Preps Talk

High School Lites Preview: Week 2

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High School Lites Preview: Week 2

CSN Chicago will have cameras covering the biggest high school football games across Chicagoland on the Week 2 edition of High School Lites, tonight at 11:00 p.m. The No. 1 team in the @CSNPreps Power Rankings, Homewood-Flossmoor, travels to No. 5 Stevenson to take on the Patriots in this Class 8A state title rematch. We’ll also spotlight a key DuPage Valley Conference game as Naperville Central hosts Neuqua Valley in a Battle of Naperville. Loyola Academy takes on Maine South in a huge non-conference showdown. Also who comes away with the win as old foes Coal City and Wilmington square off in this Interstate 8 crossover game?

Julian vs. Corliss, Thursday 7:15 p.m. at Gately Stadium

EDGY's Take: Julian and head coach David Underwood pulled off an impressive 12-0 win last week over Robeson. Corliss lost to Rochelle last week. Can the Trojans bounce back in this Chicago Public League crossover game?

EDGY's Pick: Julian 28, Corliss 14

Lane Tech at Niles West, 7 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Lane Tech and first year head coach Tony Faltin posted his first win as the Indians took care of Oak Lawn, 28-6. Niles West (0-1) lost a shootout to Buffalo Grove, 45-41, last Friday. While the Wolves defense needs work, junior QB Johnny Pabst had a breakout game last week and is a key this season for Niles West. Can Lane Tech slow down the Wolves offense?

EDGY's Pick: Niles West 27, Lane Tech 17

(9) Loyola Academy at (23) Maine South, 7 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Loyola Academy (1-0) had little issues last Saturday in beating Marquette (Milwaukee), 35-0. Maine South lost to Montini Catholic, 20-17, last Friday as a combination of turnovers and a lack of red zone offense didn't help the Hawks. Look for Maine South senior QB Brian Collis to have a much better game this week along with a running game that features a huge left side of the line with Cincinnati commit senior OL/DL Liam O'Sullivan (6-foot-7, 240 pounds) and highly recruited junior OG Kevin Jarvis (6-foot-4, 310 pounds). Can Maine South avoid the turnover monster this week? Can the inexperienced Loyola defense slow down the Hawks wide open offense?

EDGY's Pick: Loyola Academy 27, Maine South 21

Lake Forest at Niles North, 7 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Niles North (1-0) rolled past Shepard, 63-32, in Week 1 and the Vikings feature Iowa commit senior RB/LB Barrington Wade. Lake Forest (1-0) had little trouble beating Chicago Dunbar, 45-6, and the Scouts will look toward senior QB Danny Carollo and an explosive offense. Can the Vikings hang for four quarters against the Scouts? Can the Scouts find and slow down Barrington Wade?

EDGY's Pick: Lake Forest 27, Niles North 20

Coal City at Wilmington, 7:15 p.m.

EDGY's Take: This Interstate 8 crossover game is a huge deal in the area. Coal City (1-0) ran for 360 yards in its Week 1 win over Reed Custer and will feature a deep group of backs. Wilmington (1-0), the defending Class 3A state champs, will also run the ball and feature All-State senior running back Nick Hawkins. Time of possession and turnovers will loom large in this one.

EDGY's Pick: Wilmington 21, Coal City 20

Evanston at Notre Dame, 7:30 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Evanston (1-0) has high hopes this season and the Wildkits will rely on Western Michigan verbal commit senior QB Matt Little this season. Notre Dame (1-0) also counters with Western Illinois University verbal commit senior QB Tyler Tsagalis and the Dons defense locked down McHenry in last Friday's 27-7 win. Which defense can slow down the other team's Division I quarterback?

EDGY's Pick: Evanston 30, Notre Dame 28

(20) Glenbard North at Waubonsie Valley, 7:30 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Glenbard North (0-1) lost 13-12 to Naperville Central last Friday as the Panthers defense looks to be in midseason form already. Waubonsie Valley (1-0) pulled off a 27-6 win over Lake Park as senior QB Jack Connelly made some key passes in his first varsity start. Can Waubonsie Valley's offense dent the Panthers defense? Can Glenbard North get its offense in gear?

EDGY's Pick: Glenbard North 17, Waubonsie Valley 10

(24) Neuqua Valley at (4) Naperville Central

EDGY's Take: Huge game in Naperville here. Neuqua Valley (1-0) was expected to rely heavily on the passing game, yet it was the running game led by senior RB/LB Nick Osikowiczin that helped the Wildcats beat Metea Valley last Friday. Naperville Central (1-0) gutted out a 13-12 win over Glenbard North as senior QB Connor Joyce leads the Redhawks offense along with senior WR Emmanuel Rugamba (Iowa). Can Naperville Central's defense lock down the Nequa Valley deep group of receivers? Can Naperville Central's offense control the football and win time of possession?

EDGY's Pick: Naperville Central 31, Neuqua Valley 30

(1) Homewood-Flossmoor at (5) Stevenson, 7:30 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Homewood-Flossmoor (1-0) just took control early on in its Week 1 win over Downers Grove South. Senor QB Bryce Gray was locked in and the Vikings offense is as dangerous as any in the state this season. Stevenson (1-0) needed backup quarterback Aiden O'Connell after the second play of the game as starter Jack Sorenson (Miami Ohio) was injured in the Patriots' come-from-behind 26-24 win over Palatine. Can Stevenson's defense slow down the Vikings offense? How healthy and ready is QB Jack Sorenson this week (Sorenson has been cleared to play)?

EDGY's Pick: Homewood-Flossmoor 37, Stevenson 20

67 Days to Kickoff: Hillcrest

67 Days to Kickoff: Hillcrest

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: Hillcrest

Head coach: Morgan Weaver

Assistant coaches:  Mike Young, Kyran Weaver, Rob Hancock, Ryan Keen, Nicholas Schultz, Tramaine Weaver, Phillip Burkett and Langdon Mattox

How they fared in 2017: 9-3 (5-1 South Suburban Blue Conference). Hillcrest made the Class 5A state football playoff field. The Hawks defeated Peoria and Glenwood then lost to Dunlap in the quarterfinal round.

2018 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 24 vs Rich Central

Sept. 1 @ Rich South

Sept 7 @ Shepard

Sept. 14 vs Oak Forest

Sept. 21 vs Lemont

Sept. 28 @ Tinley Park

Oct. 5 @ T.F. South

Oct. 12 @ T.F. North

Oct. 19 vs Bremen

[MORE: 79 Days to Kickoff - Crete-Monee]

Biggest storyline: Consistency. After two straight postseason berths, can the Hawks reload and get back into the IHSA playoff field once again this fall?

Names to watch this season: WR Corey Crooms (Western Michigan) and DE Cam Mattox (NIU)

Biggest holes to fill: The Hawks welcome back 11 returning starters (six offense, five defense); hoewever, they will need to reload on the offensive line and at linebacker. 

EDGY's Early Take: Head coach Morgan Weaver was able to get the Hawks into the state playoffs in his first season. What can they do as an encore? Hillcrest has the potential to be a real threat in 5A. Keep an eye on a strong and experienced group of receivers and backs led by senior Corey Crooms (Western Michigan). They also boast a defense that features an experienced secondary and a ton of speed. 

68 Days to Kickoff: Oswego East

68 Days to Kickoff: Oswego East

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: Oswego East

Head coach: Tyson LeBlanc

Assistant coaches: Dan Dunbar, Andy Brogan, Jeremy Main, Erik Aister, Dru Filkins, Connor Downs, Zac Sadek, Reggie Cribbs and Mike Harden

How they fared in 2017: 7-3 (7-2 Southwest Prairie Conference). Oswego East made the Class 8A state football playoff field. The Wolves lost to St. Charles East in opening round action.

2018 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 24 vs Plainfield East

Aug. 31 @ Joliet West

Sept. 7 vs Romeoville

Sept. 14 vs Joliet Central

Sept. 21 @ Plainfield South

Sept. 28 @ Plainfield North

Oct. 5 vs Oswego

Oct. 12 vs Plainfield Central

Oct. 19 vs Minooka

[MORE: 73 Days to Kickoff - Joliet Central]

Biggest storyline: Can the Wolves get out of the rugged Southwest Prairie conference and make a run in the IHSA state playoffs?

Names to watch this season: ATH Justin Clark and WR Kieon Battle

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

EDGY's Early Take: Oswego East head coach Tyson LeBlanc is shooting to make the IHSA playoff field and the fourth straight year in 2018. He has a 36-24 record since coming over from Curie High School back in 2012. Oswego East will rely on a strong group of returning offensive skills led by D-1 recruit Justin Clark, who can --and will-- play multiple positions this season for the Wolves.