Football recruiting

Edgy Tim's Preps Power Rankings: Championship Round

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NBC Sports Chicago

Edgy Tim's Preps Power Rankings: Championship Round

Here are the latest @NBCSPreps Top 25 Power Rankings.

1. Brother Rice 13-0 (3)
Last Week: Beat Marist, 14-3
This Week: Class 8A state title game vs Loyola
EDGY's Take: The Crusaders defense loomed large. Then Rice's offense, led by QB John Bean, did the rest. It added up to a 14-3 win at a packed house at Marist. And it'll be the first IHSA state title game appearance for Brother Rice since 1985. 

2. Nazareth Academy 12-1 (8)
Last Week: Beat Batavia, 47-28
This Week: Class 7A state title game vs St. Charles North
EDGY's Take: The Roadrunners offense, featuring QB J.J. McCarthy and RB Michael Love, has remained on fire in the postseason. Nazareth pulled away late in beating Batavia to advance to the 7A state title game. 

3. Loyola Academy 10-3 (12)
Last Week: Beat Lincoln-Way East, 24-16
This Week: Class 8A State Title Game vs Brother Rice
EDGY's Take: The Ramblers defense, once again, set the tempo. They forced a few key first half turnovers while QB Jack Fallon and WR Rory Boos did the rest in stunning Lincoln-Way East. Loyola gets a rematch with CCL Blue rival Brother Rice on Saturday. 

4. Cary-Grove 13-0 (7)
Last Week: Beat Notre Dame, 28-21
This Week: Class 6A state title game vs Crete-Monee
EDGY's Take: The Trojans win a classic over Notre Dame on Saturday, with Danny Daigle's late touchdown being the difference. The Trojans get a rematch from the 2012 6A state title game this Saturday against Crete-Monee. 

5. Lincoln-Way East 12-1 (1)
Last Week: Lost to Loyola, 24-16
This Week: Season Completed
EDGY's Take: The Griffins started out slow and never recovered in their loss to Loyola. The Griffins offense was held to a season low 16 points in the loss. 

6. Marist 11-2 (4)
Last Week: Lost to Brother Rice, 14-3
This Week: Season Completed
EDGY's Take: The Redhawks defense kept them in the game but the offense just could not get into a higher gear. It's their second loss to rival Brother Rice this season. 

7. St. Charles North 10-3 (25)
Last Week: Beat Mount Carmel, 27-21 (2-OT)
This Week: Class 7A state title game vs Nazareth Academy
EDGY's Take: The North Stars just never quit. Senior ATH Tyler Nubin had a huge day when it counted for St. Charles North, who will make their first IHSA state title game appearance.

8. Batavia 12-1 (2)
Last Week: Lost to Nazareth Academy, 47-28
This Week: Season Completed
EDGY's Take: The Bulldogs battled back all game long. But in the end, they just couldn't keep pace with the Nazareth offense.  

9. Mount Carmel 11-2 (5)
Last Week: Lost to St. Charles North, 27-21 (2-OT)
This Week: Season Completed
EDGY's Take: The Caravan had their chances late against St Charles North but just couldn't finish.

10. Homewood-Flossmoor 10-2 (6)
Last Week: Season Completed
This Week: Season Completed

11. Simeon 11-1 (10)
Last Week: Season Completed
This Week: Season Completed

12. Maine South 10-2 (9)
Last Week: Season Completed
This Week: Season Completed

13. Montini Catholic 12-1 (19)
Last Week: Beat Sterling, 42-20
This Week: Class 5A state title game vs Joliet Catholic
EDGY's Take: The Broncos get a big road win at Sterling and will now try to beat Joliet Catholic in the 5A state title game-- a rematch of the epic 70-45 JCA win back in 2011. 

14. Crete-Monee 10-3 (NR)
Last Week: Beat Richards, 38-35
This Week: Class 6A State Title Game vs Cary-Grove
EDGY's Take: The Warriors, who started off 0-3, have simply been the Cinderella story of the postseason. They pulled out more last minute magic and stun Richards 38-35 to advance to the 6A state title game.

15. Warren Township 10-2 (11)
Last Week: Season Completed
This Week: Season Completed

16. Richards 12-1 (13)
Last Week: Lost to Crete-Monee, 38-35
This Week: Season Completed
EDGY's Take: The Bulldogs drop a heartbreaking 38-35 loss to Crete-Monee to end the season. 

17. Notre Dame 10-3 (24)
Last Week: Lost to Cary-Grove, 28-21
This Week: Season Completed
EDGY's Take: The Dons battled Cary-Grove and came up just short in a 28-21 loss on Saturday. Has any player ever meant more to Niles Notre Dame football than Ty Gavin? 

18. IC Catholic Prep 13-0 (23)
Last Week: Beat Richmond Burton, 28-9
This Week: Class 4A state title game vs Bishop McNamara
EDGY's Take: The Knights trailed Richmond-Burton at the half but then rallied for the 28-9 win. Can the Knights beat Bishop McNamara on Friday night for the second time this season. It's a Week 4 Metro Suburban Blue rematch. 

19. Joliet Catholic 9-4 (NR)
Last Week: Beat Hillcrest, 42-6
This Week: Class 5A state title game vs Montini Catholic
EDGY's Take: The Hilltoppers get another big game from their running game, led by RB Keenan Hailey. The JCA defense made several big stops in beating top seed Hillcrest on Saturday. Can JCA beat Montini this time around?

20. Willowbrook 11-1 (15)
Last Week: Season Completed
This Week: Season Completed

21. Phillips 9-3 (14)
Last Week: Season Completed
This Week: Season Completed

22. Bishop McNamara 12-1 (NR)
Last Week: Beat Rochester, 52-42
This Week: Class 4A state title game vs IC Catholic Prep
EDGY's Take: The Fightin' Irish get a huge day from senior RB Tyshon King and stun powerhouse Rochester to advance to the 4A state title game.

23. Oak Park-River Forest 8-3 (16)
Last Week: Season Completed
This Week: Season Completed

24. Wheaton South 10-2 (17)
Last Week: Season Completed
This Week: Season Completed

25. Oswego 10-1 (18)
Last Week: Season Completed
This Week: Season Completed
 

High School Lites / Playoff Semifinal Preview

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NBC Sports Chicago

High School Lites / Playoff Semifinal Preview

NBC Sports Chicago will have cameras covering the biggest high school football games across Chicagoland on the Semifinal Saturday IHSA State Playoff edition of High School Lites, Saturday at 11:00 p.m. Can Marist get payback for it's Week 1 loss to neighborhood rival Brother Rice? Can Loyola beat Lincoln-Way East and stun the IHSA football world? Does the Drive end for Batavia at Nazareth Academy or can the Bulldogs get back top the 7A state title game? Who's running game wins out between Cary-Grove and Notre Dame? And can the Crete-Magical Mystery Tour continue onto the biggest stage or will Richards take a bite out of the Warriors on Saturday?

Class 8A

Brother Rice at Marist, 1:00 p.m. #SENDEDGY

EDGY's Take: This neighborhood rivalry is about as intense as they come. It's a rematch from the opening week when Brother Rice defeated Marist 20-16. Rice head coach Brian Badke will rely on senior QB John Bean, who's a major threat with running and passing abilities. Bean has several key targets, including RB Jessi Plunkett and WR Dylan Summers. The Crusaders defense has been strong all season and was able to pitch a 20-0 shutout in last week's win over Warren Township. Marist and head coach Ron Dawczak will also rely on a talented quarterback, All-State selection Mike Markett. He's a major threat with both the pass and the run and will get the football into the hands of RB Billy Skalitzky and WR Jadon Thompson as much as possible. The RedHawks defense also played well in their 21-7 win over H-F last Saturday. LB Jake Duerr is a key name to watch. Can the Rice defense contain Mike Markett? Can the Marist defense contain John Bean? Look for a very tight game here and a possible "last possession wins" type of finish. 

EDGY's Pick: Brother Rice 21 Marist 20

Lincoln-Way East at Loyola, 1:00 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Loyola Academy and head coach John Holocek have been able to prove everyone wrong this postseason. They posted an impressive 17-0 shutout over Maine South last Saturday. The Ramblers will rely on a much improved offense, led by QB Jack Fallon and an experienced skills group, featuring WR Rory Boos, WR Artie Collins and RB Trevor Cabanban. The Loyola defense is led by All-State S Jake Gonzales (Penn), LB Armoni Dixon, DL Edward Eastman and Conor Hough. The Lincoln-Way East Griffins, coached by Rob Zvonar, have been the state's top ranked team all season long; no one has come close to beating them. Their offense is led by QB Jake Baltz (Illinois State), who has a wealth of talented skill position players including WR AJ Henning, RB Devon Williams, WR Matt Judd and WR/TE Jackson Ritter. It's a balanced and explosive unit. On defense, the Griffins has also been strong. Keep an eye on DL Dylan Shelton, LB Danny Scianna and LB Gus Christensen. Can Loyola force Lincoln-Way East to play for four quarters for the first time all season?

EDGY's Pick: Lincoln-Way East 28 Loyola 14

Class 7A

Batavia at Nazareth, 1:00 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Batavia and head coach Dennis Piron ended up needing overtime to beat Willowbrook in last week's quarterfinal. The Bulldogs gave up a 24-7 third quarter lead. Their offense is balanced and led by QB Jack Meyers (1,844 yards passing 20 TDs) and RB Art Taylor (1,125 yards rushing, nine TDs). Batavia's defense is also a strength. Watch for LB Michael Jansey Jr. (Northwestern), junior LB/RB Quinn Urwiler and senior LB Luke Weerts (North Dakota State) to make plays. Nazareth head coach Tim Racki saw his Roadrunners down early 14-0 to Simeon last Saturday but then came back with a vengeance. They hung on for a thrilling 34-27 win at Gately Stadium. The Nazz offense starts with sophomore QB JJ McCarthy and features several key play makers including WR/DB Michael Love and WR/DB Diamond Evans. Bottom line: the Nazareth offense is simply as explosive as any team remaining in the semifinal round. Can the Batavia defense get a pass rush and slow down Nazareth's spread offense? Can the Roadrunner defense limit Batavia's touches?

EDGY's Pick: Nazareth Academy 27 Batavia 17

Mt. Carmel at St. Charles North, 1:00 p.m. 

EDGY's Take: First year head coach Jordan Lynch guided his Caravan to an impressive 29-19 win over East St. Louis last Saturday. Mount Carmel got a big game from QB Rad Premovic. St. Charles North is in the semifinal round for the first time in school history. Coach Rob Pomazak's North Stars got a 21-10 win over Dukane conference rival Wheaton South last Saturday. Mount Carmel wants to establish the shotgun run/pass option offense with Premovic. He will look towards a deep backfield, led by RB Kyle Davis, RB Demetrius Rias and WR/DB Matt Lenti. St. Charles North has gotten a big season from sophomore QB Kyler Borwn and sophomore RB Nick Demarco. Senior WR/S Tyler Nubin (Minnesota) is the top overall player for North on either side of the football. Can the North Stars slow down the Caravan's balanced offensive attack? Can the Mount Carmel defense contain North's big play potential?

EDGY's Pick: Mount Carmel 28 St. Charles North 17

Class 6A

Cary-Grove at Notre Dame, 3:00 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Cary-Grove was able to beat Phillips last Saturday 34-24. Coach Brad Seaburg's Trojans got several key contributions in all three phases of the game. This week, they will look to establish the power option game -first and foremost- with FB Blake Skol, RB Danny Daigle and a nice mix of run and pass from QB Ben McDonald. C-G's All-State senior OL/DL Addison West (Western Michigan) has also been a big key all season for the Trojans. Notre Dame is coached by a mainstay in the IHSA, Mike Hennessey. He will give the football early and often to senior RB Ty Gavin. The Dons' remaining offensive skills are also a strength. They're led by sophomore QB Anthony Sayles. The ND defense has been strong all season/postseason. Keep an eye on LB Anthony Ranallo and DL Michael Tobias. Can the Notre Dame defense shut down the Cary-Grove option game? Can Notre Dame run the football against the Cary defense? 

EDGY's Pick: Cary Grove 27 Notre Dame 21

Richards at Crete-Monee, 2:00 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Head coach Tony Sheehan has one of his more talented Richards teams on both sides of the ball. On offense, it starts with QB Marquel Porter along with Iowa commit ATH Sebastian Castro. Watch for junior RB LeShon Williams and senior WR/DB Walter Riley to make plays as well. Richards also has talent and size on both the offensive and defensive lines. Crete-Monee, under head coach John Konecki, has stunned the 6A field beating a 6 seed (Bloomington) a 3 seed (Glenwood) and a 2 seed (Washington) to advance to Saturday's semifinal round. The Warriors also have a ton of talent and speed. Their offense will throw a lot of different looks and rotate in several versatile personnel. Keep an eye on QB Trayvon Rudolph and RB/DB Ronald Carroll Jr. WR Ricky Johnson is a deep ball threat. Can the Richards offense get out of  the gates quickly this week? Can the Crete-Monee offense make the Richards defense work overtime, having them on their heels with several different looks?

EDGY's Pick: Richards 28 Crete-Monee 27 

Class 5A

Montini at Sterling, Sat. 2:00 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Montini had little issue beating Evergreen Park last Saturday. Coach Mike Bukovsky's Broncos feature a balanced, shotgun spread offensive attack. The unit is led by junior QB Deontay Bell, sophomore QB Robert Brazziel and senior RB Nick Fedanzo. Junior WR Nate Muersch and senior WR Scott West are playmakers as well. Montini also has size and strength up front on both the offensive and defensive lines-- they're one of the most battle tested teams left in the state playoff field coming out of the CCL Blue. Sterling and head coach Job Schlemmer are in the state semifinal round for the first time in school history. The Golden Warriors have balance on offense, led by QB Cooper Willman and All-State RB/LB Isaiah Ryan. Sterling also has a stable of quality backs and receivers. Can Sterling match up on both sides of the football against Montini for four quarters? Can Montini win on the road?

EDGY's Pick: Montini 31 Sterling 21

Hillcrest at Joliet Catholic, 2:00 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Hillcrest has been on a roll all season long. Coach Morgan Weaver's Hawks will travel a little bit west on I-80 on Saturday and take on Joliet Catholic at Joliet Memorial Stadium. The Hawks boast speed and explosiveness on both sides of the football. Look for senior QB Monte Garrett, sophomore RB Mar'kiese Irving and several quality backs and receivers to make plays. Hillcrest's defense also has talent. The group is led by senior DB/WR Corey Crooms and senior DE/TE Cam Mattox. Joliet Catholic, with head coach Jake Jaworski at the helm, are back in familiar territory in the state playoffs--playing deep into November. They will give the football early and often to All-State senior RB Keenan Hailey (2,323 yards rushing), who runs behind a big and very physical offensive line. The JCA defense has also been solid all season long. Keep an eye on senior LB Max Briscoe along with All State DB Kurt Weis. Can the Hillcrest defense figure out Joliet Catholic's double-wing running game? Can the JCA defense slow down and limit the Hillcrest big play ability?

EDGY's Pick: Joliet Catholic 35 Hillcrest 29

Class 4A

Richmond-Burton at IC Catholic, 4:00 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Richmond-Burton and veteran first year head coach Mike Noll has made quite a splash this season after having coached at McHenry and Glenbrook South for several years. The Rockets have relied on a strong running game and defense led by FB/LB Mike Kaufman, junior RB Dalton Wood and sophomore QB Jacob Huber. The Rockets defense has allowed just 88 points all season. IC Preps and head coach Bill Krefft was "success factored" up to Class 4A after winning back-to-back Class 3A state titles in 2016 and 2017. The Knights haven't skipped a beat so far this fall. The Knights offense has good balance. QB Khali Saunders (1,798 yards of total offense, 20 TDs) is a terrific athlete capable of beating teams with the pass and run. Sophomore RB Kyle Franklin (1,961 yards rushing 32 TD's) has been a big key as well. The Knights defense also has been a force. Keep an eye on senior LB/WR Khalil Saunders (Purdue), junior LB Kevin Cooke and senior OL/DL Ricky Mysliwiec. Can Richmond Burton's defense slow down the multi-faceted IC offense?
 
EDGY's Pick: IC 32 Richmond Burton 20

Rochester at Bishop McNamara, 2:00 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Rochester, with head coach Derek Leonard, is in search of their eighth Class 4A state title over the past nine seasons; however, they have a big challenge awaiting on Saturday in the likes of Bishop McNamara. The Rockets offense remains as power-packed as ever. They will play two quarterbacks: junior Clay Bruno (2,158 yards passing, 24 touchdowns) and senior Brock Mackiney (565 yards passing, nine touchdowns). Both have multiple weapons to use in WR Cade Eddington (908 yards receiving, nine touchdowns), WR Riley Lewis (898 yards receiving 11 touchdowns) and junior RB David Yoggerst (816 yards rushing, 11 touchdowns). Bishop McNamara, also a perennial force in the IHSA playoffs, is led by Hall of Fame head coach Rich Zinnani. He has some key names to watch: QB junior Tyler Heller, senior RB Tyshon King and junior OL Isaac Ruder. Can Rochester win on the road in Kankakee? Could weather conditions play a factor on Saturday? Can the Fightin Irish defense slow down the Rochester offense?

EDGY's Pick: Rochester 27 Bishop McNamara 24

Class 3A

Byron at Herscher, 2:00 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Byron will hit the road on Saturday and travel across the state. Coach Jeff Boyer's Tigers has a potent ground game. Keep an eye on RB Drake Snodgrass (1,428 yards, 15 touchdowns), RB Isaac Stickler (1,220, 17 touchdowns) and FB Ricky Messling (991 yards, 20 touchdowns). Head coach Dan Wetzel's Tigers have impresses as the #15. The Tigers have been on a roll this postseason, led by a strong offense. QB Carter Hendrix, RB Matt Dorsey are names to watch. This team is pretty battle-tested coming out of the Interstate 8 Large conference. Can the Herscher defense slow down the power running Byron offense? Can the Herscher offense get some long drives going and finish with points against the Byron defense?

EDGY's Pick: Byron 28 Herscher 21

Edgy Tim's Preps Power Rankings: Semifinal Round

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NBC Sports Chicago

Edgy Tim's Preps Power Rankings: Semifinal Round

Here are the latest @NBCSPreps Top 25 Power Rankings. 

1. Lincoln-Way East 12-0 (1)
Last Week: Beat Edwardsville, 50-14
This Week: @ Loyola
EDGY's Take: The Griffins, once again, dominate a solid program. They roll, walloping Edwardsville. But Loyola should bring another big challenge this Saturday in Wilmette.

2. Batavia 12-0 (2)
Last Week: Beat Willowbrook, 34-27 OT
This Week: @ Nazareth Academy
EDGY's Take: The Bulldogs get out to an early lead and then hang on for dear life. But "win and advance" is always the top priority.  

3. Brother Rice 12-0 (3)
Last Week: Beat Warren Township, 20-0
This Week: @ Marist
EDGY's Take: The Crusaders defense is also something that fans can't ignore. I have a feeling it's going to be an extra EDGY week on the South Side.

4. Marist 11-1 (4)
Last Week: Beat H-F, 21-7
This Week: vs Brother Rice
EDGY's Take: The Redhawks lock down a very strong H-F running game. They advance and prepare for a "part two" of the South Side Super Bowl.

5. Mount Carmel 11-1 (5)
Last Week: Beat East St. Louis, 29-19
This Week: @ St. Charles North
EDGY's Take: The Caravan took it to the Flyers on Saturday night at Gately Stadium. Mount Carmel is on a serious roll, peaking at the right time.

6. Cary-Grove 12-0 (7)
Last Week: Beat Phillips, 34-24
This Week: @ Notre Dame
EDGY's Take: The Trojans get the big win over Phillips. The Trojans now hit the road to face a Dons team coming off a solid win over Antioch.

7. Nazareth Academy 11-1 (8)
Last Week: Beat Simeon, 34-27
This Week: vs Batavia
EDGY's Take: The Roadrunners took a late lead over Simeon and then hung on in the final seconds. Michael Love, at times, just isn't human. What an effort on Saturday.

8. Loyola Academy 9-3 (12)
Last Week: Beat Maine South, 17-0
This Week: vs Lincoln-Way East
EDGY's Take: The Ramblers defense was lights out, posting a shutout against one of their biggest rivals. Big test this week hosting Lincoln-Way (B)East. 

9. Homewood-Flossmoor 10-2 (6)
Last Week: Lost to Marist, 21-7
This Week: Season Completed
EDGY's Take: The Vikings just couldn't get their running game in gear in the loss to Marist.

10. Simeon 11-1 (10)
Last Week: Lost to Nazareth Academy, 34-27
This Week: Season Completed
EDGY's Take: The Wolverines had their chances but came up just seconds short Saturday against Nazareth Academy.

11. Maine South 10-2 (9)
Last Week: Lost to Loyola, 17-0
This Week: Season Completed
EDGY's Take: The Hawks just couldn't find a way of denting Loyola's defense.

12. Warren Township 10-2 (11)
Last Week: Lost to Brother Rice, 20-0
This Week: Season Completed
EDGY's Take: The Blue Devils couldn't muster up much offense in their 20-0 loss to Brother Rice.

13. Richards 12-0 (13)
Last Week: Beat Normal West, 22-17
This Week: @ Crete-Monee
EDGY's Take: The Bulldogs hang on to beat Normal West and now will travel to Crete on Saturday in a huge 6A south suburban showdown. 

14. Montini Catholic 11-1 (19)
Last Week: Beat Evergreen Park, 54-7
This Week: @ Sterling
EDGY's Take: The Broncos wallop Evergreen Park. How will they fare on the road at Sterling?

15. Notre Dame 10-2 (24)
Last Week: Beat Antioch, 17-10
This Week: vs Cary-Grove
EDGY's Take: The Dons have gotten a state championship-level performance from their defense all postseason.

16. St. Charles North 9-3 (25)
Last Week: Beat Wheaton South, 21-10
This Week: vs Mount Carmel
EDGY's Take: The North Stars get payback from their Week Nine 13-11 loss to Wheaton South; North is now heading to the state semifinals for the first time in school history. 

17. Crete-Monee 9-3 (NR)
Last Week: Beat Washington, 35-28
This Week: vs Richards
EDGY's Take: After an 0-3 start, the Warriors turned their season on a dime and have dominated the Class 6A playoffs. They get another big test on Saturday hosting Richards.

18. Hillcrest 12-0 (21)
Last Week: Beat Cahokia, 27-0
This Week: @ Joliet Catholic
EDGY's Take: The Hawks shut out Cahokia to advance and now hit the road this Saturday to take on Joliet Catholic.

19. Willowbrook 11-1 (15)

Last Week: Lost to Batavia, 34-27 OT
This Week: Season Completed
EDGY's Take: The Warriors battled back after training Batavia and come up just short in overtime. 

20. Phillips 9-3 (14)
Last Week: Lost to Cary-Grove, 34-24
This Week: Season Completed
EDGY's Take: The Wildcats hung tough but lose to Cary-Grove to end the season.  

21. IC Catholic Prep 12-0 (23)
Last Week: Beat Marengo, 49-27
This Week: vs Richmond Burton
EDGY's Take: The Knights get another huge game from sophomore RB Kyle Franklin in beating Marengo to advance. 

22. Oak Park-River Forest 8-3 (16)
Last Week: Season Completed
This Week: Season Completed
EDGY's Take: The Huskies have several underclassmen back for the 2019 season including QB Jaden McGill.

23. Wheaton South 10-2 (17)
Last Week: Lost to St. Charles North, 21-10
This Week: Season Completed
EDGY's Take: The Tigers wind up the season with a tough 21-10 loss to Dukane Conference rival St. Charles North. I think this DuKane Conference might just work out after all.

24. Oswego 10-1 (18)
Last Week: Season Completed
This Week: Season Completed
EDGY's Take: The Panthers will play in the new-look Southwest Prairie conference in 2019.

25. Joliet Catholic 8-4 (NR)
Last Week: Beat Highland, 55-21
This Week: vs Hillcrest
EDGY's Take: The Hilltoppers posted nearly 600 yards rushing in walloping Highland. RB Keenan Hailey is having an All-State caliber season for the Hillmen this fall.