Preps Talk

High School Lites Preview: Week 8

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NBC Sports Chicago

High School Lites Preview: Week 8

NBC Sports Chicago will have cameras covering the biggest high school football games across Chicagoland on the Week Eight edition of High School Lites, Friday at 11:00 p.m. So who wins the annual Super Bowl in the Fox Valley as Cary-Grove takes on Prairie Ridge? Can New Trier beat Maine South  on the road and capture a potential conference title? Can Lakes make a statement and beat Antioch? Can the Sequoits live up to their state-wide AP ranking? Which Mid-Suburban East power takes another step towards an undefeated season when Hersey travels to Rolling Meadows? So who do you like....Stevenson or Warren Township?

(7) Cary-Grove at (25) Prairie Ridge, 7:00 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Otherwise known as the Fox Valley Super Bowl, both Cary-Grove (7-0, 7-0) and Prairie Ridge (6-1, 5-1) run nearly identical offenses and very similar defensive philosophies. Coach Brad Seaburg's Cary-Grove squad has been able to add a passing element to the already-strong Trojans power option game with senior QB Ben McDonald and converted WR Quinn Priester. C-G has also been very strong on defense all season. Keep an eye on senior OL/DL Addison West (Western Michigan) who anchors the Trojans' interior defensive line. Prairie Ridge head coach Chris Schremp has -somehow- pulled off a miracle this season. The Wolves are actually an underdog after winning two straight 6A state titles. The Wolves also want to get their running game going early with senior FB Jackson Willis. He is having an All-State caliber season. Can Prairie Ridge defend the Cary-Grove power option and their newly-found play-action passing game? Can the Cary-Grove defense limit the big play and contain Jackson Willis?

EDGY's Pick: Cary-Grove 28 Prairie Ridge 27 

Byron at Genoa-Kingston, 7:00 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Byron (7-0, 7-0) and Genoa-Kingston (6-1, 6-1) will square off in a huge Big Northern conference showdown. Byron, coached by Jeff Boyer, have a couple of solid options in the running game with RB Drake Snodgrass and RB Isaac Stickler. Genoa-Kingston is looking to bounce back this week after a tough 21-20 loss last Friday to Dixon. The Cogs will rely on the running game, led by QB Justin Peters and RB Kollin Fugate. Could this be a "last possession wins" sort of game?

EDGY's Pick: Byron 31 Genoa-Kingston 28

(20) New Trier at (10) Maine South, 7:00 p.m.

EDGY's Take: New Trier (6-1, 3-0) and Maine South (6-1, 3-0) are once again battling for the Central Suburban South conference title. New Trier head coach Brian Doll has playmakers in senior QB Carson Ochsenhirt and standout RB/DB Brian Sitzer. Senior TE/DE Dukes Olges (Northwestern) is a force on both sides of the football. Coach Dave Inserra's Maine South Hawks have been playing well. They have a high-powered offense as senior QB Cole Dow has filled in well for injured starter Bobby Inserra. The Hawks also have several key two-way impact types led by junior OL/DL Peter Skoronski and senior RB/LB Jimmy Bartell. Can the Trevians defense derail the Hawks' offense? 

EDGY's Pick: Maine South 35 New Trier 27

Lakes at Antioch, 7:15 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Lakes (6-1, 5-0) and head coach Jordan Elder are soaring this season. The Eagles are looking to capture the Northern Lake County conference title on Friday behind junior QB Chris Selig. Senior RB D'Lo Hardy is an impact player to watch as well. Antioch, under head coach Brian Glashagel, has one of the state's top quarterbacks in sophomore Athan Kaliakmanis. He has plenty of weapons including WR Dino Kaliakmanis and RB Noah Wiley. Can the Lakes defense slow down a Sequoits offense that has rolled every opponent so far in 2018? Can the Antioch defense get the football back from the Lakes offense this week?

EDGY's Pick: Antioch 36 Lakes 31

Hersey at Rolling Meadows, 7:30 p.m.

EDGY's Take: With the Mid-Suburban East conference title on the line, both Hersey (7-0, 3-0) and Rolling Meadows (7-0, 3-0) are looking, not only to secure the league's top spot, but also a higher seed in the upcoming IHSA state playoffs. Hersey and head coach Joe Pardun will look towards QB Ryan Justice, WR Kasper Rutkiewicz and RB Thomas Quirk to set the pace on offense. Rolling Meadows has some star power in RB Tim Szylak and QB Arek Kleniuk/ OL/DL Nate Predanzo is another name to watch this season for Matt Mishler's Mustangs. Can Hersey continue to get big plays when needed? Can Meadows get some payback on Friday after losing twice to Hersey last season?

EDGY's Pick: Rolling Meadows 35 Hersey 29

(19) Stevenson at Warren Township, 7:30 p.m.

EDGY's Take: A win this week would go a long ways for both Stevenson (6-1, 4-1) and Warren Township (6-1, 5-0) as they battle for the North Suburban conference title. Coach Josh Hjorth's Stevenson Patriots have terrific balance on offense. They're led by QB Cole Okmin and RB JT Etienne. They also have a very solid defense, led by LB Maema Njongmeta. As for Coach Bryan Wells' Blue Devils, the program is rolling. RB Martin Walker Jr. is a key along with a big and physical defensive line, anchored by senior Zack Pelland along with junior Willis Singleton Jr. Can Stevenson's offense keep the Warren Township defense off-balanced? Can the Blue Devils establish the running game then let their defense do the rest?

EDGY's Pick: Warren Township 28 Stevenson 21

(21) St. Charles North at (2) Batavia, 7:30 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Both St. Charles North (6-1, 5-0) and Batavia (7-0, 5-0) are putting strong years together. The gateway to a potential conference title and high playoff seed is on the line here. Coach Rob Pomazak's St. Charles North crew will features sophomore QB Kyler Brown, RB Sam Demarco along with the exploits of do-it-all Tyler Nubin (Minnesota). who's an impact player on both sides of the ball. Do you remember what Batavia's only loss was last season en route to their 7A state title? It was to St. Charles North. Look for the Bulldogs to rely on a balanced offensive attack led by RB Art Taylor, RB/LB Quinn Urwiler and a strong defense which includes LB Michael Jansey (Northwestern) and LB Luke Weerts (North Dakota State). Can Batavia slow down St. Charles North's balanced offense? Can the North Stars defense get the football back from Batavia?

EDGY's Pick: Batavia 37 St. Charles North 27

(5) Mount Carmel at St. Laurence, 7:30 p.m.

EDGY's Take: This date was immediately circled on the calendars of Catholic League/Chicagoland high school football fans when former Mount Carmel Hall of Fame head coach Frank Lenti took an assistant coach position with St. Laurence. While St. Laurence has struggled a bit this season, I still expect this to be a fun game. Mount Carmel (6-1, 2-0) and first year head coach Jordan Lynch has the Caravan playing well. Keep an eye on senior QB Red Premovic and a defense that has been very strong all season. St. Laurence (2-5, 1-1), under head coach Harold Blackmon, has a very young team. But one of the names to keep an eye on for the Vikings will be sophomore QB Darius Wilson. Can the St. Laurence defense slow down the Mount Carmel shotgun read-pass option game?

EDGY's Pick: Mount Carmel 41 St. Laurence 20

Viewers' Choice Game 

Downers Grove South at Downers Grove North, 7:30 p.m.

EDGY's Take: This annual West Suburban conference crossover, The Battle of Downers Grove," has potential playoff implications for both teams. Downers Grove North (3-4, 2-3) has a first-year head coach Joe Horeni. He will rely on junior QB Drew Cassens. Senior TE/DE Joe Passarelli is another name to watch for the Trojans this week. Downers Grove South (4-3, 4-1) and head coach Mark Molinari will look towards a strong running game to keep the pace. Sophomore RB/DB Devean Washington and do-it-all junior ATH Jayden Lambert figure to make plenty of plays. Can the North defense limit South's big play potential? Can the North offense get another big game from Drew Cassens? 

EDGY's Pick: Downers Grove North 21 Downers Grove South 20

Edgy Tim's Top 25 Preps Power Rankings: Week 8

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NBC Sports Chicago

Edgy Tim's Top 25 Preps Power Rankings: Week 8

Here are the latest @NBCSPreps Top 25 Power Rankings as teams embark on the final week of the regular season.

1. Lincoln-Way East 8-0 (1)
Last Week: Beat Sandburg, 40-0
This Week: vs Lincoln-Way West
EDGY's Take: The Griffins are aiming for a win against the Warriors this Friday. Will a top-see in Class 8A come their way Saturday night?

2. Mount Carmel 8-0 (2)
Last Week: Beat St. Viator, 37-7
This Week: vs Brother Rice
EDGY's Take: The Caravan pounced on four St. Viator turnovers in the first half. Mt. Carmel now gets one final conference test before the playoffs.

3. Nazareth Academy 8-0 (3)
Last Week: Beat Notre Dame, 21-0
This Week: @ Benet Academy
EDGY's Take: The Roadrunners' defense was spectacular Friday en route to a 21-0 shutout in Niles.

4. Loyola Academy 6-2 (4)
Last Week: Beat Marian Central Catholic, 52-0
This Week: vs Marist
EDGY's Take: The Ramblers' offense has averaged nearly 48 points per game since a Week 4 loss at Mount Carmel. 

5. Warren Township 8-0 (5)
Last Week: Beat Stevenson, 37-0
This Week: vs Mundelein
EDGY's Take: The Blue Devils defense has posted four shutouts and has allowed just 21 points all season.

6. Homewood-Flossmoor 7-1 (6)
Last Week: Beat Bolingbrook, 14-13
This Week: vs Lincoln-Way Central
EDGY's Take: The Vikings hang on and get a rivalry win over Bolingbrook.

7. Glenbard West 8-0 (7)
Last Week: Beat Hinsdale Central, 20-17 OT
This Week: @ Oak Park-River Forest
EDGY's Take: The Hitters' defense held Hinsdale Central to an overtime field goal; the running game did the rest in the extra session.

8. Neuqua Valley 7-1 (11)
Last Week: Beat Naperville North, 45-14
This Week: @ Metea Valley
EDGY's Take: The Wildcats win its first outright Dupage Valley conference title in school history.

9. Hersey 8-0 (12)
Last Week: Beat Elk Grove, 56-21
This Week: vs Rolling Meadows
EDGY's Take: The Huskies will now gear up for rival Rolling Meadows. It should be a terrific Mid-Suburban East title game.

10. Hinsdale Central 7-1 (9)
Last Week: Lost to Glenbard West, 20-17 OT
This Week: vs Lyons
EDGY's Take: The Red Devils have a lot to look forward to in the postseason, including the development of junior QB Michael Brescia.

11. Notre Dame 7-1 (8)
Last Week: Lost to Nazareth Academy, 21-0
This Week: @ St. Rita
EDGY's Take: How long will the Dons be without senior RB Julian Schurr? 
  
12. Bolingbrook 6-2 (10)
Last Week: Lost to H-F, 21-0
This Week: vs Andrew
EDGY's Take: Do not sleep on the Raiders this postseason. Bolingbrook's two losses were to Lincoln-Way East and H-F . The Raiders showed they can play with elite-level programs.

13. Minooka 8-0 (13)
Last Week: Beat West Aurora, 27-13
This Week: @ Oswego
EDGY's Take: It'll be another battle of undefeateds when Minooka clashes with Oswego. The Southwest Prairie West conference title hangs in the balance. 

14. Oswego 8-0 (14)
Last Week: Beat Yorkville, 28-20
This Week: vs Minooka
EDGY's Take: Oswego will seek to win its 9th straight Southwest Prairie conference title. 

15. Maine South 6-2 (15)
Last Week: Beat Glenbrook South, 28-13
This Week: @ New Trier
EDGY's Take: The Hawks always get up for rival New Trier. The Trevians will be fighting for their playoff lives.

16. Batavia 6-2 (17)
Last Week: Beat St. Charles North, 27-26
This Week: vs Wheaton North
EDGY's Take: The Bulldogs always seem to find secure wins after trailing. RB Art Taylor carried the load in the victory. How long will it take for RB/LB Quinn Urwlier to return?

17. Hillcrest 7-1 (18)
Last Week: Beat Lemont, 32-26
This Week: vs T.F. North
EDGY's Take: RB Mar'Kiese Irving carried the Hawks to an impressive road win. Look for Hillcrest to be a very dangerous team to watch in Class 5A. 

18. Willowbrook 7-1 (19)
Last Week: Beat Morton, 44-0
This Week: vs Proviso East
EDGY's Take: The Warriors get a nice Week 9 test when upstart Proviso East comes calling with the West Suburban Gold title up for grabs.

19. Huntley 7-1 (20)
Last Week: Beat Burlington Central, 63-13
This Week: @ Dundee-Crown
EDGY's Take: The Red Raiders defensive line continues to draw rave reviews from fans and observers across the Fox Valley.

20. Montini 6-2 (21)
Last Week: Beat De La Salle, 42-0
This Week: vs Providence Catholic
EDGY's Take: The Broncos will look to secure a higher playoff seed with. A win on Friday against a strong Providence Catholic would go a long way.

21. Prairie Ridge 7-1 (NR)
Last Week: Beat Cary-Grove, 42-7
This Week: vs Crystal Lake South
EDGY's Take: The Wolves have all the ingredients to make a very deep run in Class 6A.

22. Fremd 6-2 (22)
Last Week: Beat Conant, 20-12
This Week: vs Hoffman Estates
EDGY's Take: The Vikings just find a way. They secured the Mid-Suburban West conference title in their victory over the Cougars.

23. Crete-Monee 8-0 (23)
Last Week: Beat Bloom, 56-6
This Week: vs Thornridge
EDGY's Take: The Warriors got another huge game from senior QB Trayvon Rudolph in the win over Bloom.

24. St. Charles East 6-2 (16)
Last Week: Lost to Wheaton North, 24-19
This Week: @ Lake Park
EDGY's Take: The Saints look to rebound this week after the loss to Wheaton North on Friday.

25. Rolling Meadows 8-0 (NR)
Last Week: Beat Wheeling, 63-14
This Week: @ Hersey
EDGY's Take: The Mustangs have received a huge season from Ball State verbal commit OL/DL Nate Pedraza.

High School Lites Roundup Week 8

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NBC Sports Chicago

High School Lites Roundup Week 8

High School Lites is back with an exciting Week 8 full of thrilling matchups. NBC Sports Chicago has the highlights of some of the top matchups from the games.

Be sure to follow us on Twitter @NBCSPREPS for all of the latest IHSA football scores and highlights.

Drive: Phillips Epsidoe 8

Windy City Legends: Pierre Thomas

Saint Xavier Team of the Week: Proviso East Pirates

Wintrust Athlete of the Week: Maggie Biegalski

Phillips 58, Westinghouse 0

Coal City 29, Wilmington 14

Homewood-Flossmoor 14, Bolingbrook 13

Hillcrest 32, Lemont 26

Prairie Ridge 42, Cary-Grove 7

Grayslake North 20, Grant 17

Antioch 10, Lakes 7

Nazareth 21, Notre Dame 0

Warren 37, Stevenson 0

St. Francis 20, IC Catholic 19