High School: Maine South

Maine South's Alviti commits to NU

April, 15, 2012
4/15/12
12:40
PM CT
Matt AlvitiScott Powers/ESPNChicago.comMatt Alviti's list of offers included Notre Dame and Michigan State, but he decided on Northwestern on Saturday.

Maine South junior quarterback Matt Alviti has committed to Northwestern.

Alviti, a 6-foot, 185-pound dual-threat quarterback, chose the Wildcats over Boston College, Indiana, Michigan State, Notre Dame and Purdue. He committed to Northwestern after its spring game on Saturday.

Alviti completed 150-of-230 passes for 2,210 yards, 29 touchdowns and seven interceptions as a junior. He also rushed for 609 yards and 12 touchdowns.

“I just think it was a large combination of things for him,” Maine South coach David Inserra said of Alviti’s commitment. “It’s a well-educated decision on his part. He took his time. He did it right. He measured it against the other schools in the mix. I think in the end it was the offense they run, their coaches and how can you argue with that education.”

Inserra thought Alviti shouldn’t have a difficult time adjusting to Northwestern’s spread offense because Maine South runs something similar. Alviti has started since his sophomore year in Inserra’s offense.

“We actually stole from them, borrowed from them,” Inserra said. “I think it’ll be a natural fit for him. It’s geared toward his game to be a dual-threat type of guy. He can throw it on the run a lot.

“I’m really excited for Matt and his family and excited for the Wildcats. I think it’s a great fit for both.”

Northwestern now has one Class of 2013 commitment.

Girls rankings: Bolingbrook stays at top

February, 12, 2012
2/12/12
12:49
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Bolingbrook and Whitney Young seem destined for a show down in the Hinsdale Central super-sectional. The two powerhouses remain atop the final regular season of edition of ESPNChicago.com's girls basketball rankings.

Read the entire top 20.

Bolingbrook still tops girls rankings

January, 16, 2012
1/16/12
3:55
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Bolingbrook and Whitney Young continued to hold strong in the top two spots of the ESPNChicago.com top 20 girl basketball teams while Loyola and Geneva moved into the rankings.

Read the full story.

Girls hoops rankings: Bolingbrook No. 1

January, 2, 2012
1/02/12
8:15
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Bolingbrook's multi-year run a top the Girls basketball rankings continues this week. The Raiders won their only contest against St. Mary’s (Canada) this past week. Whitney Young, Marist, Trinity and Bartlett round out the top five.

Read the full rankings.

Girls rankings: Bolingbrook stay at No. 1

December, 25, 2011
12/25/11
4:34
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In spite of suffering it's first loss of the season in a national tournament this past week, Bolingbrook maintains its position as the top-ranked team in ESPNChicago.com's girls basketball rankings. Who else moved in?

Read the full story.

Bolingbrook finishes atop prep rankings

November, 27, 2011
11/27/11
8:32
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After topping previous No. 1 Loyola in the 8A title game, the Bolingbrook Raiders finish as the area's top-rated team in the final ESPNChicago.com top-20 prep poll. They are followed in the top five by No. 2 Loyola, No. 3 Montini, No. 4 Wheaton Warrenville South and No. 5 Prairie Ridge.

Complete rankings.

Round 2 playoff preview capsules

November, 3, 2011
11/03/11
12:11
AM CT
Here's a look at 10 notable second-round playoff games.

No. 1 Maine South (10-0) at No. 19 Stevenson (8-2)

Stevenson Grant
When:Saturday at 3 p.m.
The story: Maine South and Stevenson met in the Class 8A quarterfinals last season. Maine South won that matchup 20-9 and continued on to its third consecutive state championship. Stevenson’s goal will be to keep this game close. The Patriots have had seven games this season decided by seven points or less. They’ve won five of them. Maine South hasn’t been in many tight games. It defeated Wheaton Warrenville South 13-9 early in the season, but has won every game since by 16 or more points. Maine South has been held to less 35 points just once this season. Stevenson hasn’t allowed more than 28 points this year.
Maine South player to watch: Wide receiver Jimmy Frankos is one of Matt Alviti’s main targets. Frankos had four catches for 103 yards and two touchdowns last week.
Stevenson player to watch: Wide receiver Troy Radtke is capable of making big plays in the Patriots’ offense.
Prediction: Maine South 35, Stevenson 24

Lake Zurich (8-2) at No. 2 Glenbard West (10-0)

Glenbard West Lake Zurich
When:Saturday at 1 p.m.
The story: Glenbard West and Lake Zurich possess two of the top defenses in the area and two of the top defensive players. Glenbard West, which is led by Penn State recruit Tommy Schutt, has held eight opponents to seven points or less. The Hilltoppers have given up a total of 57 points this season. Lake Zurich’s defense isn’t as dominant as it was last season, but the Bears can still get to the ball with blazing speed. Led by Minnesota recruit Jack Lynn, Lake Zurich has held six opponents to seven points or less. Both teams have also lost to Wheaton Warrenville South in the state championship in recent years. Glenbard West fell in 2009 and Lake Zurich lost last season.
Lake Zurich player to watch: Running back Mike Shield has broken his share of runs this season.
Glenbard West player to watch: Running back Avery Balogh has consistently been productive this year.
Prediction: Glenbard West 27, Lake Zurich 17

No. 18 Wheaton Warrenville South (7-3) at No. 3 Lincoln-Way East (10-0)

Lincoln-Way East Wheaton Warrenville South
When:Friday at 7:30 p.m.
The story: Wheaton Warrenville South has to lose for someone else to win a Class 7A state championship. The Tigers have won the last two titles. Although they didn’t resemble early on a team that was going to three-peat, they do look more like it now. Lincoln-Way East has proven itself against some of the state’s best teams and is a legitimate state contender. Its offense hasn’t been contained yet. This has a shot at being one of the better playoff games of 2011.
Wheaton Warrenville South players to watch: The Tigers’ junior offensive line has come a long way since Game 1.
Lincoln-Way East player to watch: Wide receiver Jay Yancy would be the No. 1 receiver on most teams.
Prediction: Lincoln-Way East 24, Wheaton Warrenville South 21

Mount Carmel (7-3) at No. 5 Bolingbrook (9-1)

Bolingbrook Mount Carmel
When:Saturday at 6 p.m.
The story: A few weeks ago, this matchup had the makings of a Class 8A semifinal. Instead, Mount Carmel dropped its last two games of the regular season and it fell in the seeding. Don’t think Bolingbrook is taking the Caravan any lighter due to that. Mount Carmel is still a state title contender. If its offense can get going, the Caravan can play with anyone. Bolingbrook has continued to flourish on both sides of the ball and is the favorite to reach the state championship from its bracket.
Mount Carmel player to watch: Running back Brandon Greer was key to the Caravan’s offense rolling in the first round.
Bolingbrook player to watch: Quarterback Aaron Bailey is one of the most exciting players in the state.
Prediction: Bolingbrook 31, Mount Carmel 17

No. 16 Cary-Grove (8-2) at No. 10 Nazareth (9-1)

Nazareth Geneva
When:Saturday at 1 p.m.
The story: With so many state title contenders in Class 6A, it was inevitable there would be some intriguing early-round matchups. This game is among those. Both teams showed throughout the regular season they’re among the state’s best. Both excel with strong running backs and solid defensive play. Nazareth did go undefeated at home during the regular season.
Cary-Grove player to watch: Max Kersten is among the defensive playmakers for the Trojans.
Nazareth player to watch: Quarterback Sam Poulos has the ability to beat opponents through the air.
Prediction: Nazareth 28, Cary-Grove 20

Crystal Lake South (9-1) at Carmel (7-3)

Nazareth GenevaWhen:Friday at 7 p.m.
The story: Crystal Lake South’s defense has limited nearly every offense it has played this season. The Gators have allowed more than 14 points just once. On the other hand, Carmel’s offense hasn’t been slowed down. The Corsairs have scored at least 27 points in all 10 of their games. In the games Carmel did lose, it allowed a minimum of 32 points. If Crystal Lake South’s offense can put up a similar numbers, the Gators could be in good shape.
Crystal Lake South player to watch: Quarterback Austin Fowler completed five passes in last week’s win and three of them were for touchdowns.
Carmel player to watch: Quarterback Brian Brennan’s excels at running the option, but he can pass the ball effectively when needed.
Prediction: Carmel 31, Crystal Lake South 24

Brother Rice (7-3) at No. 14 Downers Grove South (9-1)

Downers Grove South Brother Rice
When:Friday at 7 p.m.
The story: This is a showdown of two of the elite running backs in the state. Downers Grove South’s Josh Williams has rushed for more than 2,000 yards and 30 touchdown. Walker, who shares carries, has rushed for 1,189 yards and 17 touchdown on 148 carries. This is another chance for Brother Rice to prove itself against an elite team. The Crusaders had trouble against Loyola, Mount Carmel and St. Rita during the regular season.
Brother Rice player to watch: Andrew Walker is the Crusaders’ other running back option.
Downers Grove South player to watch: Defensive back John Wauer intercepted a pass and recovered a fumble last week.
Prediction: Downers Grove South 34, Brother Rice 28

Lake Forest (8-2) at No. 8 Batavia (10-0)

Batavia Lake Forest
When:Saturday at 1 p.m.
The story: Top-seeded Batavia got a scare in the first round. The Bulldogs did dominate the second half of last week’s win against Notre Dame. They’ll be looking for that sort of start against Lake Forest. The Scouts have been a surprise this season. No one expected them here after dropping their season opener to Buffalo Grove. In a win over Stevenson and a loss to Lake Zurich, Lake Forest’s defense kept it in each game. Its offense will need to step up for the Scouts to have a chance.
Lake Forest player to watch: Owen Williams rushed for four touchdowns in the first half last week.
Batavia player to watch: Cole Gardner caught six passes for 110 yards and three touchdowns in last week’s win.
Prediction: Batavia 31, Lake Forest 21

Lakes (8-2) at Grant (7-3)

Grant Lakes
When:Friday at 7 p.m.
The story: When these two teams met in Week 3, Lakes rolled to a 38-14 win over Grant. Since then, Grant has been a different team. It’s won six of its last seven games and pulled off a comeback win over Antioch in the first round. Lakes lost to Antioch during the regular season, but has been consistently solid on both sides of the ball all season.
Lakes player to watch: Direll Clark rushed for 280 yards and four touchdowns on 41 carries last week.
strong>Grant player to watch: Running back Jonathan Well ran for 229 yards on 31 carries last week.
Prediction: Lakes 27, Grant 20

Joliet Catholic (8-2) at Morris (9-1)

Morris Joliet Catholic
When:Friday at 7 p.m.
The story: These are two of the state’s most historic programs. Morris has made 29 playoff appearances, including 11 consecutive, owns a 60-25 playoff record, won three state titles and had six runner-up finishes. Joliet Catholic has made 35 playoffs appearances, including 14 consecutive, gone 97-21 in the playoffs, won 13 state titles and had three runner-up finishes. Morris has had two of its worst games of the season in the last two weeks. The Redskins’ main problem has been starting slow. Joliet Catholic’s offense can put up points quickly. If its defense can contain Morris, Joliet Catholic should advance.
Joliet Catholic player to watch: Linebacker Austin Bolton had eight tackles and recovered an onside kick last week.
Morris to watch: Jeff Perry rushed for 145 yards and two touchdowns over Morton last week.
Prediction: Joliet Catholic 42, Morris 21

Maine S. continues "home" playoff stretch

October, 31, 2011
10/31/11
8:43
PM CT
An IHSA spokesperson said Monday it would count Maine South’s first two playoff games as home contests despite the Hawks traveling for both games if they were to advance in Class 8A.

The IHSA previously banned three-time Class 8A defending state champions Maine South from hosting playoff games for the first two rounds this season due to unsportsmanlike behavior during last year’s playoffs. Although a No. 2 seed in the 2011 playoffs, Maine South faced No. 15-seeded Curie in Chicago in the opening round and will travel to No. 7-seeded Stevenson this week.

“Yes, in our eyes they will have played two home games after this weekend,” IHSA spokesperson Matt Troha said.

The IHSA determines home playoff games by seeding in the first round and by which team has had fewer home games in the second round, quarterfinals and semifinals.

If Maine South defeats Stevenson, it would also play on the road in the quarterfinals. The Hawks would play the winner of Palatine and Glenbard North, and both teams will have only one home game compared to Maine South’s two.

Loyola, the bracket’s top seed, would also host Maine South if both teams advanced to the semifinals.
Maine South has defeated Loyola in the Class 8A semifinals the past two seasons. The game was played at Maine South in 2009 and at Loyola in 2010.

Week 9 prep football preview

October, 19, 2011
10/19/11
10:28
PM CT

Here's a look at the final regular-season week of action in ESPNChicago.com's top 20.

Glenbrook South (7-1) at No. 1 Maine South (8-0)

Maine South Glenbrook South
When:Friday at 7 p.m.
The story: Maine South takes a 54-game Central Suburban South winning streak into this game. The Hawks’ last division loss was in 2000 to New Trier. Glenbrook South has often finished second to Maine South and is hopeful to change that this year. The Titans’ lone loss this season was to Stevenson early in the year. Glenbrook South has gone undefeated in conference and put up similar overall numbers to Maine South.
Glenbrook South player to watch: Fullback Kevin Schroeder has been key to the Titans’ offense.
Maine South player to watch: Running back Paul Preston has been stellar all season for the Hawks.
Prediction: Maine South 38, Glenbrook South 28

No. 2 Glenbard West (8-0) at Downers Grove North (2 6)

Downers Grove North Glenbard West
When:Friday at 7:30 p.m.
The story: Glenbard West has already clinched the West Suburban Silver title. The Hilltoppers have shut out their last two opponents. Downers Grove North is better than its record. The Trojans have been in every game this season, but just haven’t found a way over the hump.
Glenbard West player to watch: Senior offensive lineman Johnny Caspers recently committed to Stanford.
Downers Grove North player to watch: Quarterback Riley McGinnis has a big arm.
Prediction: Glenbard West 31, Downers Grove North 7

No. 3 Lincoln-Way East (8-0) at Joliet West (2-6)

Joliet West Lincoln-Way East
When:Saturday at 12 p.m.
The story: Lincoln-Way East should close out its Southwest Suburban Blue title run with an easy win. The Griffins had no trouble last week and beat Joliet Central 42-0. Joliet West has won two conference games, but is coming off a 56-19 loss to Homewood-Flossmoor.
Lincoln-Way East player to watch: Defensive end Joel Magrum returned an interception for a touchdown last week.
Joliet West player to watch: Wide receiver Korey Rogers knows how to find holes in a secondary.
Prediction: Lincoln-Way East 42, Joliet West 7

No. 5 St. Rita (7-1) at No. 4 Loyola (8-0)

Loyola Academy St. Rita
When:Saturday at 1 p.m.
The story: The Catholic League Blue championship comes down to this game. Loyola has had St. Rita’s number for the past few years. A season ago, the Ramblers beat St. Rita on its home field and forced a three-way tie for the conference crown. Both teams have stellar defenses. It could be a game decided by a field goal or a lone touchdown.
St. Rita player to watch: Defensive back Ryan Leonard is a big hitter.
Loyola player to watch: Quarterback Malcolm Weaver got dinged up last week, but will be needed this week.
Prediction: Loyola 17, St. Rita 14

No. 6 Downers Grove South (8-0) at Addison Trail (7-1)

Addison Trail Downers Grove South
When:Friday at 7:30 p.m.
The story: Downers Grove South hasn’t been tested in the West Suburban Gold in recent years. That could change this week. Addison Trail has proven to be among the area’s top teams, especially with its defense. Its only loss was a narrow one to Glenbard West. Addison Trail will have to find a way to stop Josh Williams, who is approaching 2,000 yards for the season.
Downers Grove South player to watch: Defensive lineman Jeremy Ulrich had a sack and a fumble recovery in last week’s win.
Addison Trail player to watch: Anthony Messina had three touchdown runs in last week’s win.
Prediction: Downers Grove South 24, Addison Trail 10

Cary-Grove (6-2) at No. 7 Prairie Ridge (8-0)

Prairie Ridge Cary-Grove
When:Friday at 7:15 p.m.
The story: Prairie Ridge has been one of the state’s most dominant teams this season. The Wolves have out-scored their opponents 360-65 through eight weeks. Cary-Grove is out of the Fox Valley Valley title race, but it could spoil Prairie Ridge’s outright championship. The Trojans did upset Lake Zurich early in the season and possess one of the area’s top defenses.
Cary-Grove player to watch: Junior quarterback Quinn Baker has the Trojans’ option offense running smoothly.
Prairie Ridge player to watch: Corey Barcoft is one of the key players on the Wolves’ defense.
Prediction: Prairie Ridge 31, Cary-Grove 14

Lockport (6-2) at No. 8 Bolingbrook (7-1)

Bolingbrook Lockport
When:Friday at 7:30 p.m.
The story: Bolingbrook will likely have to settle for second place in one of the area’s toughest conferences. The Raiders have allowed only three points since losing to Lincoln-Way East. Lockport is headed to the playoffs, but hasn’t fared well against the top talent in the conference. The Porters lost to Homewood-Flossmoor and Lincoln-Way East by a combined 66 points.
Lockport player to watch: Dexter Taylor scored two rushing touchdowns in last week’s win over Sandburg.
Bolingbrook player to watch: Quarterback Aaron Bailey will be in consideration for ESPNChicago.com’s Offensive Player of the Year.
Prediction: Bolingbrook 35, Lockport 14

Providence (5-3) at No. 9 Mount Carmel (6-2)

Mount Carmel Providence
When:Friday at 7 p.m. at Gately Stadium
The story: Mount Carmel fell out of the Catholic League Blue race last week with a loss to rival St. Rita. The Caravan will be looking to get back on track against Providence. Mount Carmel’s offense has struggled in its defeats this season. Providence is 0-3 against conference opponents this season.
Providence player to watch: Running back Andrew Hoffmeister leads the Celtics’ offense.
Mount Carmel player to watch: Brandon Greer scored the Caravan’s lone touchdown last week against St. Riva.
Prediction: Mount Carmel 28, Providence 20

No. 10 Crete-Monee (8-0) at Rich East (6-2)

Rich East Crete-Monee
When:Saturday at 12 p.m.
The story: Crete-Monee can win the Southland title outright with a win over Rich East, which has one conference loss. Crete-Monee hasn’t scored less than 30 points in a game this season. Rich East has allowed more than 30 points just once. Something will have to give in this game.
Crete-Monee player to watch: Recruiting attention is picking up for wide receiver LaQuan Treadwell.
strong>Rich East player to watch: Running back Rondell Willingham has been key to the team’s offensive success this season.
Prediction: Crete-Monee 35, Rich East 20

Oak Forest (6-2) at No. 11 Lemont (8-0)

Lemont Oak Forest
When:Friday at 7 p.m.
The story: Lemont has already secured itself the South Suburban Blue title. The Indians have put together a memorable defensive season. They’ve allowed one opponent more than six points. Oak Forest should be another challenge. The Bengals have scored 40 or more points five times this season.
Oak Forest player to watch: Running back Tevin Coleman is one of the state’s best.
Lemont player to watch: Jake Lemming is among the Indians’ defensive playmakers.
Prediction: Lemont 31, Oak Forest 14

Streamwood (6-2) at No. 12 Batavia (8-0)

Batavia Streamwood
When:Friday at 7:30 p.m.
The story: Batavia can put the finishing touches on its Upstate Eight River title this week. The Bulldogs have held six opponent to seven points or less and are coming off back-to-back shutouts. Streamwood guaranteed itself a playoff spot with a win last week. It’ll be the Sabres’ first playoff appearance since 2002.
Streamwood player to watch: Running back Alex Morrow rushed for 228 yards in last week’s win.
Batavia player to watch: Quarterback Noel Gaspari has been among the area’s best this season.
Prediction: Batavia 42, Streamwood 14

St. Viator (2-6) at No. 13 Nazareth (7-1)

Nazareth Nazareth
When:Saturday at 1 p.m.
The story: Nazareth will earn a share of the East Suburban Catholic title with a victory over St. Viator. The Roadrunners’ offense and defense have been clicking the past few weeks and out-scored their last two opponents 86-19. St. Viator’s defense has struggled this season, but did shut out Benet in a 28-0 win last week.
St. Viator player to watch: John Balas had four receptions for 129 yards and two touchdown in last week’s win.
Nazareth player to watch: Joshua Moore has been having some remarkable rushing performances.
Prediction: Nazareth 42, St. Viator 14

No. 14 Joliet Catholic (7-1) at Marist (6-2)

Marist Joliet Catholic
When:Friday at 7:30 p.m.
The story: There’s a good chance that this could be a high-scoring affair. Marist put up 64 points in last week’s win over Carmel. Joliet Catholic is among the state’s offensive leaders with 376 points this season. The winner will get at least a share of the East Suburban Catholic title.
Joliet Catholic player to watch: Defensive back Brody Wilhelmi blocked a punt last week.
Marist player to watch: Ian Woodworth threw eight touchdowns in last week’s win.
Prediction: Joliet Catholic 49, Marist 42

No. 15 Wheaton North (7-1) at Wheaton Warrenville South (5-3)

Wheaton Warrenville South Wheaton North
When:Friday at 7:30 p.m.
The story: Wheaton North can win the DuPage Valley outright with a win over Wheaton Warrenville South. The Falcons haven’t done much against Wheaton Warrenville South in recent years. Their last win over the Tigers came in 2002. Last year, Wheaton Warrenville South beat them twice. The Tigers are riding a four-game winning streak since their early struggles.
Wheaton North player to watch: Running back Patrick Sharp gives the Falcons a balanced offensive attack.
Wheaton Warrenville South player to watch: Running back Dan Vitale is one of the area’s most versatile players.
Prediction: Wheaton North 17, Wheaton Warrenville South 14

Wheaton Academy (1-7) at No. 16 Montini (6-2)

Montini Wheaton Academy
When:Friday at 7:30 p.m.
The story: Montini’s offense has been scary lately. Last week, the Broncos put up 75 points. Two weeks ago, they scored 59 points. They should have another big offensive day against Wheaton Academy. The Warriors lost 42-0 to Aurora Central Catholic last week.
Wheaton Academy player to watch: Isaiah Rosas is an offensive threat for the Warriors.
Montini player to watch: Wide receiver Jordan Westerkamp is in the running for ESPNChicago.com Player of the Year.
Prediction: Montini 49, Wheaton Academy 0

Conant (6-2) at No. 17 Palatine (7-1)

Palatine Conant
When:Friday at 7:30 p.m.
The story: Palatine can win the Mid-Suburban League West outright with a win over Conant. Aside from a narrow win over Schaumburg, the Pirates have been dominant against conference competition. Conant should be up for the test. The Cougars are playoff bound and their two losses came by a combined five points.
Conant player to watch: Tim Manckzo is the Cougars’ premier offensive weapon.
Palatine player to watch: Linebacker Kurt Becker is playmaker on defense.
Prediction: Palatine 28, Conant 17

Grayslake Central (7-1) at No. 18 Crystal Lake South (7-1)

Crystal Lake South Grayslake Central
When:Friday at 7:15 p.m.
The story: This could be an interesting Fox Valley crossover game. Crystal Lake South has proven itself throughout the season and will be favored. The Gators are one of the area’s top defensive teams and have allowed only one opponent more than 12 points this season. Grayslake Central has the same record, but hasn’t played the same level of competition. This will be a chance for the Rams to earn some respect.
Grayslake Central player to watch: Joel Valdivia was unstoppable last week. He rushed for 365 yards and six touchdowns against rival Grayslake North.
Crystal Lake South player to watch: Reese Dziedzic rushed for two touchdowns in last week’s win over Jacobs.
Prediction: Crystal Lake South 20, Grayslake Central 10

No. 19 Marian Central (8-0) at Marmion (5-3)

Marmion
When:Friday at 7:30 p.m.
The story: Marian Central will take the Suburban Christian Blue with a win. The Hurricanes have proven themselves with narrow wins over Montini and Oswego this season, and they’ve dominated everyone else. Marmion has been up and down this season after reaching the Class 6A title game last year. It defense has been its strength and will need to be again against Marian Central. The Hurricanes have scored 40-plus points in their last four games.
Marian Central player to watch: Quarterback Chris Streveler has been consistent throughout the season.
Marmion player to watch: Running back Jake Ruddy is a threat to run or catch the ball out of the backfield.
Prediction: Marian Central 24, Marmion 14

Kaneland (8-0) at No. 20 Morris (8-0)

Morris Kaneland
When:Friday at 7:30 p.m.
The story: This game will decide the Northern Big 12 East championship. Both teams have been dominant most of the season. Morris’ defense has probably been slightly better than Kaneland’s, and Kaneland’s offense probably has the edge between the two teams. They both were tested last week and prevailed. Kaneland rolled in last year’s meeting, winning 47-7. There isn’t much separating the two teams this season.
Kaneland player to watch: Wide receiver Quinn Buschbacher scored five touchdowns in a game earlier this season.
Morris player to watch: Quarterback Austin Feeney was the difference in last week’s 14-10 win over Rochelle. He scored on a 58-yard run to give his team the lead.
Prediction: Morris 28, Kaneland 24

Week 7 prep football preview capsules

October, 5, 2011
10/05/11
11:29
PM CT

Here's a look at the seventh week of action in ESPNChicago.com's top 20.

Evanston (4-2) at No. 1 Maine South (6-0)

Maine South Evanston
When:Thursday at 7 p.m.
The story: Maine South’s offense has lived up to its billing this season. The Hawks have put up 40 or more points in five games. Quarterback Matt Alviti and running back Paul Preston are an elite 1-2 punch. Evanston has won four games, but has struggled against top-tier teams. The Wildkits’ losses were to Glenbrook South and Loyola.
Evanston player to watch: Running back Ray Bahr has had some big days this season. He scored three times in the first half against Maine East.
Maine South player to watch: Quarterback Matt Alviti is coming off a five-touchdown game.
Prediction: Maine South 49, Evanston 10

No. 2 Glenbard West (6-0) at Addison Trail (6-0)

Proviso West Glenbard West
When:Friday at 7:30 p.m.
The story: Both Addison Trail and Glenbard West enter their Week 7 matchup undefeated. Glenbard West has proven itself. Addison Trail will look to accomplish that this week. The Blazers have outscored their opponents 172-13, but none of their six previous foes currently has a winning record. A win over Glenbard West -- or even a close game -- would build credibility. Glenbard West quarterback Justice Odom is expected to miss this week after suffering a knee injury last week.
Glenbard West player to watch: Running back Kendall Johnson is dangerous rushing or receiving the ball.
Addison Trail player to watch: Defensive back Vince Beltrano had two interceptions in last week’s win.
Prediction: Glenbard West 27, Addison Trail 10

No. 3 Lincoln-Way East (6-0) at Lincoln-Way Central (1-5)

Lincoln-Way Central Lincoln-Way East
When:Friday at 7:30 p.m.
The story: Lincoln-Way East survived the rough patch of its scheduled, pulling out wins over Bolingbrook, Homewood-Flossmoor and Sandburg. The Griffins should have an easy time closing out the regular season undefeated. Their next three opponents have won a combined three games.
Lincoln-Way East player to watch: Brian Bayer made a difference last week. He came through on the defensive line and as a short-yardage back.
Lincoln-Way Central player to watch: Brett Ditchman rushed for 201 yards and two touchdowns against Joliet West last week.
Prediction: Lincoln-Way East 49, Lincoln-Way Central 7

No. 4 Loyola (6-0) at Fenwick (3-3)

Fenwick Loyola Academy
When:Friday at 7:30 p.m.
The story: Loyola took a major step toward winning another Catholic League title with last week’s win over Mount Carmel. The Ramblers’ schedule doesn’t get much easier from here on out. After Fenwick, which does have its strengths, they face Brother Rice and St. Rita. Fenwick has won its last two games. In its other matchup against a Catholic League Blue opponent, Fenwick lost 42-0 to St. Rita.
Loyola player to watch: Connor Person is another one of Loyola’s top receivers. He had a 36-yard touchdown against Mount Carmel.
Fenwick player to watch: Jack Stibitch rushed for 108 yards and two touchdowns in last week’s win over Gordon Tech.
Prediction: Loyola 42, Fenwick 7

No. 5 St. Rita (5-1) at Bishop McNamara (5-1)

Bishop McNamara St. Rita
When: Friday at 7:30 p.m.
The story: St. Rita may have the state’s toughest schedule the next three weeks. Bishop McNamara leads the Catholic League White. Its only loss this season was to Brother Rice. After Bishop McNamara, St. Rita closes out the regular season with Mount Carmel and Loyola. The Mustangs haven’t allowed more than 17 points to an in-state opponent.
St. Rita player to watch: Zach Soria led the Mustangs’ rushing attack in last week’s win over Hales.
Bishop McNamara player to watch: Quarterback Channing Dolliger has come through with some key throws this season.
Prediction: St. Rita 31, Bishop McNamara 13

No. 6 Mount Carmel (5-1) at St. Laurence (2-4)

St. Laurence Mount Carmel
When:Friday at 7:30 p.m.
The story: Mount Carmel will look to bounce back from its first loss of the season. The Caravan’s offense was contained in last week’s 12-7 loss to Loyola. Quarterback Don Butkus and company will look to get it going again against St. Laurence, which lost 49-31 to Providence earlier in the season.
Mount Carmel player to watch: Brandon Greer is a major player on both sides of the ball.
St. Laurence player to watch: Andrew Javorka caught two touchdown passes in last week’s loss to Bishop McNamara.
Prediction: Mount Carmel 49, St. Laurence 10

Proviso East (1-5) at No. 7 Downers Grove South (6-0)

Downers Grove South Proviso East
When:Friday at 7:30 p.m.
The story: Downers Grove South’s last true test of the regular season may be Addison Trail in Week 9. Until then, the Mustangs should have no trouble the next few weeks. Downers Grove South has outscored its opponents 234-34 this season. Proviso East lost to Addison Trail 35-0 last week.
Proviso East player to watch: Quarterback Malcolm Hilliard has produced for the Pirates this season.
Downers Grove South player to watch: Wide receiver Kaylon Miler is one of the Mustangs’ many offensive stars.
Prediction: Downers Grove South 49, Proviso East 7

No. 8 Prairie Ridge (6-0) at No. 19 Jacobs (6-0)

Proviso East Proviso East
When: Friday at 7:15 p.m.
The story: This could be the game of the week or another Prairie Ridge rout. On paper, Jacobs should give Prairie Ridge a game, but no one has been able to do that so far. Even last week, the Wolves scored 41 points on a tough Crystal Lake South defense. Jacobs has been able to score on everyone this season. The Golden Eagles are averaging 38 points a game.
Prairie Ridge player to watch: Collin Corcoran had three tackles for a loss in last week’s win over Crystal Lake South.
Jacobs player to watch: Caz Zyks not only has a cool name, but he leads Jacobs’ rushing attack.
Prediction: Prairie Ridge 35, Jacobs 27

No. 9 Lake Zurich (5-1) at Stevenson (4-2)

Stevenson Lake Zurich
When:Thursday at 7 p.m.
The story: These two teams created one of the best games of last season. Stevenson scored in the final seconds to pull out a 24-23 upset of Lake Zurich. Lake Zurich will be favored again this season. The Bears have been dominant on the both sides of the ball since losing to Cary-Grove in Week 2. Stevenson suffered its second loss of the season last week. It lost to Lake Forest 10-7. The Patriots’ offense will need to step up this week.
Lake Zurich player to watch: Mike Shield has been key on both sides of the ball for the Bears.
Stevenson player to watch: Quarterback/kicker Matt Micucci has scored points in a variety of ways this season.
Prediction: Lake Zurich 24, Stevenson 20

No. 10 Bolingbrook (5-1) at Sandburg (5-1)

Sandburg Bolingbrook
When: Friday at 7:30 p.m.
The story: Lincoln-Way East likely has the conference crown wrapped up now, but second place still is available. Bolingbrook and Sandburg each enter this game with one conference loss. Both teams lost to Lincoln-Way East. Bolingbrook will be favored in this one. The Raiders were up 14-0 against Lincoln-Way East before surrendering 20 consecutive points. Sandburg lost 31-7 to Lincoln-Way East.
Bolingbrook player to watch: Bolingbrook quarterback Aaron Bailey is a threat to run for a touchdown on every snap.
Sandburg player to watch: Quarterback Anthony Adams completed 4-of-6 passes for 110 yards and three touchdowns last week.
Prediction: Bolingbrook 35, Sandburg 13

No. 11 Crete-Monee (6-0) at Rich Central (3-3)

Rich Central Crete-Monee
When:Friday at 6 p.m.
The story: Crete-Monee had a battle on its hands for a bit in last week’s win over Bloom. Ultimately, it won 32-7. The Warriors should have an easier time this week. Rich Central hasn’t beat a team with a winning record this season.
Crete-Monee player to watch: Marcus Terrell has been one of the area’s premier quarterbacks this season.
Rich Central player to watch: Wide receiver Brandon Fowler caught six passes for 103 yards last week.
Prediction: Crete-Monee 49, Rich Central 10

St. Viator (1-5) at No. 12 Carmel (4-2)

Carmel St. Viator
When:Friday at 7:30 p.m.
The story: Carmel is back in the East Suburban Catholic race with Joliet Catholic’s loss. The Corsairs do still have to face Marist, but otherwise shouldn’t be tested. St. Viator has allowed 50-plus points in four games this season. Carmel’s high-powered offense will be another challenge for it.
St. Viator player to watch: Quarterback Mickey Macius has the potential to be one of the area’s best next season.
Carmel player to watch: Quarterback Brian Brennan was impressive running and throwing the ball last week.
Prediction: Carmel 49, St. Viator 17

Hillcrest (0-6) at No. 13 Lemont (6-0)

Lemont Hillcrest
When:Friday at 7 p.m.
The story: Lemont’s defense continues to be one of the best in the state. The Indians shut out their fourth opponent last week. They’ve allowed 26 points in six games. They should have a good shot at another shutout this week. Hillcrest is winless and is averaging just over 10 points a game.
Hillcrest player to watch: Devonte Brewer will look to give the Hawks an offensive spark.
Lemont player to watch: Mike Anzalone rushed for 183 yards on 24 carries in last week’s win.
Prediction: Lemont 35, Hillcrest 0

Elgin (1-5) at No. 14 Batavia (6-0)

Batavia Elgin
When:Friday at 7:30 p.m.
The story: Batavia should win the Upstate Eight River after defeating Geneva last week. The Bulldogs’ remaining games shouldn’t be too difficult. This week’s opponent Elgin has lost its last five games. Batavia quarterback Noel Gaspari’s shoulder injury wasn’t as bad as it appeared last week. He’s expected to play this week.
Elgin player to watch: Running back/defensive back Dennis Moore has scored nearly every way possible this season.
Batavia player to watch: Dom Guzaldo came through last week with 92 rushing yards and three touchdowns.
Prediction: Batavia 45, Elgin 10

Notre Dame (3-3) at No. 15 Nazareth (5-1)

Nazareth Notre Dame
When:Saturday at 1:30 p.m.
The story: Nazareth shocked the area with a win over Joliet Catholic last week. The Roadrunners have put themselves in position to make a run at the conference title. Their toughest games are likely behind them. Notre Dame has been good and bad this season. The Dons lost their first three games, but have won their last three.
Notre Dame player to watch: Nick Pieruccini ran for a touchdown and threw for one in last week’s 14-0 win over Benet.
Nazareth player to watch: Joshua Moore rushed for 176 yards and one touchdown on 37 carries in last week’s win.
Prediction: Nazareth 31, Notre Dame 14

Marian Catholic (3-3) at No. 16 Joliet Catholic (5-1)

Joliet Catholic Marian Catholic
When:Friday at 7:30 p.m.
The story: Joliet Catholic’s offense looked invincible until last week’s loss to Nazareth. With the loss, the Hilltoppers dropped into a four-way tie for first place in the East Suburban Catholic Conference. Their offense will certainly be motivated to pick it back up this week against Marian Catholic. The Spartans lost to Marist 52-27 last week.
Marian Catholic player to watch: Running back Jeruel Taylor has more than 1,000 yards on the season.
Joliet Catholic player to watch: Running back Ty Isaac is in the mix for the ESPNChicago.com Player of the Year.
Prediction: Joliet Catholic 49, Marian Catholic 31

Streamwood (5-1) at No. 17 Geneva (5-1)

Geneva Streamwood
When: Friday at 7:30 p.m.
The story: Geneva and Streamwood suffered their first losses of the season last week. Geneva lost to Batavia, and Streamwood fell to St. Charles East. Geneva had its chances against Batavia, but its defense couldn’t contain the Bulldogs in the end. Streamwood’s defense had its own troubles in its 49-34 loss. St. Charles East had been winless.
Streamwood player to watch: Dalton Lundee threw for 274 yards and three touchdowns last week.
Geneva player to watch: Parker Woodworth rushed for more 100-plus yards again in last week’s loss.
Prediction: Geneva 42, Streamwood 20

No. 18 Antioch (6-0) at Round Lake (1-5)

Round Lake Antioch
When:Thursday at 7:30 p.m.
The story: Antioch is getting closer and closer to an undefeated regular season. The Sequoits’ only challenge is likely next week’s opponent Grant and should be able to take care of business the other two weeks. They were sharp in last week’s victory over Lakes. Round Lake has been out-scored 206-86 this season.
Antioch player to watch: Danny Arden was unstoppable last week. He rushed for 248 yards and three touchdowns.
Round Lake player to watch: Daniel Vega has been one of the team’s main offensive weapons.
Prediction: Antioch 42, Round Lake 7

Naperville Central (4-2) at No. 20 Wheaton North (5-1)

Wheaton North Naperville Central
When:Friday at 7:30 p.m.
The story: The DuPage Valley race is heating up. Wheaton North took sole possession of first place with Glenbard North’s loss to Naperville Central last week. Wheaton North is 4-0 in conference, but four teams trail by just one game. Naperville Central pulled off a major upset last week and will be looking to carry that momentum into this week. Its defense has been its strength this season. Wheaton North has been averaging 32.7 points a game.
Naperville Central player to watch: Senior linebacker John Dulleck is one of the defense’s key pieces.
Wheaton North player to watch: Quarterback John Peltz has had the Falcons’ offense rolling this season.
Prediction: Wheaton North 24, Naperville Central 17

Week 6 football preview

September, 28, 2011
9/28/11
10:39
PM CT
Here's a look at the sixth week of action in ESPNChicago.com's top 20.

No. 1 Maine South (5-0) at Niles West (2-3)

Niles West Maine South
When: Saturday at 1:30 p.m.
The story: Maine South showed it wasn’t invincible last week by trailing New Trier until the second half. The Trevians’ offense got going in the final two quarters and kept their 10-year conference winning streak alive. Maine South will be looking to end this week’s game early. Niles West has lost its last two games.
Maine South player to watch:Linebacker Luke Lenti has been a key defensive player this season.
Niles West player to watch:Wide receiver Jeremiah Jordan can be a threat.
Prediction:Maine South 49, Niles West 7

Proviso West (3-2) at No. 2 Glenbard West (5-0)

Glenbard West Proviso WestWhen: Saturday at 1 p.m.
The story: Glenbard West looks more impressive every week. The Panthers have out-scored their opponents 187-30 this season. Quarterback Justice Odom has continued to improve for the Hilltoppers. Proviso West lost to York 31-8 last week. The Panthers weren’t able to score many points in their two losses.
Proviso West player to watch: Running back Jamaal Payton scored his team’s lone touchdown last week.
Glenbard West player to watch: Tight end Nathan Marcus had two touchdowns in last week’s win.
Prediction: Glenbard West 42, Proviso West 10

No. 3 Lincoln-Way East (5-0) at No. 12 Bolingbrook (5-0)

Bolingbrook Lincoln-Way EastWhen: Friday at 7:30 p.m.
The story: All eyes will be on this game on Friday. Both teams have shown few flaws this season, and both took care of Homewood-Flossmoor to set up this undefeated matchup. The game will have plenty of star power. Bolingbrook quarterback Aaron Bailey and Lincoln-Way East quarterback Blake Winkler are two of the area’s best. Lincoln-Way East wide receiver Jason Robertson is headed to Illinois, and Bolingbrook linebacker Antonio Morrison is committed to Florida. This game may come down to which team makes the fewest mistakes.
Lincoln-Way East player to watch: Justin Corbett is one of the Griffins’ many receiving targets.
Bolingbrook player to watch: Omar Stover rushed for 118 yards in last week’s win over Homewood-Flossmoor.
Prediction: Lincoln-Way East 45, Bolingbrook 42

No. 4 Mount Carmel (5-0) at No. 6 Loyola (5-0)

Loyola Mount CarmelWhen: Saturday at 1:30 p.m.
The story: Loyola, Mount Carmel and St. Rita are all in position to make a run for the Catholic League Blue title again. They shared it last season with one loss each. One of the reasons that happened was Mount Carmel defeated Loyola 31-24 in overtime at Gately Stadium. Now, they meet again at Loyola. Both teams have played well on both sides of the ball. Mount Carmel looks to keep the ball on the ground, and Loyola looks to pass it.
Mount Carmel player to watch: This is one of the biggest games of junior quarterback Don Butkus’ young varsity career.
Loyola player to watch: Wide receiver Charlie Dowdle had two touchdowns in last year’s meeting.
Prediction: Mount Carmel 31, Loyola 28

Nazareth (4-1) at No. 5 Joliet Catholic (5-0)

Joliet Catholic NazarethWhen: Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
The story: Joliet Catholic hasn’t been challenged since Week 1, and this could be its toughest game since then. The Hilltoppers are the lone remaining undefeated team in the East Suburban Catholic Conference. Nazareth is 4-1 in conference with its lone loss to Carmel. Nazareth’s defense will have to find a way to stop Joliet Catholic’s run game. Nazareth has scored 30 or more points in its last three games.
Nazareth player to watch: Rudy Romagnano is capable of breaking a run any time he touches the ball.
Joliet Catholic player to watch: Quarterback Craig Slowik has thrown the ball well when needed to this season.
Prediction: Joliet Catholic 42, Nazareth 17

No. 7 St. Rita (4-1) at Hales (3-2)

Hales St. RitaWhen: Friday at 7:30 p.m.
The story: St. Rita gets a break from the Catholic League Blue for the next two weeks. If everything goes according to plan, the Mustangs should be 6-1 headed into their final games against Loyola and Mount Carmel. St. Rita’s defense was stellar again in last week’s 19-0 win over Providence. Hales has scored 44 points in each of its past two games. The problem has been containing opponents. Hales allowed 80 total points in those same games.
St. Rita player to watch: Ryan Leonard and Max Kurucar each returned interceptions for touchdowns last week.
Hales player to watch: Joe Morrow is Hales’ primary offensive weapon.
Prediction: St. Rita 42, Hales 14

No. 8 Downers Grove South (5-0) at Willowbrook (0-5)

Willowbrook Downers Grove SouthWhen: Friday at 7:30 p.m.
The story: Downers Grove South’s win over rival Downers Grove North wasn’t as pretty as it would have liked. A fumble at the goal line and a couple late touchdowns ruined Downers Grove South’s day. The Mustangs look for a cleaner game against winless Willowbrook. The Warriors have allowed 221 points this season.
Downers Grove South player to watch: Scott Daly is committed to Notre Dame as a long snapper, but he also plays tight end for the Mustangs.
Willowbrook player to watch: Dom Battaglia has been Willowbrook’s main offensive threat. He’s scored in most games this season.
Prediction: Downers Grove South 49, Willowbrook 7

No. 9 Glenbard North (5-0) at Naperville Central (3-2)

Naperville Central Glenbard NorthWhen: Friday at 7:30 p.m.
The story: Glenbard North’s schedule isn’t easy the rest of the way. Naperville Central could easily be 4-1 if it weren’t for last week’s narrow 14-7 loss to Wheaton Warrenville South. Naperville Central’s offense has struggled in its two losses. Glenbard North’s defense is among the area’s best. The Panthers have shut out three opponents this season.
Glenbard North player to watch: Collin Hansen returned an interception for a touchdown in last week’s win.
Naperville Central player to watch: Running back Matt Randolph looks to bounce back from last week’s 60-yard game. He has rushed for 762 yards this season.
Prediction: Glenbard North 28, Naperville Central 14

No. 10 Prairie Ridge (5-0) at No. 16 Crystal Lake South (5-0)

Crystal Lake South Prairie RidgeWhen: Friday at 7:15 p.m.
The story: No one has been able to stop Prairie Ridge yet. The Wolves have out-scored their opponents 224-14 this season. This will be their greatest test to date. Crystal Lake South’s defense is also among the area’s best. The Gators have allowed 31 points this season, and no one has scored more than 12 points in a game. Something will have to give in this one.
Prairie Ridge player to watch: Running back Connor Greenwald is normally good for at least a touchdown a game.
Crystal Lake South player to watch: Brad Walovitch is one of the state’s most versatile players. For the Gators to have a chance, he’ll need to come through in some way.
Prediction: Prairie Ridge 21, Crystal Lake South 14

No. 11 Lake Zurich (4-1) at Libertyville (3-2)

Lake Zurich LibertyvilleWhen: Friday at 7:30 p.m.
The story: Lake Zurich’s schedule picks up from here. If the Bears are going to win the conference, the next three weeks will decide that with games against Libertyville, Stevenson and Lake Forest. Lake Zurich has looked good on both sides of the ball the last few weeks. Libertyville lost to Stevenson 13-0 last week. It was the second time this year the Wildcats had been shutout. Their offense will have to step up against Lake Zurich, which hasn’t allowed more than 14 points this season.
Lake Zurich player to watch: Jack Lynn may be going to Minnesota to be a linebacker, but he can catch the ball, too. He had four receptions for 106 yards last week.
Libertyville player to watch: Wide receiver Austin Williams is a consistent target for the team’s quarterbacks.
Prediction: Lake Zurich 24, Libertyville 10

No. 13 Carmel (3-2) at St. Patrick (3-2)

St. Patrick Carmel When: Friday at 8 p.m.
The story: Carmel is coming off a loss to a top team from Minnesota. The Corsairs are still in the East Suburban Catholic race with one loss. They’ll need Joliet Catholic to eventually lose, but they can only control themselves right now. They could be in for an offensive shootout against St. Patrick. The Shamrocks have put up 30-plus points in four of their five games. They’ve lost the last two weeks by a combined 10 points.
Carmel player to watch: Tyler Lees is one of the area’s top linebackers.
St. Patrick player to watch: Guy DiBalsamo is a threat rushing or catching the ball for the Shamrocks.
Prediction: Carmel 45, St. Patrick 31

No. 18 Batavia (5-0) at No. 14 Geneva (5-0)

Geneva BataviaWhen: Friday at 7:30 p.m.
The story: Week 6 is definitely not short of marquee matchups. This should be another good one. Geneva had a couple close calls early, but has taken care of business the past few weeks with lopsided wins. Batavia hasn’t had a close game yet this season -- its smallest margin of victory has been 22 points. No opponent has scored more than 13 points against it. This game could very well decide the conference title.
Batavia player to watch: Quarterback Noel Gaspari threw for 247 yards and two touchdowns in last week’s win.
Geneva player to watch: Senior Matt Williams is one of the area’s best quarterbacks.
Prediction: Geneva 27, Batavia 21

Bloom (1-4) at No. 15 Crete-Monee (5-0)

Crete-Monee Bloom When: Friday at 6 p.m.
The story: Crete-Monee hasn’t been troubled yet this season, and that will likely be the case again this week. The Warriors have been steamrolling teams through five weeks. Their offense and defense have been dominant. Bloom has been in some tight games this season, including last week’s 6-2 loss to Rich South, but will have to play at a whole other level to compete with Crete-Monee.
Bloom player to watch: Wide receiver Jason Mendez can make plays.
Crete-Monee player to watch: Linebacker John Fasel recovered two fumbles in last week’s win over Kankakee.
Prediction: Crete-Monee 42, Bloom 7

No. 17 Lemont (5-0) at Bremen (5-0)

Bremen LemontWhen: Friday at 7 p.m.
The story: This game will likely decide the South Suburban Blue. Both teams enter undefeated. Lemont has been more impressive in its wins, but Bremen can’t be overlooked. Bremen hasn’t allowed an opponent more than 13 points this season, and its offense is led by all-area candidate running back David Smith. Lemont was challenged last week by previously-undefeated Tinley Park, but prevailed 49-20. It was the most points the Indians’ defense had given up this season.
Lemont player to watch: Quarterback Damon Aleman was 7-of-10 for 150 yards and three touchdowns in last week’s win.
Bremen player to watch: Davis Smith is one of the area’s top running backs. He has a several Division I schools after him.
Prediction: Lemont 24, Bremen 13

Jacobs (5-0) at Huntley (1-4)

Huntley JacobsWhen: Friday at 7:15 p.m.
The story: Jacobs proved it was legit with last week’s win over Cary-Grove. It will have a chance to further show that with upcoming games against Crystal Lake South and Prairie Ridge. For now, it should be able to remain undefeated for one more week as its travel to Huntley. Jacobs coach Bill Mitz has quickly turned the program around in two years. Huntley dropped its first four games and defeated Dundee-Crown last week.
Jacobs player to watch: Quarterback Jason Judson has the Golden Eagles’ offense averaging more than 30 points a game. He’s had a long touchdown pass in almost every game.
Huntley player to watch: Junior Ethan Connor rushed for four touchdown in last week’s win.
Prediction: Jacobs 38, Huntley 10

No. 20 Antioch (5-0) at Lakes (4-1)

Lakes AntiochWhen: Friday at 7:30 p.m.
The story: Antioch hasn’t been the most dominating undefeated team in the area, but the Sequoits have found a way to get it done every week. They haven’t scored more than 28 points in a game, but they haven’t allowed more than 12 points. They’ve also prevailed in tight games with a two-point win over Lake Forest Academy and a three-point victory over Vernon Hills. Lakes could present a similar type of game. Lakes has a loss to Lake Zurich, but is undefeated in the North Suburban Prairie. The winner of this game will likely win the division.
Antioch player to watch: Danny Arden has rushed for 100-plus yards in every game this season. He had 121 yards and a touchdown in last week’s win over Wauconda.
Lakes player to watch: Andrew Spencer returned a punt for an 80-yard touchdown, which proved the difference in Lakes’ 7-6 win over Vernon Hills.
Prediction: Antioch 23, Lakes 14

Coaches rountable: Which rule to change

September, 22, 2011
9/22/11
11:39
PM CT

Each week we’ll be presenting a unique question to all of the coaches in ESPNChicago.com’s top 20 poll. It’s a new feature we’re calling Coaches Roundtable.

This week’s question: What one IHSA rule would you like changed?

Loyola’s John Holecek: The first three practice days of fall camp being non-padded; it’s completely without merit because summer practices can be whatever a coach chooses. It should be changed to no contact all summer when there are less medical personnel and incomplete supervision at schools.

Batavia’s Dennis Piron: The kids on the team said "touchdown celebrations"! I think that the rules are fine the way they are.

Geneva’s Rob Wicinski: Offensive pass interference – why is this a bigger ‘punch in the gut’ than a personal foul? Fifteen-yard penalty and loss of down and enforced at the line of scrimmage? C’mon.

Crystal Lake South’s Chuck Ahsmann: I would like to see the IHSA do a true seed for the state series. I do not like that we seem to play the same teams from our regular season in the playoffs because of proximity.

Glenbard West’s Chad Hetlet: Playoff seeding should be 1-32 regardless of travel to be fair to those that earn high seeds.

Crete-Monee’s Jerry Verde: The seeding of the playoffs. Just seed 1-32, no North and South and no quadrants. The current system penalizes the Chicagoland area.

Maine South’s David Inserra: Onside kicks. We put all 10 guys on one side of the ball and ‘get 'em’ because it is legal. I proposed several years back that we should adapt the pro or college rule of only five guys on one side for safety reasons.

Lemont’s Eric Michaelsen: I am okay with the IHSA. Maybe having to go three days in August with no pads after the 25 days in the summer.
Bolingbrook’s John Ivlow: Playoff system. I would like to see a seeding system.

St. Rita’s Todd Kuska: The IHSA needs to abolish the regional quadrants. The playoffs should be seeded like they were in the old days -- based on wins and not geography. Some of the best experiences in the playoffs comes from playing teams that you have never played before -- getting on the road and traveling is a great experience. We are depriving our student-athletes of this experience. As a coach, I also enjoyed scouting teams from all across the state and matching up with teams that we had never played before.

Lake Zurich’s Bryan Stortz: I would like to see the playoffs seeded 1-32 and not by region or traveling distance. The reason would be that you may have the true No. 1 and No. 2 seeds in the same quadrant.

Prairie Ridge’s Chris Schremp: I wish the IHSA would have more control over club and travel sports. I would like to see more kids playing two and three sports. I feel too many club and travel coaches are influencing kids into specializing in one sport.

Preseason Top 20: No. 1 Maine South

August, 24, 2011
8/24/11
2:29
AM CT
Maine SouthScott Powers for ESPNChicago.comMaine South will be gunning for its fourth consecutive state championship.
Last season: 12-2 overall, Central Suburban South 5-0, won the Class 8A state championship, ranked No. 3 in the final ESPNChicago.com 2010 poll

Season ahead: Maine South is ready to put its focus back on the football field.

It was a stormy offseason for the Hawks following their third consecutive Class 8A state championship. The IHSA placed the program on probation, took away home playoff games and suspended coach David Inserra for one game following a lengthy investigation, which found Maine South had created counterfeit sideline passes to the state championship game and demonstrated unsportsmanlike behavior at the awards ceremony.

Maine South defensive coordinator Rick Magsamen was also suspended one game by the IHSA, but he has since left the program and joined Elk Grove's staff.

"Personally for both myself and our staff, it was difficult," Inserra said. "We're learning from it and trying to move on. Everybody's got to get better. We're not trying to dwell on it."

With the incidents behind them, the Hawks do have plenty of reason to look forward to 2011. The Hawks return a bulk of last year's state championship team, including its star quarterback Matt Alviti, running back Paul Preston and linebackers Tyler Fahey and Luke Lenti.

While some coaches don't like discussing repeating as champions, Inserra has embraced it. He hopes his team wants to win its fourth consecutive title and isn't shy to say so.

"The kids have taken it on as a motivation to work that much harder," Inserra said. "We talk about opportunities. This is an opportunity that not many kids get to win a fourth state championship."

Inserra has expanded his responsibilities this season as well. He will also be the team's defensive coordinator.

"Most coaches don't have the luxury of having both an offensive and defensive coordinator," Inserra said. "I accept the role readily. I don't want it; I want the coach [Magsamen] with me, but we'll go with it and I'll put my own twist on it. We won't change much."

Star power: Matt Alviti may become the biggest name in the state pretty quickly. The junior quarterback has already won a state championship and has offers from Illinois, Northwestern and Notre Dame. He and Maine South's offense are expected to take it up another notch or two this season. "He's so comfortable in the pocket," Inserra said. "He absolutely understands the offense. He just gets it. He can read defenses."

Breakout performer: Junior Pat Maloney got a taste of varsity last season and even played three different positions on the offensive line in the state title game. He'll be looked to this season as the team's starting offensive tackle and will also start as its defensive tackle.

Defensive difference-maker: Senior linebacker Tyler Fahey was named to the ESPNChicago.com all-area team last season. He had 81 tackles, 13 tackles for a loss, seven sacks, four interceptions, three fumble recoveries and two defensive touchdowns. "He's just such a leader on defense," Inserra said. "He just really understands the game."

Newcomer to watch: Juniors Mike Rubino and Dan Poulos will be asked to help out on the offensive line this season. Rubino is a 6-4, 210-pound center. Poulos is a 6-2, 250-pound right guard.

Schedule breakdown: Maine South has a strong non-conference schedule again with Warren and Wheaton Warrenville South in the first two weeks. The question is whether the Central Suburban South can give Maine South a game this year. The Hawks haven't lost in the Central Suburban South since 2000. They travel to New Trier and host Glenbrook South this season.

Key game: Sept. 2 vs. Wheaton Warrenville South -- Maine South was embarrassed by Wheaton Warrenville South on national television last season. The Hawks lost 44-7 on the road. This is their opportunity for revenge, and a chance to prove they're the top team in the state. "The Wheaton game is huge because it's two of the best teams in the state," Inserra said. "We're probably not going to see them in the playoffs. You want to have those bragging rights for yourself."

What they're saying: "We don't mind it," said Inserra of having five two-way players. "We love it in fact."

Maine So. on probation; Inserra suspended

January, 14, 2011
1/14/11
10:03
PM CT
The IHSA suspended Maine South head football coach David Inserra and assistant coach Rick Magsamen one game each to begin the 2011 season, and the program was placed on probation until Dec. 1, 2011 for actions during the Class 8A state championship game in November.

The probation includes Maine South not being able to host playoff games "until demonstrating compliance with IHSA playoff policies."

The IHSA will evaluate Maine South's compliance after a minimum of two playoff games.

"Part of that compliance will include the school submitting a plan to establish institutional control of the football program and a plan to improve sportsmanship by fans, coaches and players," the IHSA stated in its release.

"Maine South and District 207 regret the embarrassing incidents and rules violations that were outlined by the IHSA on November 29 and subsequently confirmed by the IHSA’s presentation of facts and by an internal investigation conducted by Maine South and District 207," the school said a statement Friday night.

Maine South was under investigation after the IHSA discovered the Hawks had created and distributed counterfeit sideline passes to the Class 8A state championship game. The IHSA also looked into the presence of alumni on the sidelines, incidents that occurred while stadium security attempted to remove those with fake passes and inappropriate behavior by Inserra at the awards ceremony following the game. The IHSA also received complaints against Maine South's behavior in other playoff games.

"There were a litany of indiscretions that took place at the state finals this year and that situation was compounded by issues that occurred at other playoff games," IHSA executive director Marty Hickman said in a statement on Friday. "That established a pattern of behavior in our minds and thus, it became important to look at the program as a whole. From a state final perspective, it was important for us to look at this not only from a safety and sportsmanship perspective, but also to gauge if Maine South had gained a competitive advantage by having more than the allowable number of coaches on the field and in the coaches press box.

"It was important that these penalties represented the seriousness of the actions. We wanted to make it clear that it couldn't just be an apology and then back to business as usual. Based on the talks and meeting we have had with Maine South since the state finals, I am confident that their administration and coaching staff have already taken steps in the right direction and are going to work diligently to prevent something like this from happening again. We appreciate the school and administration's cooperation and candor throughout this entire process and will work together to move beyond this."

A message left for Inserra was not returned immediately.

IHSA to rule on Maine South this week

January, 10, 2011
1/10/11
10:03
PM CT
The Illinois High School Association board met with Maine South administrators Monday to discuss the creation and distribution of counterfeit sideline passes and the postgame conduct of the school's football coaches during the Class 8A state football championship in November.

The IHSA board expects to hand out a penalty later this week.

Maine South principal Shawn Messmer, athletic director Steve Adams, assistant athletic director Jaret Kirshner and football coach David Inserra attended the meeting.

"We appreciate the cooperation of Maine South and its administration since these incidents occurred," IHSA executive director Marty Hickman said in a statement. "They were genuinely sorry and recognized that these negatives have overshadowed the great positive they achieved in winning a state title.

"They also provided a well thought out plan to prevent these types of abuses from occurring in the future. I will complete additional follow-up with the school on some questions raised by our board in the coming days and then review all the applicable information before making a ruling on an appropriate penalty. I intend to have that ruling to the school later this week and will have no further comment until Maine South receives that ruling and I have the opportunity to discuss it with them."

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