Preps Talk

High School Lites Preview: Week 4

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High School Lites Preview: Week 4

CSN Chicago will have cameras covering the biggest high school football games across Chicagoland on the Week 4 edition of High School Lites, Saturday night at 10:30 p.m. One of the state's oldest and best rivalries will be renewed on the South Side as St. Rita (1-2) will take on Mount Carmel (3-0) at Gately Stadium. Is this a must win for the Mustangs? Can Reavis hit the road and beat Richards in this hotly contested South Suburban Red game? Who wins the matchup between St. Charles North and Geneva in Upstate 8 River conference action? Also, does it get any better than Immaculate Conception taking on St. Edward?

Joliet Central at (1) Homewood-Flossmoor, 6:00 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Homewood-Flossmoor (3-0) continues to roll as the Vikings are now starting to draw attention nationally. Joliet Central (0-3) and head coach Brett Boyter are in the progress of building up the Steelmen program. Joliet Central has yet to win a varsity-level football game since splitting from the combined Joliet Township sports program back in 2010 (93 games).

EDGY's Pick: Homewood-Flossmoor 51, Joliet Central 6

Reavis at Richards, 7:00 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Reavis (3-0) is looking to make a statement this week against the South Suburban Red Conference defending champ Richards (1-2). Reavis will look towards quarterback Isiah Alpuche to lead the offense, along with a good group of offensive skill players and an experienced line. Richards will counter with running back Pat Doyle, and the Bulldogs are hoping to build off some momentum after a huge win last Friday over Lemont. Can Reavis knock off the champs? Can Richards get off to a quick start this week?

EDGY's Pick: Richards 29, Reavis 28

[MORE PREPS: AP preps football rankings - Week 4]

Sandburg at Lockport, 7:00 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Sandburg (2-1) pulled off a huge win last Friday over Bolingbrook, as the Eagles passing-game led by quarterback Alex Fidan has been strong. Lockport (1-2) has been its own worst enemy so far, losing two of its first three games after positing early leads. The Porters will look to run the ball behind a big offensive line led by seniors Matt Chimelewski and Quinn Polaski. Can the Porters finish? Can Sandburg keep putting up points against the Porters defense? Could bad weather give the run-happy Porters an edge?

EDGY's Pick: Sandburg 27, Lockport 20

(25) Cary-Grove at Woodstock North, 7:15 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Cary-Grove (3-0) was expected to be a work in progress this season. However, no one gave the memo to Trojans head coach Brad Seaburg. C-G is running the football well, led by senior running back Ty Pennington. Woodstock North (3-0) has been a nice surprise story so far. The Thunder also run the football well with running back Randall Kline. Can Woodstock North's defense slow down Cary's triple-option offense? 

EDGY's Pick: Cary Grove 31, Woodstock North 12

(6) Nazareth at Marian Central Catholic, 7:30 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Both Nazareth Academy (3-0) and Marian Central Catholic (3-0) have been on an early season roll. This game is also each team's biggest test to date. Marian Central Catholic and first year head coach Mike Maloney have been pretty balanced offensively. Running back Emitt Peisert leads the running game while junior quarterback JB Budmayr is a name to watch for the Hurricanes.  Nazareth Academy and head coach Tim Racki will get the ball into his playmakers hands including Notre Dame verbal commit Julian Love and junior running back Ivory Kelly-Martin. Can the Hurricanes slow down the big play ability of the Road Runners?

EDGY's Pick: Nazareth Academy 35, Marian Central Catholic 21

[MORE PREPS: Week 4 - Top 25 Power Rankings]

St. Rita vs. (2) Mount Carmel, 7:30 p.m. at Gately Stadium

EDGY's Take: This is simply one of the state's oldest and best rivalry games. Is this a must-win for St. Rita (1-2)? The Mustangs and head coach Todd Kuska just can't seem to get over the hump. They’re a turnover or a close play away from breaking out. St. Rita will look to get the running game going behind senior Brandon Wiliams, along with throwing in some play-action passes from quarterback Connor Kelley. Mount Camel (3-0) has been getting a big season so far from its defense, yet the offense is still trying to shake off some early turnover issues. Senior quarterback Anthony Thompson (NIU) leads the running attack for the Caravan. Can St. Rita get its momentum going? Could this be the breakout game? Can the Caravan also get its offense to play at the same level as the defense this week?

EDGY's Pick: Mount Carmel 28, St. Rita 14

St. Charles North at Geneva, 7:30 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Huge game in the Upstate 8 River conference race. Geneva (3-0) and head coach Rob Wicinski just seem to reload year in and year out. The Vikings have a terrific signal-caller in senior Sean Chambers and Geneva can always run the football. St. Charles North (3-0) and head coach Rob Pomazak have built the North Stars into a contender. Look for North to rely on junior quarterback Zach Mettetal and a big and physical offensive line. Can St. Charles North win on the road in Geneva? Can Geneva slow down the North Stars offense this week?

EDGY's Pick: Geneva 41, St. Charles North 38

St. Francis at (25) Brother Rice, 7:30 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Brother Rice (2-1) ran into a brick wall in last Saturday's 28-0 loss at Loyola. Look for the Crusaders to bounce back behind senior quarterback Cam Miller and a deep and speedy group of receivers and backs. St. Francis (3-0) and head coach Mike Fitzgerald have been on an early roll; however, this will no question be the biggest test of the season for the Spartans. St. Francis has the potential to put up big yards and points with quarterback Peter Fassnacht plus senior running back/linebacker Will Purdom. Which defense will come to play Friday night?

EDGY's Pick: Brother Rice 27, St. Francis 20

NBC Sports Chicago's 100 Days to Kickoff

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USA Today

NBC Sports Chicago's 100 Days to Kickoff

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.

In case you missed any of our previews, here is our rundown:

100. De La Salle

99. Crystal Lake South

98. Eisenhower

97. Back of the Yards

96. Jacobs

95. Waubonsie Valley

94. Kaneland

93. West Aurora

93 Days to Kickoff: West Aurora

93 Days to Kickoff: West Aurora

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: West Aurora

Head coach: Nate Eimer

Assistant coaches: Tony Melchiori, DC Bob Fowler, DL Patrick Stremel, LB Charlie Graves, DB Mike Runge, OL Joe Howell, RB Ron Murphy and QB Alex Shaw

How they fared in 2017: 7-3 (4-1 Upstate Eight Valley Conference). West Aurora made the IHSA Class 8A playoff field last season. The Blackhawks lost to Naperville Central 35-14 in opening round action.

2018 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 24 @ Larkin

Aug. 31 @ West Chicago

Sept. 7 vs Streamwood

Sept. 14 @ Glenbard East

Sept. 21 vs Bartlett

Sept. 28 vs Glenbard South

Oct. 5 @ Elgin

Oct. 12 vs East Aurora

Oct. 19 vs South Elgin

[MORE: 94 Days to Kickoff - Kaneland]

Biggest storyline: Game 11. Can the Blackhawks get back to the IHSA state playoffs for the fourth straight season and then advance past the opening round?

Names to watch this season: QB Will Tammaru, RB/DB JaQuan Buchanan and DT Denver Warren

Biggest holes to fill: The Blackhawks welcome back an impressive 17 starters (nine offense, eight defense) to the mix. However, the group will be a bit inexperienced in some spots on both the offensive and defensive line.  

EDGY's Early Take: The Blackhawks' turnaround under head coach Nate Eimer and staff has been a terrific story to follow. That said, the bar for West Aurora football has also been raised. No longer are they satisfied by just "getting" to state. The Blackhawks welcome back a deep group on both sides of the football led by a potentially high powered, balanced offense. On paper, this team has the makings of being one of the better Blackhawks teams in their history. They will challenge for the Upstate Eight conference title and get another shot at the Class 8A playoff field.