Here are my five thoughts from the high school football weekend.
1. What a career: Mount Carmel coach Frank Lenti is on the verge of breaking the state’s career wins record. He entered in a tie with former Richards coach Gary Korhonen after last Friday’s victory. He will likely break the 306-win record against St. Joseph on Saturday. Lenti has a 306-54 record in his 28 years. He’s won nine state championships and played in 14 state title games. He hasn’t shown signs he’s going to slow down anytime soon either. Maybe he can go for 400.
2. Game-time decision: As of Friday morning, I had planned to attend the Lockport-Lincoln-Way East game. But after some thought, I decided Crystal Lake South at Cary-Grove had a better chance to be a good game. It was one of my smarter decisions. Lincoln-Way East routed Lockport, and the Crystal Lake South-Cary-Grove game was an instant classic. Both teams showed they’re among the area’s best defensive teams. Cary-Grove held a 7-0 lead into the fourth quarter, but Crystal Lake South responded with a touchdown. And then after missing a 52-yard field goal attempt horribly earlier in the game, Crystal Lake South’s Brad Walovitch redeemed himself by nailing a 51-yarder for the game-winner in the final seconds. It doesn’t exactly top Week 1’s Carmel-Joliet Catholic game, but it was a good one.
3. Mr. Endurance: I don’t think I’ve seen anyone on the field as much as Crystal Lake South’s Brad Walovitch was against Cary-Grove. He punted. He kicked field goals. He caught passes. He broke up passes. He rushed with the ball. He not only did those things, but he did them at a high level. He’s one of the more impressive athletes I’ve witnessed this season.
4. Southwest Suburban representing: You have to consider the Southwest Suburban Blue as one of the top conferences in the state this season. Bolingbrook, Homewood-Flossmoor and Lincoln-Way East are all ranked and have outscored their opponents 436-83. Plus, you have an undefeated Sandburg and Lockport, which is 2-1. I’m planning to be at Friday’s game between Homewood-Flossmoor and Lincoln-Way East. It should be a good one.
5. Getting defensive: There have been a number of teams that have put up a big number of points this season. But what about elite defensive teams? There are definitely fewer of those. Here are some of the top defensive teams so far -- St. Edwards (has allowed 6 points this season), Lemont (6), Downers Grove South (7), Glenbard West (10), Crystal Lake South (13) and Prairie Ridge (14).