NBC Sports Chicago will have cameras covering the biggest high school football games across Chicagoland on the final regular season edition of High School Lites, Friday at 11:00 p.m. Can Naperville Central stun the state's top-ranked team when East St. Louis comes to town? Can Oswego maintain its stranglehold on the Southwest Prairie Conference, or can Minooka swipe the title and take it back home? In the northern suburbs, will the defense stand this week or should Hersey's stadium crew make sure all the scoreboard light bulbs are working? The Huskies' game against Rolling Meadows figures to be a showcase on offense. It also decides the Mid-Suburban East championship. And can Stevenson beat Lake Forest on Friday and ensure its yearly playoff streak continues?
Crystal Lake Central at Jacobs, 7:00 p.m.
EDGY's Take: Crystal Lake Central (5-3/5-3) and head coach Jon Mclaughlin will rely on an offense led by QB Aiden Ellinger along with a steady running game with RB Jake Coss. Jacobs (3-5/3-5) and veteran Hall of Fame head coach Bill Mitz is looking to finish the season strong. He has some weapons on offense in QB Cole Bhardwaj and WR Max Stec. So whose defense can make a handful of key stops this week? CLC will be looking to clinch their first winning record since 2014.
EDGY's Pick: Crystal Lake Central 28 Jacobs 20
East St. Louis at Naperville Central, 7:00 p.m.
EDGY's Take: East St. Louis (8-0/5-0) makes its third trip to Chicagoland. Head coach Darren Sunkett's Flyers have been rolling all season long. Junior QB Tyler Macon and Macon has an arsenal of weapons, including senior four-star ranked WR/S Antonio Johnson (Texas A&M), senior RB Demonta Witherspoon, senior WR/DB Lawaun Powell, junior WR Dominic Lovett plus college-sized offensive and defensive lines. Naperville Central (4-4/4-1) is coached by Mike Stine. They have won four of their last five, bouncing back after an 0-3 start. Junior QB Sam Jackson (Minnesota) has been playing well. He has several key targets including senior WR Jadon Thompson (Illinois). Can Naperville Central limit the Flyers big play ability? How tested have the Flyers been since early in the season?
EDGY's Pick: East St. Louis 38 Naperville Central 31
(13) Minooka at (14) Oswego, 7:00 p.m.
EDGY's Take: Minooka (8-0/4-0), under Hall of Fame head coach John Belskis, has relied on a balanced offensive attack led by a big line. Their defense contains a ton of speed. Minooka senior QB Seth Lehr and RB Noah Ellens lead the charge. Senior OL/DL Jacob Shipla is a key on both sides of the football. Oswego (8-0/4-0) and head coach Brian Cooney has the Panthers seeking to win their ninth straight Southwest Prairie conference title. The Panthers offense has also been a bit more balanced in 2019. Keep an eye on QB Cole Pradel and WR/S Jack Lemke. Senior OL/DL Jack Hugunin (NIU) has been a mainstay up front for Oswego over the past two seasons. Can Minooka beat Oswego on the road for the first time since 2010?
EDGY's Pick: Minooka 29 Oswego 28 (OT)
(25) Rolling Meadows at (9) Hersey, 7:00 p.m.
EDGY's Take: Look for both Rolling Meadows (8-0/4-0) and Hersey (8-0/4-0) to not be shy when it comes to putting up points. Meadows head coach Matt Mishler features QB Carson Schiller, who has been a big key for the Mustangs offense. RB/LB Chris Divito and senior OL/DL Nate Pedraza (Ball State) figure to make an impact as well. Hersey will put the football into the hands of senior QB Jordan Hansen (NIU). He has been one of the top dual-threat quarterbacks in Chicagoland. Can the Meadows defense contain Jordan Hansen? Can the Hersey defense slow down the balanced Meadows offense?
EDGY's Pick: Hersey 33 Rolling Meadows 27
St. Charles North at Wheaton South, 7:20 p.m.
EDGY's Take: Head coach Rob Pomazak and the North Starts of St. Charles North (4-4/3-3) will look to stop a four game losing streak on Friday in a must-win game. They hope to get the running game going, spearheaded by senior RB Nick Demarco. QB Kyler Brown status for Friday is uncertain after missing last week's 27-26 loss to Batavia. Wheaton South (5-3/3-3) and head coach Ron Muhitch are looking to bounce back with a win this week after losing to Glenbard North 23-7. The Tigers have playmakers in QB Parker Brown and RB Jacob Arthurs while WR/K Jack Olsen (Michigan State) remains a serious field goal threat anytime the Tigers get the football inside the 50 yard line.
EDGY's Pick: St. Charles North 35 Wheaton South 34
East Aurora at Elgin, 7:30 p.m.
EDGY's Take: Football fans will witness a jubilent piece of history Friday night, one way or another. East Aurora (4-4/4-4) and second-year head coach Nick Kukuc is looking to secure a win and get the Tomcats into the IHSA state playoff field for the first time since 1982. Keep an eye on QB Orlando Garcia and WR Sebastian Renteria. Elgin (4-4/4-4), with head coach Anthony Mason, is looking to lock up their first state playoff bid since 2010. The Maroons are coming off a win over crosstown rival Larkin, 27-21. Elgin will rely on junior QB Jeff Lomax along with a stable of speedy backs and receivers. Can the Tomcats defense contain Lomax? Can the Elgin defense get a handle on Orlando Garcia this week?
EDGY's Pick: Elgin 27 East Aurora 21
Stevenson at Lake Forest, 7:30 p.m.
EDGY's Take: Stevenson (4-4/4-2), under first-year head coach Brent Becker, couldn't get much going offensively in last week's 37-0 loss to Warren Township. The Patriots need a win this week to avoid snapping a state playoff streak of 30 consecutive seasons. The biggest question mark for Stevenson: RB J.M. Etienne. Will he return this week after suffering an injury in the loss to Warren? Lake Forest (4-4/3-3) is also looking for a win to get into the IHSA state playoffs. The Scouts will have sophomore RB Jahari Scott and senior WR/K Kai Kroger (South Carolina) helping the offense. On defense, standout DL Rylie Mills (Notre Dame) and LB Mac Uihlein figure to make a difference. Can the Patriots offense generate more points this week? Can Lake Forest finish strong?
EDGY's Pick: Lake Forest 21 Stevenson 14
Viewers' Choice Game
St. Laurence at De La Salle, 7:30 p.m.
EDGY's Take: St. Laurence (4-4/0-2) is looking to secure a state playoff bid with a win on Friday night. The Vikings feature junior QB Darius Wilson and senior RB Nate Thomas. Senior OL/DL Myron Lewis is also a veteran starter and a team leader for coach Adam Nissen's crew. De La Salle (3-5/0-2) will look to finish off the season with a bang. The Meteors will look to senior TE Matt Byrnes and senior DEL Jamari Johnson to lead the way for head coach Mike Boehm. Can the Vikings win on the road and lock up a state playoff spot?
EDGY's Pick: St. Laurence 31 De La Salle 20