Preps Talk

High School Lites Week 9 capsules and picks

High School Lites Week 9 capsules and picks

CSN Chicago will have cameras covering the biggest high school football games across Chicagoland on the Week 9 edition of High School Lites. Can Loyola beat Brother Rice on the South Side in the Chicago Catholic Blue title game? Can Oak Park-River Forest upset Hinsdale Central in the West Suburban Silver title game? A playoff spot is on the line in the DuPage Valley: can Wheaton North win on the road at Waubonsie Valley? And can either Thornwood or Thornridge win and remain eligible for a state playoff spot?

Lincoln Park vs. Mather, 4:15 p.m. at Winnemac Stadium

EDGY's Take: The winner between Lincoln Park (7-1, 5-1) and Mather (7-1, 5-1) will head to the IHSA state playoffs while the loser will prepare for the CPL Prep Bowl playoffs. Lincoln Park will look to establish the running game behind senior RB Charles Dale Jr. while Mather will also rely on its backfield and solid offensive line. Can either team stop the run?

EDGY's Pick: Lincoln Park 28, Mather 27

Thornwood at Thornridge, 7:00 p.m.

EDGY's Take: This Battle of District 205 schools is always a big rivalry game. Throw in a potential state playoff spot and that makes this game even bigger. Thornwood (4-4, 1-4) and head coach Bill Bundy features senior QB Jamar Howard while. Thornridge (5-3, 2-3), under head coach Pat Jennings, has posted five wins; however, they do not have a guaranteed state playoff spot yet due to their low IHSA playoff point total (31). Can Thornwood win and get in? Can Thornridge win-- and then sweat out a state playoff bid on Saturday?

EDGY's Pick: Thornwood 34, Thornridge 28

(1) Loyola at (3) Brother Rice, 7:30 p.m.

EDGY's Take: The winner here captures the CCL Blue conference crown along with a high seed in the 8A playoff field. Brother Rice (8-0, 3-0) features one of Chicagoland’s top offenses behind senior QB Dino Borrelli and an assortment of playmakers, including senior WR Ricky Smalling (Illinois) and senior RB Xazavian Valladay (Wyoming). Loyola (8-0, 3-0) has been the state's top ranked team since the preseason. The Ramblers will look to their passing game, led by senior QB Tommy Herion and senior WR Jake Marwede (Duke). Loyola's offensive line has also been a strength all season. Can the Loyola defense slow down the Crusaders’ weapons? Can the Rice defense get the football back — early and often — from the Loyola offense?

EDGY's Pick: Loyola 34, Brother Rice 31

Lockport at (12) Lincoln-Way East, 7:30 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Lockport (6-2, 4-2) has been a terrific story this year as the Porters are state playoff-bound. Will Lockport's starting QB Ben Davis, who sat out with an illness in last week’s 35-0 win over Stagg, return to the field? Lincoln-Way East (6-2, 4-2) is in need of a win this week after dropping a 38-21 game to Bradley last Friday. The Griffins counter with dual QBs in seniors Jake Arthur and Max Shafer. Can Lockport move the football against the East defense, minus Ben Davis? Can the Porters defense slow down the East offense?

EDGY's Pick: Lincoln-Way East 34, Lockport 14

Mt. Carmel at Providence, 7:30 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Mount Carmel (4-4, 0-3) is in a rare position of needing a win this week to become eligible for the IHSA state playoff field. Providence Catholic (3-5, 0-3) is out of the state playoffs for the second straight season. Can the Caravan win on the road and beat Providence Catholic in New Lenox? Will Providence show up and play this game like it’s a state playoff game? If Providence wins, it will result in Mount Carmel missing the state playoffs for the first time since 1985.

EDGY's Pick: Mount Carmel 28, Providence Catholic 21

(14) Oak Park-River Forest at (6) Hinsdale Central, 7:30 p.m.

EDGY's Take: The winner will become the West Suburban Silver conference champion — and they’ll also secure a high seed in the 8A playoff field. Hinsdale Central (8-0, 5-0) has been led by senior QB John Bean and a very solid defense all season long. Oak Park-River Forest (7-1, 4-1) bounced back last Friday with a huge 27-3 win over Lyons. The Huskies also feature a terrific quarterback in senior Jeremy Hunt, who utilizes several weapons all over the field. Can the Hinsdale Central defense slow down the OPRF offense? Will last week's OPRF defense show up again on Friday in Hinsdale?

EDGY's Pick: Hinsdale Central 28, Oak Park-River Forest 27

Wheaton North at Waubonsie Valley, 7:30 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Both Wheaton North (4-4, 3-4) and Waubonsie Valley (4-4, 3-4) are seeking a state playoff bid with a win on Friday. Wheaton North will look to a few senior leaders in QB Luke Anthony and LB Erik Mueller. Waubonsie Valley head coach Paul Murphy lost a heartbreaker last Friday to Naperville North. The Warriors have a balanced offense and keep an eye on junior QB Tanner Westwood. Last possession wins?

EDGY's Pick: Waubonsie Valley 28, Wheaton North 24

Hersey at Wheeling, 7:30 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Wheeling (4-4, 3-1) is seeking a win and a state playoff berth for the first time since 2008. The Wildcats offense features a very good passing attack led by QB Jalen Dennis. Hersey (3-5, 2-2) will look towards QB Owen Goldsberry to lead the way for the Huskies. Can the Hersey defense slow down the Wheeling passing attack?

EDGY's Pick: Wheeling 31, Hersey 20

Notre Dame at St. Viator, 7:30 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Both Notre Dame (5-3, 4-2) and St. Viator (5-3, 4-2) seem to be in line for a state playoff spot, win or lose. St. Viator and first year head coach David Archibald has the Lions playing well. They will look to their passing game, led by QB Bryce Hellgeth and senior TE Cole Kmet (Notre Dame recruit). Notre Dame and veteran head coach Mike Hennessey features QB Tom Drabik along with a strong running game. Can the Notre Dame defense slow down the St. Viator passing game? 

EDGY's Pick: St. Viator 27, Notre Dame 19

Viewers’ Choice: Elgin at Larkin, 7:30 p.m.

EDGY's Take: It's the annual battle for the Town Jug between these two U-46 district schools. Larkin (4-4, 2-3) and head coach Dragan Teonic are looking to secure a state playoff berth with a win. If so, it’ll be the program's first since 2006. Larkin will rely on QB David Hibbler. The Maroons (0-8, 0-5) will be in search of their first win since beating Larkin back in Week 8 of the 2014 season — a 31-13 win. Larkin leads the all-time series 34-20.

EDGY's Pick: Larkin 37, Elgin 14

95 Days to Kickoff: Waubonsie Valley

95 Days to Kickoff: Waubonsie Valley

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: Waubonsie Valley

Head coach: Paul Murphy

Assistant coaches: Ron Griffin, Tom Baumgarnter, Chris Genslinger, Brad Caldwell, Josh Cuttone, Noel Soto, Ryan Voitik, Duane Butts and Ken Anderson

How they fared in 2017: 4-5 (4-4 DuPage Valley Conference). Waubonsie Valley failed to qualify for the IHSA playoff field.

2018 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 24 @ Oak Park-River Forest

Aug. 31 vs Libertyville

Sept 7 @ Neuqua Valley

Sept. 14 @ Edwardsville

Sept. 21 vs Naperville North

Sept. 28 vs Neuqua Valley

Oct. 5 vs Prairie Ridge

Oct. 12 @ Naperville Central

Oct. 19 @ Metea Valley

[MORE: 96 Days to Kickoff: Jacobs]

Biggest storyline: It's all about the schedule. Can the Warriors survive a challenging lineup --which includes playing Neuqua Valley twice-- and make the playoffs?

Names to watch this season: WR Julian Cain and DL Avante Rogers

Biggest holes to fill: The Warriors will have several new faces on both the offensive and defensive lines in 2018. 

EDGY's Early Take: It's not often that veteran head coach Paul Murphy and his Warriors view the playoffs from home. But that's what happened last year. They were the first Waubonsie team since 2006 to do just that. Look for the Warriors to rely on a strong group of receivers to bounce back this fall. They also feature a good group of underclassmen ready to step up. Also, they will need to get used to life in the newly-realigned DuPage Valley Conference. The 2018 schedule includes two games against big district rival Neuqua Valley and a loaded non-conference slate which includes some heavy hitters. 

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.