Scouting Week 8 DuPage County football games

Glenbard South (7-0, 7-0) at Glenbard East (6-1, 6-1)

When: 7 p.m. Friday.

Last matchup: Glenbard East won, 7-6, last year.

About the Raiders: Loaded with talent and experience, the Raiders are off to a 7-0 start but figure to be tested by the Rams Friday night. The teams combined for 13 total points a year ago, and another defensive tussle could be in store. Then again, the Raiders feature quarterback Michael Champagne (18 passing touchdowns, 8 rushing touchdowns), Notre Dame-bound wide receiver Cam Williams (96 yards per game, 8 touchdowns, including 5 receiving), junior tailback Vontae Clark, senior running back Carter London, and senior receiver Anthony Colby. “(Glenbard) South is good – no doubt,” said Rams coach John Walters. “Saying they're explosive is an understatement. They seem to reel off explosion plays every week. Trying to limit those opportunities will be the key in this game.” Defensively, the Raiders are led by linemen Saif Kokoszka, Jack Everett Anderson, and defensive backs Justin Jones and Williams. Two weeks ago, the Raiders snapped South Elgin's 29-game conference winning streak in a physical, 14-13 clash. With a win, the Raiders would clinch their first Upstate Eight title.

About the Rams: The Rams showed some explosiveness of their own during last weekend's 49-7 win over Fenton. Offensive highlights included Matt Larson's 69-yard and 21-yard touchdown runs, Donte Hudson's 40-yard touchdown run, Val Heredia's 11-yard touchdown run, Blake Salvino's 46-yard TD pass to Chikodi Nze, and Salvino's 49-yard TD pass to Chris Renford. Salvino, who also plays defense, added an interception. “From an offensive standpoint, the QB position will play a factor Friday night,” said Walters. “Their guy (Champagne) has been at it for 3 years. Blake (Salvino) is, for the most part, in his first year as a starter. Both guys are impressive in different ways. We've been really impressed with Blake and the job he has done considering he's also a starter at linebacker.” The Rams' defense has been a constant all season – holding 6 of 7 foes to 7 points or less (South Elgin scored 17 points vs Glenbard East). “I think the consistency on defense comes from the buy-in to what we are doing, and the pride our guys take in playing defensive football,” added Walters. It may be Week 8, but a playoff-like feel is expected.

West Chicago (4-3, 4-3) at East Aurora (4-3, 4-3)

When: 7 p.m. Friday.

Last matchup: East Aurora won, 52-24, last year.

About the Wildcats: Injuries began piling up during last weekend's 48-6 loss to Upstate Eight Conference leader Glenbard South, as the Wildcats lost the services of leading rusher Vince Muci (11 touchdowns), Tommy Doyle, and A'Mari Diaz-Thomas, among others. Their status for Friday night's game against East Aurora is unknown. “As always, next man up,” said Wildcats coach Adam Chavez, who has the Wildcats on the cusp of their first postseason trip since 2002. “It's extremely important for both teams to get their fifth win this week,” said Chavez. “The difference between 5 and 6 wins is huge as far as seeding purposes. Both teams want to go into the playoffs with 6 wins.” Robert Lee carried the ball 11 times for 127 yards in the first half against the Raiders. West Chicago hosts Larkin in Week 9.

About the Tomcats: East Aurora's playoff drought dates to 1982. Coach Nick Kukuc's squad has finished 4-5 in each of the last 3 full seasons. Quarterback Amado Martinez and multi-purpose threat Kenneth Cooley pace the Tomcats, who have scored at least 20 points in 6 of their 7 games. “They definitely have some explosive players on offense,” Chavez said of the Tomcats. “They are as talented as anyone in the conference. They do a nice job putting them in positions to get them the ball. They play physical, sound defense. This game will be a physically tough one.” East Aurora visits Fenton in Week 9.

Fenton (0-7, 0-7) at Streamwood (1-6, 1-6)

When: 7 p.m. Friday.

Last matchup: Fenton won, 24-22, last year.

About the Bison: At times, the Bison can put points on the board, evidenced by their topping the 20-point mark in 3 of their 7 games. However, defense is a major concern. Fenton has allowed 49 or more points on 5 different occasions. Junior quarterback Nathan Stewart is a player to watch for the Bison. “Fenton is far better than its record would suggest,” said Streamwood coach Ketih McMaster. “The QB (Stewart) is really good – he makes plays with his arm and his legs. The receivers catch the balls he throws, and the kids are well trained in the scramble drill. A lot of our young bucks will be back in the field this week, and having not seen so many passes, this will be a challenge for us.”

About the Sabres: A week ago, Streamwood lost a 34-14 decision to East Aurora despite solid performances from sophomores Shazeb Ahmed (2-yard TD run) and Lorenzo Robles (13-yard TD run). Aden Strong recovered a fumble on a good hustle play, while John Ray added a 22-yard run. Taro Ishikawa averages 60 yards rushing per game. “Explosive plays hurt us, especially in the first half,” said McMaster of the loss to the Tomcats. “We were short-handed and had pulled up some freshmen and sophomores to fill the gaps. Obviously, the game is a little faster, but I feel like the kids did much better in the second half. Since some of the young guns were filling in in different roles, we tried to put them in a position to experience some success, and some plays did work out for us.” Streamwood would like to avenge last year's 2-point loss to Fenton. “We're going to prepare the kids to compete and work to put them in the best positions possible,” added the coach.

IC Catholic Prep (5-2) at De La Salle (3-4)

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday.

Last matchup: First meeting.

About the Knights: Will the Knights be able to suit up some of their better players, who were sidelined by injury and illness during last weekend's 47-0 loss to Loyola Academy. “Sometimes, when you have a roster of 32 and you're down nine guys, and a lot of them play both ways, there's not much you can do,” Knights coach Bill Krefft told Shaw Local News Network's Michel Dwojak following the game. Krefft also said he was unsure whether the injuries would keep the playmakers from the remaining two games of the regular season. Since the Class 3A defending state champion Knights are already playoff eligible, they may want to focus on getting healthy for the postseason. However, for 4A seeding purposes, two more wins would clearly help their chances.

About the Meteors: Despite their 3-4 record, the Meteors feature several game-breaking ability type players, including sophomore quarterback Kenyonte Louis (14 passing touchdowns, 6 rushing touchdowns), senior wide receiver David Coffey (8 total touchdowns, 3 receiving touchdowns), and junior wideout Myles Green (97.1 yards receiving per game, 9 total touchdowns, 7 receiving touchdowns).

Wheaton Academy (6-1, 4-1) at Aurora Christian (6-1, 5-0)

When: 7 p.m. Friday.

Last matchup: Wheaton Academy won, 24-3, last year.

About the Warriors: After outscoring their last 3 opponents by a 147-6 margin, the Warriors figure to receive a challenge from the Chicagoland Christian Conference leaders Friday night. The teams have split 4 matchups since 2018. “Both teams are at 6-1, but you can pretty much throw record away when these two programs come together,” said Warriors coach Jim Johanik. “Both teams are well-coached. We see what they're doing year-in and year-out, and they are football sound. It's a fun game to coach and an equally fun game for our guys to prepare for and play in. I expect nothing but a great game as two spread offenses and sound defenses go against each other.” Quarterback Brett Kasper threw a pair of touchdown passes, as the starters only played a half during the Warriors' 48-6 win over Christ the King. “Brett was just offered (scholarship) at Illinois State, where his older brother, Eddie (Wheaton Academy 2022 grad) is a starting wide receiver as a redshirt freshman,” said Johanik. Defensively, junior Jeremy Johanik led the team in tackles. Two weeks ago, he moved from defensive end to middle linebacker. “He has transitioned to his new position quite naturally,” said the coach. “A few years back, we moved his older brother, Peter, an all-stater, from end to linebacker, and he shined. With both Brett (Kasper) and Jeremy, we are witnessing younger brothers outpacing their older brothers' footsteps.” Two weeks ago, Peter Johanik started at defensive end for Wheaton College and secured a win over Augustana with a critical 4th-and-4 sack late in the game. Johanik figures both teams will benefit from this Week 8 showdown. “Both programs need games like this, as we march toward the postseason,” said the coach. “Iron sharpens iron.”

About the Eagles: Last week, Aurora Christian jumped out to a 21-0 halftime lead on Marian Central Catholic and fell behind 22-21 early in the fourth quarter before rallying for a 40-28 victory. Quarterback Jalen Carter accounted for 302 total yards with 4 touchdown passes and a touchdown run. “Jalen has been playing week-in and week-out at a high level,” said Eagles coach David Beebe. “He is making great decisions and spreading the ball around. I can't put into words the impact that he has had on this season.” Three of Carter's TD passes were to wide receiver Owen Hampton (89 yards). “We talked about it at halftime, knowing they (Marian) would make a change since they're such a great team,” said Beebe. “To our kids' credit, they weather the storm and showed some great mental toughness. It was a central message during the film session Saturday morning. While mistakes were made, deep in their minds, they are building belief. They know they can withstand adversity, and that is a good thing because more is coming in the weeks to come.” Beebe knows the Warriors are dangerous. “Wheaton is a great team,” he said. “We are looking forward to the challenge. We have great respect for them on the field, and how they use football to build Christ-like character in their players.”

St. Francis (5-2) at Leo (2-5)

When: 5 p.m. Friday.

Last matchup: First meeting.

About the Spartans: St. Francis has found a way to win of late, capturing its last 3 victories by a total of 9 points – 33-28 over Joliet Catholic, 35-34 over IC Catholic Prep, and 31-28 over St. Rita. “Very proud to come away with a victory (last week),” said Spartans coach Bob McMillen. “I love the way our kids continue to fight in close games. We do have a ton of room for improvement, though. We must stop playing inconsistently and shooting ourselves in the foot. We have had opportunities to pull away from teams, but we do something to allow them to stay in the game. Eventually, these types of games will catch up to us.” Against St. Rita, Cooper Winslow's 18-yard field goal in the final minute provided the winning margin. “It was a huge game for Cooper,” said McMillen. “He has had his ups and downs this season, but he came up clutch (last Friday). A lot of people don't understand how hard it is for him as he is also playing soccer. He had played a game the night before. The kid goes to soccer practice and then to football practice, so we are being careful that we don't wear him out.”

About the Lions: Since winning their first 2 games, the Lions have been outscored by a 227-50 margin during their 5-game losing streak. “Leo is a team that is a lot like us,” said McMillen. “They have had their ups and downs. They're very well-coached by Coach Stevenson and his staff, but they also have tremendous athletes that can play the game. We need to make sure we are playing well because you don't know what team will show up.”

Lisle (1-6, 0-5) at Peotone (4-3, 3-2)

When: 7 p.m. Friday.

Last matchup: Lisle won, 20-13, last year.

About the Lions: The Lions continue to grow and mature, as freshman quarterback Nolan Ashmore tossed a pair of touchdown passes to sophomore tailback Asher Carson during last weekend's 42-20 loss to Herscher. Senior tight end Nathan Harer also caught a 48-yard pass across the middle of the field. Lisle's offense finished with more than 300 yards, including Ashmore's 22 passing yards.

About the Blue Devils: Peotone earned a 36-32 victory over Streator last weekend and needs another win to become playoff eligible. Freshman Cody Rodriguez starts at quarterback for the Blue Devils but don't expect him to throw many passes. Last weekend, he completed 1 of 3 passes in the win. Peotone does most of its damage on the ground. Junior tailbacks Jayden Rodriguez (33 carries, 224 yards, 3 TDs) and Chase Rivera (23 carries, 166 yards, 1 TD) combined for 390 rushing yards and 4 touchdowns against Streator.

Westmont (1-6, 0-5) at Walther Christian (0-7, 0-5)

When: 1 p.m. Saturday.

Last matchup: Westmont won, 18-13, last year.

About the Sentinels: The Sentinels have an opportunity snap a 5-game losing streak Saturday against Walther Christian. Last weekend, Westmont dropped a 42-6 decision to Elmwood Park. Freshman defensive back Konor Rogers provided a highlight with an interception.

About the Broncos: Walther Christian, which finished winless last season, has forfeited its last 3 games, so this weekend's matchup is questionable. “As far as I know, they want to play,” said Westmont coach Lee Maciejewski. “However, that is subject to change.”

Metea Valley (0-7, 0-4) at Naperville Central (6-1, 4-0)

When: 7 p.m. Friday.

Last matchup: Naperville Central won, 28-0, last year.

About the Mustangs: Coming off a 30-7 loss to Naperville North, the Mustangs search for their first victory against the newly crowned DuPage Valley Conference champion Redhawks. Quarterback Lucas Van Vlerah connected with Christian Lee for a 37-yard touchdown for Metea's lone score against the Huskies. Redhawks coach Mike Ulreich is wary of Metea Valley. “Metea presents a unique challenge on both sides of the ball,” said Ulreich. “We will see a front and coverage structure that we haven't seen all year with their odd stack. They are going to load the box and play an aggressive style of defense. Offensively, we must contend with their formations and WR splits they use to create leverage and numbers. We worked hard to simplify our game plan but with enough variance to handle all their different looks.”

About the Redhawks: Last weekend, the Redhawks clinched their first DVC title since 2018 with their impressive 42-0 victory over DeKalb. “We have put a lot of work in as a staff and program these last 3 years to get to this point,” said Ulreich. “I am very proud of our coaches and players, and grateful for their commitment. We have a tough football team that has bought into the standards of this program and who understand the tradition asked to uphold.” Senior outside linebacker Christian Kuta, senior end Maverick Ohle, junior middle linebacker Daniel Nussbaum, senior defensive back Kaden Skarr, and junior cornerback Nick Zbylut anchor a defense that owns a pair of shutouts and has held 4 of 7 opponents under 10 points. “I think our consistency on defense starts with our weekly preparation. Coach (Adam) Pucylowski and our defensive staff ensure we are prepared to play at a high level every week,” said Ulreich. “Our front seven has been able to control the line of scrimmage, and our secondary is getting better each week.”

Waubonsie Valley (4-3, 2-2) at Naperville North (4-3, 2-2)

When: 7 p.m. Friday.

Last matchup: Naperville North won, 41-0, last year.

About the Warriors: Another major test for the Warriors, who allowed 33 second-half points during last weekend's 40-12 loss to Neuqua Valley. “Just too many mistakes on our end to finish a game against a quality opponent,” said Warriors coach Tom Baumgartner. Against Neuqua, Waubonsie's touchdowns came via a 32-yard pass from Luke Elsea to Trent Selby, and on a pass from Elsea to Brady Teeple. Tyler Threat also caught a 54-yard pass from Elsea. Now, the Warriors prepare for the Huskies. “They're a very good team,” said Baumgartner. “They've played a monster of a schedule, and as always, they're well-coached.” Due to the unusual DVC scheduling format, this will be the first of back-to-back games between the teams to finish the regular season. “It should be interesting for both teams,” said Baumgartner, who refuses to look too far ahead. “We are just trying to keep getting better each day and push in a positive trend as opposed to just trying to survive.”

About the Huskies: Naperville North built a 27-0 lead during last weekend's 30-7 win over Metea Valley. Senior Cole Arl tallied 3 touchdowns, while quarterback Jacob Bell connected with Brock Pettaway for a 57-yard touchdown (screen pass). “The defense has been stout all year, led by Matt Murphy and Lawson Grier,” said Huskies coach Sean Drendel. “We've had a few injuries and guys have stepped up behind them. We hope to be a little healthier as we head toward the end of the year. Cole (Arl) had a nice night finding the end zone, and Lonzo Duckworth had a team-leading 130 yards rushing. The offensive line is starting to come around, led by tackles Drew Jennings and Jack Provenzano.” Waubonsie poses a challenge for the Huskies. “Waubonsie has been great this year,” said Drendel. “They play ball control but can strike at any time with great wide receivers, and they force you to drive the length of the field because they don't give up big plays. That's a recipe for success.” Drendel acknowledged the Week 9 rematch with Waubonsie. “The winner of this game will be home the next time, so the loser will have to win on the road to make the playoffs,” said the coach. “That makes this a big game. We've played Naperville Central twice in each of the last 2 years, so we understand what it takes playing a team again.”

York (6-1, 3-1) at Lyons Township (5-2, 4-1)

When: 1:30 p.m. Saturday

Last matchup: York 27, Lyons 14 (2022)

About the Dukes: York is no doubt still smarting from its 28-7 loss to Glenbard West last week that snapped the Dukes' 17-game regular-season winning streak. It also put the Silver title up for grabs with York, Lyons and Glenbard West all with one league loss and Downers Grove North with two. Senior linebacker Cole Ostendorf had 19 tackles in the loss last week. Jake Melion rushed for 97 yards and a TD and QB Sean Winton threw for 81 and rushed for 38. York will look to get an offense back on track that had averaged over 42 points in its first six games.

About the Lions: Lyons has strung together three straight wins since a loss to Glenbard West, the biggest a 17-7 win over Downers Grove North last week. Danny Carroll had a busy night with 137 yards on 34 carries, 79 of the yards coming in the second half. Ryan Jackson threw for 72 yards and a TD to his favorite target Travis Stamm. York's loss last week opens the door for Lyons to potentially grab a share of its first Silver title since 2010 – provided the Lions can win this one. Some heavy-hitting matchups could present itself up front with Lyons' senior lineman Eddie Tuerk, an Illinois recruit, and York defensive lineman Joe Reiff, committed to Notre Dame.

Proviso West (0-7, 0-4) at Glenbard West (5-2, 3-1)

When: 1:30 p.m. Saturday

Last matchup: Glenbard West 51, Proviso West 12 (2022)

About the Panthers: Proviso West's rough season continued last week with a 62-0 loss to Hinsdale Central. The Panthers have been outscored by a combined margin of 293-42.

About the Hilltoppers: Glenbard West has put its 1-2 start and early-season offensive struggles well in the rearview mirror during a four-game winning streak. The Hilltoppers' 28-7 win at York was eye-opening and a reminder that they remain a force to be reckoned with in the Silver and statewide. Teyion Oriental has emerged as Glenbard West's big-play threat at running back and QB in the absence of injured star Julius Ellens. Oriental rushed for 100 yards on 21 carries and was 3-for-3 passing for 38 yards with two TDs last week. Eli Limouris and Joey Campanella each had interceptions and Ben Starmann and Peter Fanter registered sacks for a Glenbard West defense that's been stout more often than not this season.

Oak Park-River Forest (1-6, 1-3) at Hinsdale Central (2-5, 1-3)

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: Hinsdale Central 22, Oak Park-River Forest 19 (2022)

About the Huskies: The Huskies are coming off a 35-14 loss to Willowbrook, OPRF's fourth straight loss. OPRF's defense has struggled to stop anybody this year, giving up just under 35 points per game. Khalil Nichols and Johnny Nelson each scored on 1-yard TDs for OPRF's scores against Willowbrook.

About the Red Devils: Hinsdale Central has had rare nights to celebrate in a rough season against a tough schedule, but last Friday's 62-0 win over Proviso West was one of those occasions. Games with a struggling OPRF team and a rivalry game with Downers Grove North present the Red Devils with an opportunity to end the season on a high note.

Downers Grove South (4-3, 4-0) at Proviso East (1-6, 0-5)

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: Downers Grove South 46, Proviso East 28 (2022)

About the Mustangs: Downers Grove South has won four consecutive games since an 0-3 start and can clinch at least a share of its second consecutive Gold title, and become playoff eligible for its fourth straight postseason appearance, with a win here. Deon Davis ran for 159 yards and three TDs in a 33-14 win over Morton last week. The Mustangs have scored 124 points during their four-game winning streak after managing just 27 in their three losses.

About the Pirates: Proviso East is coming off a 52-0 loss to Hinsdale South, its fifth straight defeat. The Pirates' lone win came against district rival Proviso West in Week 2. The Pirates have given up an average of over 40 points per game since.

Willowbrook (5-2, 3-1) at Morton (1-6, 1-3)

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: Willowbrook 45, Morton 33 (2022)

About the Warriors: Willowbrook became playoff eligible with its 35-14 win over Oak Park-River Forest that in all likelihood locked up the program's seventh straight playoff appearance. Senior QB AJ Palicki has been stellar all year piloting the Willowbrook offense, and had a monster game last Friday. Palicki was 19-for-25 passing for 348 yards and two TDs, and ran for 178 yards and three more TDs.

About the Mustangs: Morton is coming off a 32-20 loss to Addison Trail. It was Morton's fourth straight loss since its only win, over Proviso East, but the competitive result against a winning team was a positive to take out of it.

Wheaton North (4-3, 3-2) at Glenbard North (0-7, 0-5)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: Wheaton North 21, Glenbard North 14 (2022)

About the Falcons: Wheaton North emerged from a back-and-forth game against Geneva last week with a 25-24 win, snapping a two-game losing streak. Walker Owens ran for three TDs, including the game-winner in the final minutes, and caught a TD. Matt Kuczaj is a dynamic threat for the Falcons. He caught six passes for 157 yards, including three receptions of at least 32 yards. His final catch went for 14 yards and sealed the outcome. Wheaton North looks to become playoff eligible here with a win against struggling Glenbard North.

About the Panthers: Glenbard North is coming off a 42-0 loss to St. Charles North. It's been quite a struggle this season for a Panthers' program with a proud history. In particular, Glenbard North has scored just 53 points over seven games and been shutout three times.

St. Charles North (6-2, 4-2) at Lake Park (4-3, 2-3)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: 27-13 SCN in 2022

About the North Stars: SCN already clinched the postseason after its dominant win over Glenbard North last week. Offensively, QB Ethan Plumb continues to be marvelous this season by approaching 2,000 passing yards and amassing 26 combined touchdowns. This is a team capable of winning shootouts with Jake Furtney, Aedan Hayes, Jake Mettetal and Anthony Taormina all capable of standout performances in the passing game. Defensive lineman Julio Sanchez recorded recorded six tackles, including three for losses, last week for a unit that pitched its first shutout.

About the Lancers: This is a team that is fighting for postseason eligibility for the first time in six seasons. Despite a 31-8 loss to WWS last week, the Lancers still have a few chances to snag some wins. Declan Fortuna continued his standout season last week with 159 rushing yards on 19 carries and a touchdown. The Lancers play physical defense and will have to challenge SCN on the line of scrimmage to make it difficult for Plumb to find his plethora of receivers.

Batavia (6-1, 5-0) at Wheaton Warrenville South (4-3, 3-2)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: Batavia 35, Wheaton Warrenville South 0 (2022)

About the Bulldogs: Batavia, ranked No. 3 in Class 7A, can clinch the outright DuKane Conference title with a win. The Bulldogs' lone loss came to Lincoln-Way East, 14-13 in Week 2 in a game that came down to a two-point conversion at the end. Batavia is coming off a 54-0 win over St. Charles East. Senior QB Ryan Boe, a third-year starter and North Dakota State recruit, has thrown for 1,431 yards with 11 TDs and one interception. Versatile Charlie Whelpley has rushed for a team-high 466 yards and caught 30 passes for 304 yards. Chase Osborne has a team-high 49 tackles, SIU recruit Ben Fiegel 39.

About the Tigers: WW South is making a strong late-season surge to a playoff appearance, following up its big win over Wheaton North by beating Lake Park 31-8 last week. Matt Crider rushed for 146 yards and a 46-yard TD on 18 carries. Crider has been quite a difference-maker for the Tigers' offense after returning from an ankle injury in Week 4. The Tigers have averaged just under 32 points per game with Crider, 6 points without. Maison Haas and the WW South defense has been steady most of the season, but will get tested by a versatile, experienced Batavia offense.

Montini (5-2) at Brother Rice (3-4)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

About the Broncos: After a 5-0 start, Montini has hit a bit of a speed bump with back-to-back losses. St. Viator scored in the final minute to beat the Broncos last week 21-14. Gaetano Carbonara has thrown for 1,279 yards and 13 TDs with six interceptions this season. Alex Marre has rushed for 695 yards and six TDs and Santino Florio has a team-high 23 catches for 439 yards and seven TDs. Defensive end Nicky Castaldo had 10 tackles and three sacks in the loss to St. Viator.

About the Crusaders: Brother Rice, like Montini, fell victim to a late loss last Friday, 31-30 to Nazareth. It's put the Crusaders, a Class 7A quarterfinalist the last two seasons, in danger of missing the playoffs for only the second time in the last decade unless they beat Montini and then St. Rita in Week 9. Junior LB Christian Pierce has 12 offers including Michigan, Ohio State and Texas. Navy recruit Randall Nauden rushed for 233 yards on 25 carries with two TDs in the loss to Nazareth.

Benet (4-3) at Loyola (7-0)

When: 1:30 p.m. Saturday

Last matchup: Loyola 46, Benet 14 (2019)

About the Redwings: Benet kept its playoff hopes alive last week with a 23-13 win over St. Patrick – but it remains an uphill climb with games against Loyola and what will likely be an equally desperate Providence team remaining. Rocky Rosanova keyed the win over St. Patrick last Saturday with two long TD catches from QB Ryan Kubacki Jr. in the first half and number of big defensive plays. Rosanova's significance to Benet's offense has risen with the loss to leading receiver Pat Pitello to a broken collarbone three weeks ago. Kubacki threw for 258 yards and three TDs against St. Patrick.

About the Ramblers: Loyola, the No. 1-ranked team in Class 8A, is coming off a 47-0 win over IC Catholic Prep. Loyola, the defending Class 8A champs, have outscored opponents by a combined margin of 253-49. Beau Desherow is in his first season as Loyola head coach after John Holecek stepped down. The Ramblers have won three state titles since 2015 and made seven championship-game appearances since 2011. A huge showdown with Class 7A No. 1 Mount Carmel looms in Week 9.

Downers Grove North (5-2) at Hinsdale South (3-4)

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: Hinsdale South 6, Downers Grove North 0 (2014)

About the Trojans: Downers Grove North has dropped back-to-back games following a 5-0 start to the season after last week's 17-7 loss to Lyons. The Trojans have been without standout running back Noah Battle, who has missed the last two games with an unspecified injury, but Downers Grove North coach Joe Horeni is hopeful he'll be back soon. Sophomore QB Owen Lansu was 15-for-28 passing for 139 yards with a TD to Owen Thulin against Lyons. The Trojans are already playoff eligible, but a couple wins the next two weeks would certainly benefit them for playoff position.

About the Hornets: Hinsdale South is coming off a 52-0 win over Proviso East and need to win out against Downers Grove North and Morton to become playoff eligible. The Hornets will need a yeoman effort against the Trojans.

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