No. 12 Mount Carmel (4-1) at No. 2 St. Rita (5-0) on Friday
The story: One of the best rivalries in high school sports will write a new chapter on Friday night. Last season, St. Rita took it to the Caravan and won 54-18 in one of the most lopsided games in the rivalry’s history. Mount Carmel will be looking for revenge on St. Rita’s ground. The Caravan have bounced back nicely since losing in the season-opener to Simeon. Their offense has been impressive all season. St. Rita has remained undefeated thanks to its defense and running game.
Mount Carmel player to watch: Senior running back Michael Banks missed last week with a groin injury. When healthy, he’s one of the fasted players in the state.
St. Rita player to watch: Running back Jahwon Akui scored five times in last year’s win over Mount Carmel. He’ll look to add to that total on Friday.
Prediction: St. Rita 48, Mount Carmel 42
No. 16 Schaumburg (4-1) at No. 13 Barrington (5-0) on Saturday
The story: The Mid-Suburban League West will likely be determined here. Both teams enjoy giving the ball to their star running backs and letting them loose. Barrington’s Chase Murdock has rushed for 740 yards and 10 touchdowns on 132 carries. Schaumburg’s Shepard Little has run for 991 yards and eight touchdowns on 120 carries. Their one common opponent this season is Elk Grove. Barrington defeated Elk Grove 30-23 in overtime, and Schaumburg lost 36-34.
Schaumburg player to watch: A lot of attention will go to both teams’ running backs, but both also have capable quarterbacks. Schaumburg’s Mark Iannotti has completed 10-or-more passes in all five games.
Barrington player to watch: Broncos quarterback Matt LeMire has been proven to be an accurate passer. He was 8 of 12 for 100 yards in last week’s win.
Prediction: Schaumburg 28, Barrington 24
No. 18 Stevenson (5-0) at No. 4 Lake Zurich (5-0) on Friday
The story: This game should decide the North Suburban Lake championship. Both teams have been putting up a lot of points this season with each averaging nearly 40 per game. Stevenson’s Joe Cassata and Lake Zurich’s Jacob Brinlee are two of the best running backs around. If the game does come down to the wire, Lake Zurich has pulled out two narrow wins this season while Stevenson has yet to be tested.
Stevenson player to watch: Quarterback Kevin Earl doesn’t receive enough recognition. He’s one of the area’s premier quarterbacks.
Lake Zurich player to watch: Running back Jacob Brinlee is one of the area’s most entertaining players to watch. He can score any time he touches the ball.
Quote: Stevenson coach William McNamara – “Lake Zurich is a very aggressive team on defense and has the ability to strike at any time on offense. This game will be a tremendous challenge for our team. Brinlee is simply great with the ball in his hands. We have to get a complete team effort to try to keep him in check.”
Prediction: Lake Zurich 24, Stevenson 20
No. 10 Wheaton North (4-1) at No. 1 Wheaton Warrenville South (5-0) on Friday
The story: Top-ranked Wheaton Warrenville South faces its second major DuPage Valley test in as many weeks. The Tigers had no trouble with last week’s one as they cruised to a win over Naperville North. Wheaton Warrrenville South’s offense and defense have been equally as good. The Tigers have out-scored their opponents 200-40 this season. Wheaton North’s offense has slowed down in the last few weeks with a loss to Glenbard North and a narrow win over West Aurora. Either the Falcons’ offense needs to get going or their defense will have to contain quarterback Reilly O’Toole and company.
Wheaton North player to watch: Wheaton North quarterback Reece Butler has had some big games this season. He’ll need another one here to pull off the upset.
Wheaton Warrenville South player to watch: Quarterback Reilly O’Toole is the front-runner for ESPNChicago.com’s Player of the Year award right now.
Prediction: Wheaton Warrenville South 41, Wheaton North 24
Loyola (4-1) at Brother Rice (4-1) on Friday
The story: Every game is vital in the Catholic League Blue. With a loss here, either Loyola or Brother Rice could find itself outside of contention for the conference title. Both teams have one conference loss heading into the match up. Loyola fell to Mount Carmel in overtime, and Brother Rice lost 24-0 to St. Rita.
Loyola player to watch: Ramblers quarterback Malcolm Weaver has thrown 14 touchdowns passes this season.
Brother Rice player to watch: Junior running back Martez Walker can give a defense fits with his ability.
Prediction: Loyola 31, Brother Rice 14
York (5-0) at Lyons (5-0) on Saturday
The story: Whether York or Lyons can hang with Glenbard West in the West Suburban Silver has yet to be seen, but both teams have remained unbeaten so far. They have had to fight to stay that way, though. York, which was 4-5 last season, has won its last two games by a combined eight points. Lyons defeated Oak Park 14-9 last week. This is the first time York has been 5-0 since 1984.
York player to watch: Defensive back Joe Paparone has a knack for making big plays. He had an interception and recovered a fumble for a touchdown in last week’s win.
Lyons player to watch: Wide receiver Dylan Fiedler has stepped up in key situations. He had the game-winning touchdown against Oak Park last week.
Prediction: York 28, Lyons 20