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