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

VOTE: Viewers' Choice Game Of The Week

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NBC Sports Chicago

VOTE: Viewers' Choice Game Of The Week

Who wants it more?

We are putting High School Lites, Chicagoland's top prep sports show, in the hands of area football fans in our "Viewers' Choice Game of the Week." Fans will get the chance to pick one game that the @NBCSPreps crew will cover on Friday night. We will send our cameras to the game that gets the most votes; highlights and postgame reaction of that game will appear on that night's "High School Lites" broadcast at 11 p.m. The show also live streams at www.nbcsportschicago.com/watchlive. High School Lites will also have broadcast replays at 7:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. the following Saturday. 

Week 9 is “Bubble Week” for many teams fighting to stay on the right side of the postseason bubble. Who moves on? Whose bubble will burst? Will Wauconda advance to the playoffs after finishing 2-7 last year? Or will Grant end their season on a winning note? Schaumburg and Fremd both stand at 4-4. The winner goes to the postseason. The winner stays home for November. Zion-Benton hasn’t been to the playoffs since 2003. A win over Libertyville gets them there. But for the Wildcats, this ‘is’ their playoff game. Who wins in the North Suburban conference? We’ll send our cameras to one of the following:

Grant at Wauconda, 7:15 p.m.

Schaumburg at Fremd, 7:30 p.m.

Libertyville at Zion-Benton, 7:30 p.m.

— Follow @NBCSPreps on Twitter.
— Note the "pinned Tweet" atop the @NBCSPreps feed. Vote for the game you want us to cover.
— Spread the word! 

We will make an announcement on @NBCSPreps just after 4 p.m. Thursday with the official results of which game will be covered. And as a reminder, be sure to follow @NBCSPreps for updates on the "Viewers' Choice Game of the week," along with other high school sports news, scores and highlights this season.

Edgy Tim's Preps Power Rankings: Week 9

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NBC Sports Chicago

Edgy Tim's Preps Power Rankings: Week 9

Here are the latest @NBCSPreps Top 25 Power Rankings.
 
1. Lincoln-Way East 8-0 (1)
Last Week: Beat Thornwood, 56-18
This Week: vs Bolingbrook
EDGY's Take: The Griffins get a nice Week 9 test hosting Bolingbrook. Can the Raiders push the Griffins for four quarters?

2. Batavia 8-0 (2)
Last Week: Beat St. Charles North, 27-24
This Week: @ Wheaton North
EDGY's Take: An epic drive late in the game with no timeouts. The Bulldogs pull out the close-call win over St. Charles North.  

3. Brother Rice 8-0 (3)
Last Week: Beat Leo, 48-0
This Week: @ Montini Catholic
EDGY's Take: What were the preseason that the biggest Chicago Catholic League game of the year would be Brother Rice at Montini?

4. Marist 7-1 (4)
Last Week: Beat Marian Central Catholic, 42-6
This Week: @ Benet Academy
EDGY's Take: The Redhawks will get a nice Week 9 on Friday from Benet at Benedictine University. 

5. Mount Carmel 7-1 (5)
Last Week: Beat St. Laurence, 40-0
This Week: vs Fenwick
EDGY's Take: The Caravan have been playing as well as any contenders ranked here.

6. Homewood-Flossmoor 7-1 (6)
Last Week: Beat Andrew, 35-3
This Week: vs Sandburg
EDGY's Take: Head coach Craig Buzea got his 200th career win last Friday over Andrew.

7. Cary-Grove 8-0 (7)
Last Week: Beat Prairie Ridge, 21-14
This Week: vs Naperville Central
EDGY's Take: The Trojans rallied from being down 14-0 and scored 21 unanswered points to defeat their bitter rivals.

8. Simeon 8-0 (8)
Last Week: Beat Taft, 58-7
This Week: @ Curie
EDGY's Take: The big question coming Saturday night-- Will the Wolverines wind up in 8A or 7A? 

9. Nazareth Academy 7-1 (9)
Last Week: Beat Joliet Catholic, 49-20
This Week: vs Marian Catholic
EDGY's Take: The Roadrunners get a nice bounce-back win last Friday over Joliet Catholic.

10. Maine South 7-1 (10)
Last Week: Beat New Trier, 38-21
This Week: vs Niles West
EDGY's Take: The Hawks get another big Central Suburban South win. 

11. Oswego 8-0 (11)
Last Week: Beat Joliet Central, 49-0
This Week: @ Plainfield South
EDGY's Take: The Panthers will take on a very defensive-minded Plainfield South team on Friday.
 
12. Richards 8-0 (13)
Last Week: Beat Reavis, 51-0
This Week: vs Eisenhower
EDGY's Take: The Bulldogs continue to cruise and are gearing for a high seed in Class 6A.
 
13. Phillips 6-2 (14)
Last Week: Beat Westinghouse, 46-6
This Week: @ Raby
EDGY's Take: The Wildcats will look to finish strong this week against Raby.

14. Willowbrook 8-0 (15)
Last Week: Beat Proviso East, 40-7
This Week: @ Downers Grove South
EDGY's Take: The Warriors will look to send Downers Grove South (4-4) home for the holidays on Friday.

15. Naperville Central 6-2 (16)
Last Week: Beat Waubonsie Valley, 35-14
This Week: @ Cary-Grove
EDGY's Take: The Redhawks have won six straight games and have the makings of a team that could make some postseason noise. 

16. Bolingbrook 7-1 (17)
Last Week: Beat Thornton, 43-7
This Week: @ Lincoln-Way East
EDGY's Take: The Raiders will look to derail the "Big Cobalt Blue Machine" this Friday in Frankfort. 

17. Montini 8-0 (18)
Last Week: Beat Providence Catholic, 27-3
This Week: vs Brother Rice
EDGY's Take: The Broncos will host Brother Rice on Friday in the biggest game of the year in the Chicago Catholic League.

18. Oak Park-River Forest 6-2 (NR)
Last Week: Beat Glenbard West, 10-7
This Week: vs Lyons Township
EDGY's Take: The Huskies have a top-notch defense and found a way to beat Glenbard West at Duchon Field. It was OPRF's first win there since 1998.

19. Warren Township 7-1 (NR)
Last Week: Beat Stevenson, 21-0
This Week: @ Mundelein
EDGY's Take: The Blue Devils defense came to play. An impressive 21-0 shutout over Stevenson 21-0 last Friday.

20. Glenbard West 6-2 (12)
Last Week: Lost to Oak Park-River Forest, 10-7
This Week: @ Proviso West
EDGY's Take: The Hilltoppers defense is still salty as ever. But can the offense find a few more options besides standout RB Tyquan Cox?

21. Hillcrest 8-0 (22)
Last Week: Beat TF North, 50-6
This Week: vs Bremen
EDGY's Take: The Hawks have made it look easy this regular season. They'll go for a 9-0 sweep later this week in an effort to claim a high seed in 5A.

22. Notre Dame 7-1 (23)
Last Week: Beat Carmel, 21-7
This Week: vs Joliet Catholic
EDGY's Take: The Dons now host JCA and will try to knock out the Hilltoppers from the state playoff field.

23. Hinsdale Central 8-0 (24)
Last Week: Beat Lyons Township, 57-0
This Week: vs Hinsdale South
EDGY's Take: The Red Devils will get challenged this Friday against crosstown rival Hinsdale South (The "Doings Cup" game).

24. Rolling Meadows 8-0 (NR)
Last Week: Beat Hersey, 38-35
This Week: @ Buffalo Grove
EDGY's Take: The Mustangs get a huge win over Hersey. Why do I get the feeling we could see an RM-Hersey rematch in the postseason?
 
25. St. Charles North 6-2 (21)
Last Week: Lost to Batavia, 27-24
This Week: vs Wheaton South
EDGY's Take: The North Stars drop a last-second loss to Batavia last Friday; they will look to get back on track this week against another tough opponent in Wheaton South.