High-SchoolIllinois: FOOTBALL Weekly Rankings

After a playoff run that saw the top two teams lose in the early rounds, Bolingbrook emerged as the undisputed No. 1 football team in Illinois. The Raiders used one of the best defenses in recent memory, along with star quarterback Aaron Bailey, to go 13-1 and win the Class 8A championship with a 21-17 victory over Loyola.

Bailey, a candidate for Gatorade State Player of the Year, is just a junior, so he should return next year to make Bolingbrook a favorite again in 2012.

Final 2011 POWERADE State Rankings
  1. Bolingbrook (13-1) — Defeated Loyola, 21-17 (final regular season rank: No. 5)
  2. Loyola (13-1) — Lost to Bolingbrook, 21-17 (final regular season rank: No. 4)
  3. Montini (12-2) — Defeated Joliet Catholic, 70-45 (final regular season rank: NR)
Click here for complete POWERADE state rankings.
The final week of the regular season saw three teams lose their Top 10 spots in the POWERADE state rankings, allowing room for No. 7 Lemont, No. 8 Batavia and No. 10 Nazareth to jump into the rankings for the first time this season.

With the regular season now complete, Maine South enters the postseason as the favorite to win the Class 8A state championship for the second year in a row. In Class 7A, No. 2 Glenbard West is the team to beat after closing out a perfect 9-0 season with a 49-7 win over Downers Grove North.
  1. Maine South (9-0) — Defeated Glenbrook South, 45-21 (last week: No. 1)
  2. Glenbard West (9-0) — Defeated Downers Grove North, 49-7 (last week: No. 2)
  3. Lincoln-Way East (9-0) — Defeated Joliet West, 42-7 (last week: No. 3)
Click for complete POWERADE state rankings.
With just one week remaining in the regular season, most of the teams in the Top 10 of the POWERADE state rankings are starting to turn their attention to the playoffs. The top three teams all look ready for the postseason, as Maine South, Glenbard West and Lincoln-Way East all posted shutout victories over the weekend.

No. 5 St. Rita won the game of the week, turning back Mt. Carmel, 17-7. Rita showed a stiff defense in the second half, and the Mustangs have to be taken seriously as a threat once tournament play begins.

Aside from the results, the biggest story of the week will probably be Loyola Academy QB Malcolm Weaver. He was forced to leave the Ramblers' 20-13 win over Brother Rice with a head injury, and Loyola's offense wasn't nearly the same without Weaver at the controls. He's one of the best players in the state, so it's not hyperbole to say that he could change the entire course of the playoffs.
  1. Maine South (8-0) — Defeated Waukegan, 49-0 (last week: No. 1)
  2. Glenbard West (8-0) — Defeated York, 45-0 (last week: No. 2)
  3. Lincoln-Way East (8-0) — Defeated Joliet Central, 42-0 (last week: No. 3)
Click here for complete POWERADE state rankings.
Once again, the Illinois POWERADE state rankings basically remain in place this week, as the top eight teams all won their matchups. No. 1 Maine South was an easy winner over Evanston, while No. 2 Glenbard West had to scrap and claw to win a defensive slugfest against Addison Trail, 14-0. The other two undefeated teams in the top four, No. 3 Lincoln-Way East and No. 4 Loyola, enjoyed blowout wins as well.
  1. Maine South (7-0) — Defeated Evanston, 48-7 (last week: No. 1)
  2. Glenbard West (7-0) — Defeated Addison Trail, 14-0 (last week: No. 2)
  3. Lincoln-Way East (7-0) — Defeated Lincoln-Way Central, 42-7 (last week: No. 3)
Click for complete POWERADE state rankings
The biggest game of the week lived up to the hype, as No. 3 Lincoln-Way East fought back from an early deficit to knock off No. 10 Bolingbrook, 20-14. Lincoln-Way East trailed 14-0 before making its comeback, spurred by the tough running of senior defensive lineman/part-time fullback Kevin Bayer. Bayer picked up a key fourth-down attempt with a 29-yard run, then scored a 13-yard TD to give the Griffins the lead with five minutes to play.

Elsewhere in the Illinois POWERADE rankings, Loyola Academy beat Mount Carmel, 12-7. The two teams flip-flopped in the rankings, with Loyola moving up to No. 4 and Mount Carmel dropping to No. 6.
  1. Maine South, 6-0 — Defeated Niles West, 55-15 (last week: No. 1)
  2. Glenbard West, 6-0 — Defeated Proviso West, 51-13 (last week: No. 2)
  3. Lincoln-Way East, 6-0 — Defeated Bolingbrook, 20-14 (last week: No. 3)
Click for complete POWERADE state rankings
Maine South had to work for it, as the No. 1 Hawks were pushed by New Trier before hanging on for a 40-24 victory. As Andrew Braverman writes in this ESPNChicago story, Maine South was down 10 points at the half before righting the ship and surging ahead to improve to 5-0. Glenbard West advanced with less trouble, toppling Oak Park 41-6. So the top three teams in the POWERADE Top 10 remain the same.
  1. Maine South (5-0) — Defeated New Trier, 40-24 (last week: No. 1)
  2. Glenbard West (5-0) — Defeated Oak Park, 41-6 (last week: No. 2)
  3. Lincoln-Way East (5-0) — Defeated Sandburg, 31-7 (last week: No. 3
Click for full POWERADE Illinois Weekly Rankings
With an impressive victory over a tough Homewood-Flossmoor team, Lincoln-Way East made the biggest leap of the week, climbing all the way to No. 3 in the POWERADE state rankings. QB Blake Winkler and WR J.J. Robertson hooked up for a pair of long touchdown passes in the 38-21 win. Robertson ended the game with 226 receiving yards, while Winkler finished with 290 passing yards. Maine South and Glenbard West both won easily to solidify their spots atop the rankings.
  1. Maine South, 4-0 — Defeated Niles North, 42-6 (last week: No. 1)
  2. Glenbard West, 4-0 — Defeated Hinsdale Central, 45-14 (last week: No. 2)
  3. Lincoln-Way East, 4-0 — Defeated Homewood-Flossmoor, 32-14 (last week: No. 10)
Click for full POWERADE Illinois Weekly Rankings

Week 3 football rankings: Chalk City

September, 12, 2011
You know when it's easy to do rankings? When every team in the top 10 wins. The chalk held in Week 3, as all the favorites won their matchups and sanity reigned in the ESPNHS POWERADE Illinois rankings.

Maine South rode Paul Preston's 136 rushing yards and three TDs to an easy win over Deerfield to remain at No. 1, while No. 2 Glenbard West once again flashed a dominant defense in a 31-3 win over Lyons. Joliet Catholic dropped Richwoods to solidify its No. 3 position.
  1. Maine South, 3-0 -- Defeated Deerfield, 40-7 (last week: No. 1)
  2. Glenbard West, 3-0 -- Defeated Lyons, 31-3 (last week: No. 2)
  3. Joliet Catholic, 3-0 -- Defeated Richwoods, 63-34 (last week: No. 3)
Click for full POWERADE Illinois Weekly Rankings
There were two matchups of Top 10 teams over the weekend, and the rankings have been shaken up a bit as a result. Montini (formerly our No. 3 team) dropped a 41-24 decision to Loyola Academy, while No. 1 Maine South turned away Wheaton South, 13-9. With that kind of action, it may take a while for the rankings to settle down again. For now, here's what we're going with:
  1. Maine South, 2-0 — Defeated Wheaton South, 13-9 (last week: No. 1)
  2. Glenbard West, 2-0 — Defeated Willowbrook, 49-0 (last week: No. 2)
  3. Joliet Catholic, 2-0 — Defeated Notre Dame, 42-0 (last week: No. 4)
  4. Loyola Academy, 2-0 — Defeated Montini, 41-24 (last week: No. 6)
  5. Rochester, 2-0 — Defeated Jacksonville, 41-28 (last week: No. 7)
  6. Mount Carmel, 2-0 — Defeated Morgan Park, 31-0 (last week: No. 9)
  7. Montini, 1-1 — Lost to Loyola Academy, 41-24 (last week: No. 3)
  8. Wheaton South, 0-2 — Lost to Maine South, 13-9 (last week: No. 5)
  9. East St. Louis, 1-1 — Defeated Gardner-Edgerton, 34-20 (last week: No. 10)
  10. Lincoln-Way East, 2-0 — Defeated Dunbar, 49-14 (last week: NA)
Dropped out: Lake Zurich (No. 8)
Bubble teams: Homewood-Flossmoor, Downers South, Simeon, Crete-Monee, Glenbard North, St. Rita, Bolingbrook, Prairie Ridge

Some people may be surprised to see Wheaton South hold on to a Top 10 spot after dropping to 0-2 on the season, but records can be deceiving. In this case, the Tigers have lost to our Nos. 1 and 2 teams, with this weekend's loss to Maine South being especially close (13-9). Don't be surprised to see Wheaton South climb up the rankings again as the season goes along — the talent is there.

Thoughts on the rankings? Leave a comment below or hit me on Twitter (@ESPNHSGrimala).
Illinois didn't waste any time, giving us some huge football games in Week 1 of the 2011 season. No. 2 Glenbard West beat Wheaton South, 26-13, snapping the Tigers' 27-game winning streak and dropping Wheaton South from No. 4 to No. 5 in the weekly rankings.

No. 1 Maine South debuted without a problem, dispatching Warren, 40-12. Simeon was the only team team to drop out of the Top 10, losing its No. 7 spot after losing to Mount Carmel, 23-14.

Full rankings after the jump.
  1. Maine South, 1-0 — Defeated Warren, 40-12 (last week: No. 1)
  2. Glenbard West, 1-0 — Defeated Wheaton South, 26-13 (last week: No. 2)
  3. Montini, 1-0 — Defeated Palatine, 26-21 (last week: No. 5)

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After enjoying an undefeated, state-championship season in 2010, Maine South returns almost all of its impact players this fall. Which is why it was a fairly easy call to place the Hawks atop the 2011 football preseason rankings. With senior running back Paul Preston (1,150 yards, 21 touchdowns last year) and junior quarterback Matt Alviti (24 TD passes) leading the way, Maine South gets the nod over No. 2 Glenbard West and No. 3 Joliet Catholic. Full rankings after the jump.
  1. Maine South
  2. Glenbard West
  3. Joliet Catholic

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