the Trojans offense move the football against the Wildcats defense and keep Libertyville's offense (Lees in particular) on the sidelines? Can the DGN defense avoid giving up the big play? If North can avoid the early knockout punch from Libertyville, this could get interesting.

EDGY's Pick: Libertyville 27 Downers Grove North 14 

6A Playoffs

(13) Hinsdale South at (4) Thornton, 7:30pm

EDGY's Take: This game has the potential of being one of the best overall opening round games in the state.  Hinsdale South (6-3) has balance on offense with QB Sean McCormack and senior RB Marcus Curry while senior DE Josh King is the state's top ranked recruit in the Class of 2016. Thornton Township (8-1) has speed to burn with senior QB Sam Taylor III along with senior RB/DB Tionte McDaniel, both pivotal in the Wildcats offense. Can Hinsdale South's defense contain and slow down Thornton? Can the Wildcats defense shut down the Hornets offense?

EDGY's Pick: Thornton Township 28 Hinsdale South 27 

5A Playoffs

(13) DuSable at (4) King, 4:00pm at Gately Stadium

EDGY's Take: This Class 5A opening round game features two Chicago Public League teams. King (7-2), with veteran head coach Lonnie Williams at the helm, has been battle tested this season coming out of the CPL Illini Land of Lincoln conference. DuSable (6-3) and head coach Robert Anderson will need to bounce back from a 22-21 loss to Washington last week.  King senior WR Phillip Powell (WIU) is an impact player for the Jaguars.

EDGY's Pick: King 37 DuSable 12 

(12) Rich Central at (5) St. Laurence, 7:00pm

EDGY's Take:  St. Laurence (7-2) is having a terrific season behind QB Alex Martinez and RB Fayezon Smart—part of a Vikings offense that has been generating points in bunches all year. Rich Central (6-3) also has a potent offense. Keep an eye on RB Deshawn Jones and with QB Jyran Mitchell. Can the Vikings defense contain the Olympians offense? Can the Olympians defense find an answer for the Vikings passing attack? 

EDGY's Pick: St. Laurence 35 Rich Central 21 

Edgy Tim's Top 25 Preps Power Rankings: Week 8

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NBC Sports Chicago

Edgy Tim's Top 25 Preps Power Rankings: Week 8

Here are the latest @NBCSPreps Top 25 Power Rankings as teams embark on the final week of the regular season.

1. Lincoln-Way East 8-0 (1)
Last Week: Beat Sandburg, 40-0
This Week: vs Lincoln-Way West
EDGY's Take: The Griffins are aiming for a win against the Warriors this Friday. Will a top-see in Class 8A come their way Saturday night?

2. Mount Carmel 8-0 (2)
Last Week: Beat St. Viator, 37-7
This Week: vs Brother Rice
EDGY's Take: The Caravan pounced on four St. Viator turnovers in the first half. Mt. Carmel now gets one final conference test before the playoffs.

3. Nazareth Academy 8-0 (3)
Last Week: Beat Notre Dame, 21-0
This Week: @ Benet Academy
EDGY's Take: The Roadrunners' defense was spectacular Friday en route to a 21-0 shutout in Niles.

4. Loyola Academy 6-2 (4)
Last Week: Beat Marian Central Catholic, 52-0
This Week: vs Marist
EDGY's Take: The Ramblers' offense has averaged nearly 48 points per game since a Week 4 loss at Mount Carmel. 

5. Warren Township 8-0 (5)
Last Week: Beat Stevenson, 37-0
This Week: vs Mundelein
EDGY's Take: The Blue Devils defense has posted four shutouts and has allowed just 21 points all season.

6. Homewood-Flossmoor 7-1 (6)
Last Week: Beat Bolingbrook, 14-13
This Week: vs Lincoln-Way Central
EDGY's Take: The Vikings hang on and get a rivalry win over Bolingbrook.

7. Glenbard West 8-0 (7)
Last Week: Beat Hinsdale Central, 20-17 OT
This Week: @ Oak Park-River Forest
EDGY's Take: The Hitters' defense held Hinsdale Central to an overtime field goal; the running game did the rest in the extra session.

8. Neuqua Valley 7-1 (11)
Last Week: Beat Naperville North, 45-14
This Week: @ Metea Valley
EDGY's Take: The Wildcats win its first outright Dupage Valley conference title in school history.

9. Hersey 8-0 (12)
Last Week: Beat Elk Grove, 56-21
This Week: vs Rolling Meadows
EDGY's Take: The Huskies will now gear up for rival Rolling Meadows. It should be a terrific Mid-Suburban East title game.

10. Hinsdale Central 7-1 (9)
Last Week: Lost to Glenbard West, 20-17 OT
This Week: vs Lyons
EDGY's Take: The Red Devils have a lot to look forward to in the postseason, including the development of junior QB Michael Brescia.

11. Notre Dame 7-1 (8)
Last Week: Lost to Nazareth Academy, 21-0
This Week: @ St. Rita
EDGY's Take: How long will the Dons be without senior RB Julian Schurr? 
  
12. Bolingbrook 6-2 (10)
Last Week: Lost to H-F, 21-0
This Week: vs Andrew
EDGY's Take: Do not sleep on the Raiders this postseason. Bolingbrook's two losses were to Lincoln-Way East and H-F . The Raiders showed they can play with elite-level programs.

13. Minooka 8-0 (13)
Last Week: Beat West Aurora, 27-13
This Week: @ Oswego
EDGY's Take: It'll be another battle of undefeateds when Minooka clashes with Oswego. The Southwest Prairie West conference title hangs in the balance. 

14. Oswego 8-0 (14)
Last Week: Beat Yorkville, 28-20
This Week: vs Minooka
EDGY's Take: Oswego will seek to win its 9th straight Southwest Prairie conference title. 

15. Maine South 6-2 (15)
Last Week: Beat Glenbrook South, 28-13
This Week: @ New Trier
EDGY's Take: The Hawks always get up for rival New Trier. The Trevians will be fighting for their playoff lives.

16. Batavia 6-2 (17)
Last Week: Beat St. Charles North, 27-26
This Week: vs Wheaton North
EDGY's Take: The Bulldogs always seem to find secure wins after trailing. RB Art Taylor carried the load in the victory. How long will it take for RB/LB Quinn Urwlier to return?

17. Hillcrest 7-1 (18)
Last Week: Beat Lemont, 32-26
This Week: vs T.F. North
EDGY's Take: RB Mar'Kiese Irving carried the Hawks to an impressive road win. Look for Hillcrest to be a very dangerous team to watch in Class 5A. 

18. Willowbrook 7-1 (19)
Last Week: Beat Morton, 44-0
This Week: vs Proviso East
EDGY's Take: The Warriors get a nice Week 9 test when upstart Proviso East comes calling with the West Suburban Gold title up for grabs.

19. Huntley 7-1 (20)
Last Week: Beat Burlington Central, 63-13
This Week: @ Dundee-Crown
EDGY's Take: The Red Raiders defensive line continues to draw rave reviews from fans and observers across the Fox Valley.

20. Montini 6-2 (21)
Last Week: Beat De La Salle, 42-0
This Week: vs Providence Catholic
EDGY's Take: The Broncos will look to secure a higher playoff seed with. A win on Friday against a strong Providence Catholic would go a long way.

21. Prairie Ridge 7-1 (NR)
Last Week: Beat Cary-Grove, 42-7
This Week: vs Crystal Lake South
EDGY's Take: The Wolves have all the ingredients to make a very deep run in Class 6A.

22. Fremd 6-2 (22)
Last Week: Beat Conant, 20-12
This Week: vs Hoffman Estates
EDGY's Take: The Vikings just find a way. They secured the Mid-Suburban West conference title in their victory over the Cougars.

23. Crete-Monee 8-0 (23)
Last Week: Beat Bloom, 56-6
This Week: vs Thornridge
EDGY's Take: The Warriors got another huge game from senior QB Trayvon Rudolph in the win over Bloom.

24. St. Charles East 6-2 (16)
Last Week: Lost to Wheaton North, 24-19
This Week: @ Lake Park
EDGY's Take: The Saints look to rebound this week after the loss to Wheaton North on Friday.

25. Rolling Meadows 8-0 (NR)
Last Week: Beat Wheeling, 63-14
This Week: @ Hersey
EDGY's Take: The Mustangs have received a huge season from Ball State verbal commit OL/DL Nate Pedraza.

High School Lites Roundup Week 8

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NBC Sports Chicago

High School Lites Roundup Week 8

High School Lites is back with an exciting Week 8 full of thrilling matchups. NBC Sports Chicago has the highlights of some of the top matchups from the games.

Be sure to follow us on Twitter @NBCSPREPS for all of the latest IHSA football scores and highlights.

Drive: Phillips Epsidoe 8

Windy City Legends: Pierre Thomas

Saint Xavier Team of the Week: Proviso East Pirates

Wintrust Athlete of the Week: Maggie Biegalski

Phillips 58, Westinghouse 0

Coal City 29, Wilmington 14

Homewood-Flossmoor 14, Bolingbrook 13

Hillcrest 32, Lemont 26

Prairie Ridge 42, Cary-Grove 7

Grayslake North 20, Grant 17

Antioch 10, Lakes 7

Nazareth 21, Notre Dame 0

Warren 37, Stevenson 0

St. Francis 20, IC Catholic 19