Preps Talk

High School Lites Preview: Week 5

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High School Lites Preview: Week 5

CSN Chicago will have cameras covering the biggest high school football games across Chicagoland on the week 5 edition of High School Lites, Friday night at 11 p.m. Who comes away with some serious momentum in the North Suburban Lake when Libertyville travels to Lincolnshire to take on Stevenson? Can undefeated Thornton beat undefeated Lincoln-Way West in a huge Southwest Suburban Red game? Does it get any better than Cary-Grove taking on Huntley? Also, who wins when the student (Mike Maloney) takes on the teacher (Dan Sharp) as Marian Central Catholic travels to Joliet Catholic in ESCC action?

(1) Homewood-Flossmoor at Lockport, 7:00 p.m.

EDGY's Take: The No. 1 ranked Vikings (4-0) haven't needed to play its starters a full game for a few weeks now. Will the Porters (1-3) be able to present a better test this week? Under head coach Dan Starkey Lockport has been in every game this season and will look towards its running game with Matt Skobel and quarterback Deiondre Taylor. H-F will counter with a speedy and talented group of offensive skill players including senior quarterback Bryce Gray, who has been zeroed in all season. Best matchup? The Porters extra large offensive line versus the Vikings quick and athletic defensive line.

EDGY's Pick: Homewood-Flossmoor 41, Lockport 20

Tinley Park at Lemont, 7:00 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Head coach Nick Johnston has the Titans (4-0) playing well. Keep an eye on quarterback Dan McCullough, along with running back Lemont Brooks and wide receiver Maurice Robinson. Lemont (3-1) bounced back with a 20-7 win over TF South last week. Lemont has been solid all year on defense. The offense, however, has remained a work in progress. Can the Indians generate enough offense (with a potential need to trade scores) with an explosive Tinley Park offense?

EDGY's Pick: Tinley Park 21, Lemont 10

(19) Cary-Grove at Huntley, 7:15 p.m.

EDGY's Take: The Fox Valley (Valley) conference was expected to be a three-horse race. Cary-Grove (4-0) and Huntley (4-0) have lived up to the preseason hype. Cary-Grove will get the ball early and often into the hands of junior fullback Ty Pennington, who will run behind a rebuilt offensive line. Huntley and head coach John Hart has one of the area's best quarterbacks in senior Anthony Binetti and a running game that has been gaining big yards per attempt. Can Huntley get the football back from the Trojans’ ground-hugging offense? Can Cary-Grove put up points in a hurry if Huntley hits them with the quick strike, big play?

[MORE PREPS: CSN Preps Power Rankings - Week 5]

EDGY's Pick: Cary Grove 28, Huntley 24

(5) Libertyville at (9) Stevenson, 7:30 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Libertyville (4-0) hasn't been in this position — as being the hunted — in the North Suburban Lake in several seasons. Senior quarterback Riley Lees (Northwestern) paces a Wildcats offense with both his legs and his arm. Miami (OH) commit defensive end Ben Kimpler is a name to watch on defense for Libertyville. Stevenson (3-1) will look towards senior quarterback Jack Sorenson (Miami OH) and a defense that played its best game of the year in a 20-7 win over Wauconda. Best matchup to watch? Libertyville's Lees against the Stevenson defense.

EDGY's Pick: Libertyville 22, Stevenson 21

Thornton at (17) Lincoln-Way West, 7:30 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Thornton Township (4-0) is off to an impressive start under first year head coach Dontrell Jackson. Quarterback Sam Taylor has played a big role for the Wildcats so far. Lincoln-Way West (4-0) has an NFL-sized offensive line led by senior guard Bryan Brokop (Nebraska) and senior tackle Justin Witt (NC State). Senior running back Gabe Montalvo has been putting up big rushing numbers all season. Can the Thornton defensive line matchup against the Warriors offensive line? Can the Warriors defense keep Thornton's big play offense in check?

EDGY's Pick: Lincoln Way West 27, Thornton Township 22

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

EDGY's Take: Marian Central Catholic head coach Mike Maloney is a former JCA standout player and returns to Memorial Stadium for the first time on the visitors sideline. The Hurricanes will look towards a balanced offense led by senior quarterback JR Budmayer and senior running back Emitt Peisert. He ran for 308 yards in the Hurricanes 34-19 upset win over Nazareth Academy in Week 4. JCA (4-0) will simply run the ball right at you with their big offensive line and running back Michael Johnson. The Hilltoppers defense has been rock solid. Can Marian Central Catholic win on the road in Joliet? Best matchup: the MCC offensive line against the JCA defensive line.

EDGY's Pick: Joliet Catholic 34, Marian Central Catholic 21

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(15) Lincoln-Way East at Bolingbrook, 7:30 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Lincoln-Way East (3-1), as expected, has bounced back well after a week 1 loss to Oak Park-River Forest (4-0). The Griffins have been relying on the arm of quarterback Brandon Bauer along with the emergence of junior running back Nigel Muhammed. Bolingbrook (2-2) is led by Ohio State commit linebacker/tight end Tuf Borland and the Raiders offense has improved this season behind its option/run-first attack. Can the Griffins offense dent the Raiders defense? Can Bolingbrook's offense establish the run against the Griffins defense?

EDGY's Pick: Lincoln-Way East 21, Bolingbrook 13

(23) New Trier at Evanston, 7:30 p.m.

EDGY's Take:  Under head coach Brian Doll, New Trier (4-0) will look towards junior quarterback Clay Czyzynski, along with junior running back/linebacker Max Rosenthal in this huge Central Suburban South matchup. Evanston (3-1) also has a big-time signal senior caller in Western Michigan commit Matt Little and the Wildkits also feature senior Michigan State commit defensive lineman Naquan Jones, along with senior wide receiver Travion Banks (Miami OH). Can the Trevians offense win time of possession and finish those long drives with points?

EDGY's Pick: New Trier 27, Evanston 20

Wheaton North at Lake Park, 7:30 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Here we go with another huge game in the DuPage Valley Conference race.  Wheaton North (2-2) is led by junior quarterback Luke Anthony and they’ve won two straight after starting off the season at 0-2. Lake Park (2-2) is also in the thick of the conference race as the Lancers will rely on its defense led by Michigan State commit Mike Panasiuk, along with his brother junior defensive Jacub Panasiuk. Can the Wheaton North offense dent the Lake Park defense? Can Lake Park's offense generate enough points against the Falcons this week?

EDGY's Pick: Wheaton North 24, Lake Park 13

96 Days to Kickoff: Jacobs

96 Days to Kickoff: Jacobs

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: Jacobs

Head coach: Bill Mitz

Assistant coaches: Bubba Smith, Mike Warren, Brian Zimmerman, JM Foote, Ryan Arndt and Bob Mackey

How they fared in 2017: 6-4 (5-3 Fox Valley Conference). Jacobs made the Class 7A playoff field. The Golden Eagles lost to Lincoln-Way West in opening round action. 

2018 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 24 Hampshire 

Aug. 31 @ Huntley 

Sept. 7 Dundee-Crown 

Sept. 14 @ McHenry 

Sept. 21 Neuqua Valley 

Sept. 28 Prairie Ridge 

Oct. 5 @ Cary-Grove 

Oct. 12 Crystal Lake South 

Oct. 19 @ Crystal Lake Central

Biggest storyline: Can the Golden Eagles move up in the Fox Valley Conference pecking order in 2018?

Names to watch this season: OT Joacheim Price and OL Nick Zonta

Biggest holes to fill: The Golden Eagles will need to replace its entire starting linebacker group from a season ago.

EDGY's Early Take: Year in and year out, Jacobs is always a factor in the rugged Fox Valley Conference (seven playoff appearances in the last eight years). The Golden Eagles return some starters in several key spots. If the underclassmen group can step up this summer, look for Jacobs to challenge for the FVC conference title and a higher seed in 7A come IHSA playoff time. 
 

97 Days to Kickoff: Back of the Yards

97 Days to Kickoff: Back of the Yards

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 @NBCSPreps Top 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 24.

School: Back of the Yards

Head coach: Sheamus Murphy

Assistant Coaches: Will Johnson, Marty McNamara, Tim McNamara and Nick Teich

How they fared in 2017: 8-2 (6-0 CPL Great Lakes Conference). Back of the Yards made the Class 5A state playoff field. They lost to Solorio in opening round action. 

2018 Regular Season Schedule:

Week 1: @ Kelly

Week 2: vs. Goode

Week 3: @ Brooks

Week 4: vs. Schurz

Week 5: vs. Kenwood

Week 6: vs. North Lawndale

Week 7: @ Steinmetz

Week 8: vs. Payton Prep

Week 9: @ Clark

Biggest storyline: The Bobcats were a true feel-good story last season. Can the Bobcats build on its momentum and success going into the 2018 campaign?

Names to watch this season: OL/Dl Kevin Pacheco, WR/DB Carl McNickles, OL Armando Resendiz

Biggest holes to fill: The Bobcats bring back several returning starters from last season; however, can they find a new signal caller to replace the graduation loss of 2017 standout QB Jeremiah Harris (McKendree College)? 

EDGY's Early Take: One of the top stories from the 2017 season was the rise of this young program. The Bobcats made the IHSA state playoff field in just their third season of varsity football. As for 2018? The expectations have risen for this South Side school. A move to the CPL Illini Prairie State conference ramps up the overall competition level. If the Bobcats can find a steady signal caller, they have solid chance at competing for a potential IHSA state playoff spot come October.