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. Can Nazareth Academy make some early noise in Class 7A and beat Lake Zurich on the road? Can Joliet Catholic repeat its successful formula from last week's win on the road at IC Catholic Prep? Is Naperville Central already in a must-win mode on the road at top-ranked Lincoln-Way East? Can Maine South beat Mount Carmel in Chicago at Gately Stadium? So who do you take in the War on the North Shore? Are you Team Ramblers or Team Trevians?
(6) Nazareth at (5) Lake Zurich, 7:00pm
EDGY's Take: Nazareth Academy (1-0) got off to a good start last Friday in beating St. Louis-area Lutheran North 20-6. The Roadrunners' roster is very heavy on experience roster. Watch for senior WR/DB Diamond Evans, senior WR/DB Michael Love (Bowling Green) and senior OT Matt Keeler while sophomore QB JJ McCarthy to make waves. McCarthy is one of the top underclassmen signal callers in the state. Lake Zurich and head coach Luke Mertens features one of the state's top defenses, led by senior OLB Luke Dwyer (North Dakota State) and an experienced starting lineup. The Bears have less experience on offense, but they will look to improve behind senior RB/LB Jack Moses and senior QB Matt McGraw. Can the Nazareth offense ding the Lake Zurich defense? Can the Lake Zurich offense come to life this week?
EDGY's Pick: Lake Zurich 21 Nazareth Academy 20
Lincoln Park vs. Kenwood, 7:15pm at Lane Tech
EDGY's Take: Lincoln Park (1-0) had no issues in a Week One win over Noble ITW/Speer 34-0. Coach Vince DeFrancesco's Lions will rely on an experienced defense led by senior LB/WR Dane Romberger and senior WR/DB Jalen Jenkins. Kenwood (1-0) and head coach Sinque Turner pulled off one of the biggest eye-opening Week One wins over Fenwick, 20-9. The Broncos will look towards senior WR/DB Mark Aitken (NIU) and senior QB Denzel Stephens to lead the way this season. Can Lincoln Park measure up against the Kenwood defense?
EDGY's Pick: Kenwood 28 Lincoln Park 12
Joliet Catholic at IC Catholic Prep, 7:15pm
EDGY's Take: Joliet Catholic (1-0) was able to get a big opening week win, 30-20 over St. Rita. The Hillmen ran the football well-- senior RB Keenan Hailey rushed for 233 yards and three touchdowns. IC Catholic Prep (1-0) walloped Class 4A power Althoff 50-14 in the opener. Sophomore RB Kyle Franklin ran for 207 yards and four touchdowns in the win. Can Joliet Catholic win against the Knights in Elmhurst? Can IC's defense measure up against a very big and physical JCA offensive line?
EDGY's Pick: Joliet Catholic 27 IC 24
Naperville North at (4) Batavia, 7:30pm
EDGY's Take: Naperville North (0-1) allowed Simeon a 30-0 first half lead last Friday but showed some signs of life in the second half. They came up short in a 30-20 loss. The Huskies will need a big performance again from QB Clifford Vickers along with a defense that may have figured it out in the second half of last week's loss. Batavia (1-0) also struggled on offense in last week's 22-15 win over Lemont. The Bulldogs will look to get their passing game in gear behind QB Jack Meyers. The Batavia defense is led by senior LB Michael Jansey Jr. (Northwestern) and senior LB Luke Weerts (North Dakota State). Can the Batavia offense show better this week? Can Naperville North get out of the gates a little stronger as well?
EDGY's Pick: Batavia 28 Naperville North 21
(11) Naperville Central at (1) Lincoln-Way East, 7:30pm
EDGY's Take: Naperville Central (0-1) will look to bounce back after suffering a tough 35-34 loss to Hinsdale Central. The Redhawks posted a 28-7 early third quarter lead but couldn't finish. The Redhawks offense was a positive last Friday, led by senior QB Payton Thorne (Western Michigan). Lincoln-Way East (1-0) had little issue with Crete-Monee with a 41-13 win. The Griffins offense rolled behind senior QB Jack Baltz. Can the Naperville Central defense fix their second half issues from last Friday? Will Lincoln-Way East standout junior WR AJ Henning play this week?
EDGY's Pick: Lincoln-Way East 31 Naperville Central 21
Lincoln-Way West at Lincoln-Way Central, 7:30pm
EDGY's Take: The Battle of New Lenox between Lincoln-Way Central (0-1) and Lincoln-Way West (1-0) is always a fun one. It's also a very hard-hitting game. Both schools are separated by just under five miles and know each other quite well. Central is looking for a bounce-back win this week after a tough 17-7 loss to Richards. They feature senior RB Conner McWilliams. Coach Dave Ernst of West went into this season expecting to be a run-heavy team. But QB Greyson Grimm threw four touchdowns passes last week in the Warriors 41-0 win over Racine-Case (WI). Can the Central defense slow down West's balanced offense?
EDGY's Pick: Lincoln-Way West 27 Lincoln-Way Central 21
(7) Maine South at (15) Mount Carmel, 7:30pm at Gately
EDGY's Take: Coach Dave Inserra expected to see his high-potent Maine South offense (albeit one with less experience) come out of the gates a little slow. But the Hawks, behind Inserra's son (senior QB Bobby Inserra) took control and defeated Glenbard West 35-21 last Friday. Mount Carmel (1-0) got a Week One win last Saturday over Hope Academy, 42-7. Senior QB Rad Premovic highlighted a big day for the new Caravan offense under first year head coach Jordan Lynch. Can the Maine South defense figure out the new-look Mount Carmel offense? Can the Mount Carmel defense derail the Maine South high flying offense?
EDGY's Pick: Maine South 34 Mount Carmel 27
(22) Richards at St. Rita, 7:30pm
EDGY's Take: Richards (1-0) and head coach Tony Sheehan was able to get a nice opening week win over Lincoln-Way Central 17-7. Junior RB Leshon Williams had a big night, along with do-it-all senior athlete Sebastian Castro (Iowa). St. Rita (0-1) wasn't able to slow down the Joliet Catholic running game in last week's loss to the Hilltoppers. The Mustangs defense allowed nearly 370 yards on the ground in the loss. Can Richards move the football against the St. Rita defense? Can St. Rita get their offense in gear and hopefully take some pressure off the defense?
EDGY's Pick: Richards 22 St. Rita 19
(2) Loyola at (16) New Trier, 7:30pm (#SENDEDGY)
EDGY's Take: The War on the North Shore is back. Loyola had little issue with Rockford (MI) in a 27-7 win last Friday. The Ramblers will rely on their stout defense, led by senior LB Armoni Dixon and senior DB Jake Gonzales (Penn) this season. Their offense has big play potential with WR Noah Jones and WR Rory Boos. New Trier (1-0) beat York 21-13 last Friday behind a big night from RB Brian Sitzer. He ran for 189 yards. Can Loyola's defense take away the Trevians' running game this week and make their offense go more to the air? Can the New Trier defense make Loyola drive the field and earn their points? Can they limit Loyola's big play potential?
EDGY's Pick: Loyola 24 New Trier 17
Glenbard East at Bartlett, 7:30pm
EDGY's Take: John Walters' Glenbard East Rams (1-0) walloped Elgin 47-6 last Friday. QB Brett Bushka ran for three scores and added two passing touchdowns in the win. Bartlett (1-0) and first year head coach Mark Erlenbaugh also started off the season the right way with a convincing 40-0 win over East Aurora. The Hawks will open up their 1.5 million on-campus home field Friday after having to play their home games at Streamwood for 20 years. Can Glenbard East continue to move the football as well this week against the always-strong Bartlett defense?
EDGY's Pick: Glenbard East 31 Bartlett 21
Viewers' Choice Game
Curie at Sandburg, 7:30pm
EDGY's Take: Curie (0-1) and first year head coach Arthur Ray ran into a buzzsaw in Week One, losing to Willowbrook 41-0. The Condors will look towards senior RB AJ Sanya to get the Condors back on the right track. Sandburg (1-0) was able to pull out a nice opening win over Lyons Township 27-14. They got a big night from QB Ben Starcevich. Can Curie get the offense (and especially the running game) on track this week? Can Sandburg slow down the Condors and continue to get another win closer to state playoff eligibility?
EDGY's Pick: Sandburg 28 Curie 12