playoffs

Edgy Tim's quarterfinal round analysis and picks

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NBC Sports Chicago

Edgy Tim's quarterfinal round analysis and picks

NBC Sports Chicago will have cameras covering the biggest high school football games across Chicagoland on the IHSA quarterfinal round edition of High School Lites, this Saturday at 11:00 p.m. Can Marist beat Loyola twice on the road in the span of a few weeks? Can Minooka stun Brother Rice on Chicago's South Side? Can Batavia get some revenge against Nazareth Academy? Who do you have winning the unofficial Prep Bowl between Phillips and Mount Carmel? Who wins the Fox Valley Super Bowl between Cary Grove and Prairie Ridge?

Class 8A

(23) Marist at (18) Loyola Academy, 12:30 p.m.

EDGY's Take: This is a rematch from Week 9 as Marist (7-4) defeated Loyola (8-3) 14-6 to earn the Redhawks a playoff bid. Marist head coach Ron Dawczak has relied on senior QB Hayden Mikesell, a steady running game and a big offensive line led by junior Pat Coogan. The Redhawks defense has been strong in the postseason as well. They're led by senior LB Colin Bohanek (EIU). Loyola is coming off a come from behind 28-27 win over Glenbard West. In that game, the Ramblers' running game got on track behind RB Vaughn Pemberton. The passing game remains solid with junior QB J.T. Thomas and his main target WR Matty Mangan. Can Marist beat Loyola twice within a month in Wilmette? 

EDGY's Pick: Loyola 27 Marist 17

(1) Minooka at (24) Brother Rice, 5:00 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Minooka (11-0), with Hall of Fame head coach John Belskis, will rely on a strong running game to keep the Crusaders offense off the field. Minooka senior QB Seth Lehr is a steady signal caller and leader for the Indians. Senior OL/DL Jacob Shipla and RB Noah Ellens are solid as well. Defensively, keep an eye on junior FB/LB Zach Wingerder, senior DB Ernesto Ramirez and senior DB/WR Steven Gonzales. Brother Rice (7-4) has been able to overcome various injuries while still winning games. Coach Brian Badke and his staff have settled on sophomore QB John Lausch to run the offense while junior RB Willie Shaw has been a major impact player out of the backfield. The 'Rice 'D is also a strength. Watch for senior DL/LB Justin Jefferson, senior DT Denver Warren, senior S Giacomo Iraci and sophomore LB Myles Jones. The best match up is in the trenches: Minooka's O-line against Rice's D-line. 

EDGY's Pick: Minooka 27 Brother Rice 21

Class 7A

(8) Phillips at (1) Mount Carmel, 1:00 p.m. #SENDEDGY

EDGY's Take: The unofficial Prep Bowl takes place on Saturday at Mount Carmel in a game that's been highly anticipated for the past handful of years. Phillips (10-1) will feature QB Antonio Brown to run the Wildcats offense and senior WR/S Ronald Pledger has been a key playmaker for coach Troy McAllister and company. Mount Carmel (11-0) head coach Jordan Lynch features a ball control offense led by junior QB Justin Lynch. Junior RB/LB Kenenna Odeluga has been strong all season long. Senior OL/DL Jalen Grant leads the Caravan offensive and defensive line. Can Phillips get the football back from the Caravan offense on Saturday? Can the Mount Carmel defense avoid giving up the big play against Phillips?
 
EDGY's Pick: Mount Carmel 21 Phillips 14

(7) Batavia at (2) Nazareth, 1:00 p.m.

EDGY's Take: This is a rematch from last year's 7A semifinal, where Nazareth defeated Batavia 47-28; the Roadrunners wound up winning the state title. Batavia (9-2) is back once again, making a deep November run behind a strong running game led by senior RB Art Taylor and senior RB/LB Quinn Urwiler (North Dakota). The Bulldogs' defense is always fast and physical. Junior LB Matt "Mojo" Weerts is a name to watch along with senior S Sam Barus. Nazareth's offense is centered on Michigan commit J.J. McCarthy. This quarterback's main target has been junior WR Tyler Morris. The Roadrunners 'D also has talent. Keep an eye on junior DE/OL Ryan Keeler, senior LB Marcus Griffin (GVSU), senior ILB Riley Theobald and senior DB Jailon Welch (SIU). Can the Batavia defense slow down and contain the Nazareth spread offense?
  
EDGY's Pick: Nazareth Academy 31 Batavia 28

(5) Willowbrook at (20) Lake Zurich, 1:00 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Willowbrook (10-1) and head coach Nick Hildreth is in the 7A quarterfinal round for the fourth straight season. A huge part of the Warriors success has been senior QB/DB Sam Tumilty. On offense, he has a nice stable of backs and receivers. Senior Deandre Holliday and RB Ta'Vion Geanes will make plays. Lake Zurich has been playing great defense in the postseason; their offense has been able to generate enough points to keep advancing. Quarterback Jack Moses, senior TE Hunter Welcing (Northwestern), senior WR James Piggott and junior LB Bryan Sanborn are the leaders for the Bears. Can the Lake Zurich defense contain Sam Tumilty on Saturday? Can the Lake Zurich offense get into the end zone a bit more? Should be a good one.

EDGY's Pick: Lake Zurich 14 Willowbrook 13

Class 6A

(6) Cary-Grove at (1) Prairie Ridge, 1:00 p.m.

EDGY's Take: The annual "Fox Valley Super Bowl" takes things to an even-higher level come Saturday. Cary-Grove lost to rival Prairie Ridge 42-7 back in Week 5 as the Trojans just couldn't get their power run game on track. Cary-Grove will rely on senior FB/LB Blake Skol and senior QB Luke Eleftheriou to move the football and control the clock. Prairie Ridge (10-1) and head coach Chris Schremp will also want to run the football. Can the Wolves' power run game make a statement? The leaders on offense are QB Connor Lydon, FB Kyle Koelblinger and senior RB Blake Brown. Can the Trojans' defense slow down the Prairie Ridge run game? Can the Cary-Grove offensive line have a better showing in this rematch?
 
EDGY's Pick: Prairie Ridge 31 Cary Grove 20

Class 5A

(8) St. Rita at (4) Hillcrest, 3:00 p.m.

EDGY's Take: St. Rita (7-4) has been rolling this season. Coach Todd Kuska's crew posted an impressive 32-0 road win last Saturday over Sterling to advance. The Mustangs are getting an All-State caliber season from sophomore RB Kaleb Brown. He's been running behind an offensive line that is always a strength. The Mustangs' defense has been terrific since mid-season. Hillcrest (10-1) head coach Morgan Weaver also has an All-State caliber running back in junior Mar'Kiese Irving, but how healthy will Irving be after leaving in the second quarter in last week's 28-7 win over Fenwick? The Hawks also have playmakers in junior QB Robert Myles and senior RB/DB Darius Dawson. Can Rita's defense slow down the Hillcrest running game and big play potential? Will Mar'Kiese Irving be ready to go on Saturday? 

EDGY's Pick: St. Rita 31 Hillcrest 24

Class 4A

(3) IC Catholic at (2) Richmond-Burton, 3:00 p.m.

EDGY's Take: IC Catholic (10-1) is in the midst of another deep postseason run in attempting to defend its 4A state title. Head coach Bill Krefft and the Knights will rely on senior QB Danny Cronin and the big play ability of junior RB Kyle Franklin. This team has strong play on both the offensive and defensive lines. Richmond-Burton (11-0) features veteran head coach Mike Noll. The Rockets are rolling this season behind a big and physical offensive line. FB Dalton Wood is a name to watch along with RB Nick Legnaioli. Don't overlook the air attach. The Rockets are very capable of throwing the football with QB Josh Huber. Can R-B slow down the Knights' balanced offensive attack? Will home field advantage come into play for Richmond-Burton?

EDGY's Pick: IC Catholic 28 Richmond Burton 27

Class 3A

(3) Wilmington at (2) Byron, 1:00 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Wilmington and Byron are very familiar with each other, having faced off several times the years in the state playoffs. The visiting Wildcats (10-1), with veteran head coach Jeff Reents, will look to run the football. They will rely on RBs Jake Rodewald and Trey Shaw. The latter has been having a very strong postseason. While Wilmington doesn't throw the football a ton, QB Keaton Hopwood was able to show off his passing ability in beating Eureka last Saturday. Byron (10-1) and head coach Jeff Boyer have been on a mission after losing in the 3A state title game last season. The Tigers also want to run the football. RB Isaac Stickler will have his name called often. Same goes for Drake Snodgrass. Senior OL/DL Tyler Elsbury (Iowa) is a force on both sides of the football for the Tigers. Can Wilmington slow down the Byron power run game? Can the Byron defense find the football against the Wilmington offense?

EDGY's Pick: Byron 28 Wilmington 21

Illinois AP football rankings: Week 8

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NBC Sports Chicago

Illinois AP football rankings: Week 8

The Illlinois high school football AP polls are out. Here are the latest rankings of Illinois high school football teams in each class, according to an Associated Press panel of sportswriters:

Class 8A

No. Team W-L Pts Prv
1. Lincoln-Way East (8) 8-0 80 1
2. Loyola 6-2 66 2
3. Warren 8-0 59 3
4. Homewood-Flossmoor 7-1 54 5
5.  Neuqua Valley 7-1 52 T-6
6. Minooka 8-0 36 8
7.  Niles Notre Dame 7-1 35 4
8. Oswego 8-0 24 9
9. Hinsdale Central 7-1 19 T-6
10. Bolingbrook 6-2 5 10

Others receiving votes: South Elgin 4, Maine South 3, Edwardsville 1, Huntley 1, St. Charles East 1.

Class 7A

No. Team W-L Pts Prv
1. (Chicago) Mt. Carmel (7) 8-0 79 1
2. Nazareth (1) 8-0 69 2
3. Glenbard West 8-0 67 3
4.  Hersey 8-0 49 4
5.  Phillips 7-1 47 5
6. Batavia 6-2 37 7
7.  Rolling Meadows 8-0 34 6
8. Willowbrook 7-1 27 9
9. Normal Community 7-1 21 10
10. Benet 6-2 4 8

Others receiving votes: Glenbard East 4, DeKalb 1, Maine West 1.

Class 6A

No. Team W-L Pts Prv
1. Chatham Glenwood (7) 8-0 79 1
2.  Crete-Monee (1) 8-0 71 2
3.  Simeon 6-1 62 3
T-4. Prairie Ridge 7-1 54 6
T-4. Richards 7-1 54 5
6. Antioch 7-1 31 7
7. Providence  6-2 30 8
8. Cary-Grove 6-2 19 4
9. Normal West 6-2 17 NR
10.  Peoria Central 7-1 10 NR


Others receiving votes: Lemont 8, Yorkville 3, Kaneland 2.

Class 5A

No. Team W-L Pts Prv
1. East St. Louis (9) 8-0 90 1
2. Sterling 8-0 77 2
3.  Hillcrest 7-1 68 T-3
4.  Boylan Catholic 8-0 60 T-3
5.  Montini 6-2 51 5
6.  Sycamore 7-1 43 6
7. St. Rita 5-3 35 8
8. Kankakee 7-1 24 9
9.  Carbondale 7-1 20 10
10.  Dunlap 7-1 12 NR

Others receiving votes: Cahokia 7, Joliet Catholic 6, Marion 2.

Class 4A

No. Team W-L Pts Prv
1. Rochester (7) 8-0 88 2
2. Coal City (2) 8-0 82 3
3. Richmond-Burton 8-0 58 4
4. St. Francis 7-1 52 10
5. IC Catholic Prep 7-1 51 1
6.  Mt. Zion 8-0 49 6
7.  Stillman Valley 8-0 48 5
8. Columbia 8-0 30 8
9. Illinois Valley Central 8-0 15 NR
10.  Effingham 7-1 7 7

Others receiving votes: Tolono Unity 6, Murphysboro 4, Bishop McNamara 2, Prairie Central 2, Genoa-Kingston 1.

Class 3A

No. Team W-L Pts Prv
1. Williamsville (7) 8-0 97 2
2. Byron (1) 7-1 87 3
T-3. Wilmington (1) 7-1 69 1
T-3. Beardstown (1) 8-0 69 4
5. Vandalia 8-0 65 5
6. Fairfield 8-0 54 7
7. Princeton 7-1 37 9
8. DuQuoin 8-0 32 NR
9. Breese Mater Dei 7-1 14 NR
10. Pana 7-1 12 8

Others receiving votes: Nashville 9, Mt. Carmel 4, Eureka 1.

Class 2A

No. Team W-L Pts Prv
1. Fieldcrest (6) 8-0 95 1
2. Clifton Central (3) 8-0 92 2
3. Maroa-Forsyth 7-1 78 3
4. Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley (1) 7-1 73 4
5.  St. Teresa 7-1 62 5
6.  Knoxville 8-0 50 6
7. Newman Central Catholic 7-1 38 7
8. Bismarck-Henning 7-1 32 8
9. Auburn 6-2 20 9
10. Flora 6-2 7 NR

Others receiving votes: Chester 3.

Class 1A

No. Team W-L Pts Prv
1. Lena-Winslow (9) 8-0 90 1
2.  Moweaqua Central A&M 8-0 79 2
3. Annawan-Wethersfield 8-0 68 3
4.  Morrison 8-0 55 4
5.  Aquin 8-0 53 7
6. Hope Academy 7-1 45 8
7. Camp Point Central 7-1 31 9
8. Forreston 6-2 20 6
9. Athens 6-2 15 10
10. Carrollton 7-1 14 NR

Others receiving votes: Greenfield-Northwestern 9, Kirkland Hiawatha 5, Tuscola 4, Ottawa Marquette 3, Arcola 2, Argenta-Oreana 2.

High School Lites Preview: Playoffs/Opening Round

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NBC Sports Chicago

High School Lites Preview: Playoffs/Opening Round

NBC Sports Chicago will have cameras covering the biggest high school football games across Chicagoland on the IHSA playoffs/opening round edition of High School Lites, Friday at 11:00 p.m. Can New Trier win on the road at Oak Park-River Forest? Can Edwardsville travel well and upset Evanston? Does it get any more evenly matched than Waubonsie Valley at Bolingbrook? Can Maine West beat Benet Academy in a rematch from last year's playoffs? And is the Cinderella story of Glenbard East ready for prime time? 

Class 8A

New Trier at Oak Park-River Forest, 6:30 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Head coach Brian Doll of New Trier (7-2) will look towards his balanced offense led by QB Carson Ochsenhirt along and RB/LB Brian Sitzer. A major key for the Trevians will be TE/DE Duke Olges (Northwestern). OPRF, with head coach John Hoerster at the helm, also has some firepower with sophomore QB Jaden McGill and a deep group of backs and receivers. They're led by RB Nazareth Bryant and RB Keith Robinson. DE Izaiah Ruffin (Cincinnati) is an impact player to watch on the Huskies' defense. Can the Trevians dent the OPRF defense? 

EDGY's Pick: OPRF 21 New Trier 14

Edwardsville at Evanston, 7:00 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Edwardsville (6-3) and head coach Mark Martin will look to get the Tigers on track behind QB Kendall Abdur Rahman (Notre Dame) and sophomore RB Justin Johnson Jr. It's a team that has big play speed and gamebreaking potential. Evanston (7-2) also has talent and big play potential behind senior QB Ben Tarpey along with junior RB Quadre Nicholson and WR Michael Axelrood. Can the Wildkits defense contain the Tigers speed? Can the Tigers defense contain the Wildkits speed?

EDGY's Pick: Edwardsville 27 Evanston 24

Waubonsie Valley at Bolingbrook, 7:00 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Both Waubonsie Valley (6-3) and Bolingbrook (7-2) have a lot in common. First and foremost, both teams want to establish the running game. Both have talent and play strong defense. Waubonsie Valley will look to give the ball to RB Bryce Logan and FB Dre'Von Turner. QB Jack Brow is capable in the Warriors' play-action passing game. Bolingbrook and head coach John Ivlow also feature a talented group of running backs in Anthony Williams Jr. (Michigan State) and RB Quentin Pringle (Eastern Kentucky). Junior QB Devyn Suggs continues to make strides in the Raiders' passing game. Can the Warriors defense slow down the Raiders running game and vice-versa?

EDGY's Pick: Bolingbrook 20 Waubonsie Valley 14

Class 7A

T.F. South vs. Mount Carmel, 4:00 p.m. at Gately Stadium

EDGY's Take: T.F. South (6-3) will look to upset the Caravan behind a balanced offense led by QB Kameron Clayton and RB Jamarrison Gaines. Coach Bob Padjen's defense is anchored by LB Michael Smith. Mount Carmel (8-1) has rolled under first year head coach Jordan Lynch. QB Rad Premovic has been a big reason for that. And he has a deep group in the skills department, which includes RB Kyle Davis (Western Michigan). The Caravan have talent and depth on both sides of the football. Can T.F. South keep the Mount Carmel offense off the field and extend drives?

EDGY's Pick: Mount Carmel 35 T.F. South 13

Lincoln Park at Willowbrook, 6:00 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Lincoln Park (5-4) and head coach Vince DeFrancesco won their last three games to become playoff eligible. Two of those wins have come against Public League dynamos: Raby and Morgan Park. The Lions will look towards a strong offense to do the heavy lifting. It's paced by RB Jeremiah Rials. The defense is led by LB Dane Romberger. Willowbrook (9-0), under head coach Nick Hildreth, will rely heavily on a steady offense and a lights-out defense. They're led by the Tumilty brothers: QB/DB Sam Tumilty and junior WR/DB Scott Tumilty. Can Lincoln Park continue to get production from their offense on the road against the Warriors' strong defense?

EDGY's Pick: Willowbrook 34 Lincoln Park 12

Granite City at Batavia, 7:00 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Granite City (5-4) played as an independent schools this season after spending years in the Southwestern conference. Warriors head coach Brad Hasquin features a dynamic junior QB in Freddy Edwards. He is a true dual threat quarterback and a big key in the Granite City offense. Batavia (9-0) is the defending 7A state champs. The Bulldogs haven't skipped a beat this fall behind a strong run/pass game led by QB Jack Meyers and RB Art Taylor. The Batavia defense is talented. The group is led by LB Michael Jansey Jr. (Northwestern) and LB Luke Weerts (North Dakota State). Can Granite City move the football consistently against the Batavia defense?

EDGY's Pick: Batavia 40 Granite City 12

Benet Academy at Maine West, 7:00 p.m.

EDGY's Take: This opening round game between Benet Academy (6-3) and Maine West (8-1) is a rematch from the opening round of last year's playoffs. The Redwings defeated the Warriors 35-13. Coach Pat New's Benet Academy squad features a potent offense led by QB Colin Gilliespie and RB Ben Hickey. Their defense is a strong unit that has made key plays over the season. Head coach Nick Hildreth of Maine West will give the football early (and often) to senior RB/LB Jake Bellizzi. He's rushed for just over 1,400 yards so far this season. Bellizzi is also a leader on the Maine West defense. Can the Benet defense slow down Jake Bellizzi?

EDGY's Pick: Benet Academy 28 Maine West 14

Prospect at Glenbard East, 7:00 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Prospect's first year head coach Dan DeBoeuf has guided the Knights (5-4) into the state playoff field for the first time since 2012. Prospect will rely on QB Jimmy Martin and RB/LB Michael Shafis. Both have had strong seasons. Glenbard East (9-0) is one of the state's Cinderella stories. Head coach John Waters has his Rams in the state playoff field for only the second time in school history (1999). The group relies on a strong senior class led by QB Bret Bushka and LB Anthony Shockey. Can the Prospect defense contain the run/pass threat from Bret Bushka? Is Glenbard East ready for the playoff spotlight and prime time?

EDGY's Pick: Glenbard East 27 Prospect 14

Buffalo Grove at Hononegah, 7:00 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Buffalo Grove (5-4) and head coach Jeffery Vic have been able to overcome the early-season injury loss to standout RB/LB Tom Trieb (NIU). The Bison offense will look towards QB Connor Adams and RB/LB Vinni Hoffman. The defense is experienced as well. Hononegah (9-0), with head coach Brian Zimmerman, are rolling behind QB Ryan VanSchelven and RB Isaiah Richardson. The Indians have a big and physical offensive line anchored by senior Paul Fay. Can the Buffalo Grove defense slow down the Hononegah offense? How well can Hononegah fare against a team not from the NIC-10 conference?

EDGY's Pick: Hononegan 27 Buffalo Grove 24

Rockford East vs Simeon, 7:30 p.m. at Gately Stadium

EDGY's Take: Rockford East (5-4) will make sure to hand the football off to RB TayVeon Lake. He is the Rockford-area leading rusher this season. Head Coach Dante Culbreath and the Simeon Wolverines (9-0) have lots of weapons. That list includes QB Alante Brown (Michigan State), WR Rashaan Palmer and a strong ground game. They also have a fast and physical defense. Can Coach Gary Griffin's Rockford East team run the football consistently against the Simeon defense?

EDGY's Pick: Simeon 31 Rockford East 14

Class 6A

Wauconda at Cary-Grove, 7:00 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Wauconda (5-4) and veteran head coach Dave Mills will look to capture the Bulldogs' first postseason win since 1992. They will look for QB Nick Bugarelli to move the football. The Bulldogs; defense has played well since a Week 5 loss to Lakes. Cary-Grove (9-0) and head coach Brad Seaburg are rolling. They're coming off an impressive Week 9 win over 8A-power Naperville Central. The Trojans will look to run the football with FB Blake Skol. But QB Ben McDonald is also very capable of throwing the football this season. Keep an eye on WR Quinn Priester and two-way standout WR/LB Danny Daigle. Can Wauconda slow down the Cary-Grove offense?

EDGY's Pick: Cary Grove 41 Wauconda 13

Belvidere North at Lakes, 7:30 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Belvidere North (6-3), who hails from the NIC-10 conference, features a run-heavy offense. RB Clay Davis is a name to watch along with QB Holden Paddock for coach Jeff Beck and company. Lakes (7-2) and head coach Jordan Elder has some names to watch as well. That includes senior RB/LB D'Lo Hardy and junior QB/LB Chris Selig. The Eagles offense has averaged 37 points per game this season. Can Belvidere North win on the road outside of the Rockford area? Can the Lakes defense slow down the Blue Thunder's running game?

EDGY's Pick: Lakes 28 Belvidere North 27