Wednesday, September 18, 2013

My two Games of the Week...

...will be Benet (3-0) at Crete-Monee (3-0), above, on Friday night and Providence (2-1) at Loyola (3-0) on Saturday afternoon.

Now, I know what you're thinking: But Benet's star running back Porter Ontko is out for the season due to an injury. And Crete-Monee not only graduated Player of the Year Laquon Treadwell but also saw head coach Jerry Verde depart for Marian Catholic.

But I still say this should be the best game of the night. The contest will feature a slew of Division I prospects, including junior Jack Beneventi at quarterback for Benet and heavily-recruited linebacker Nyles Morgan and defensive end Chris Slayton for Crete-Monee. Not only that, but the Warriors also have Kevon Love at wide receiver, Deon Benton at defensive back and three juniors who are attracting attention from college recruiters: safety Omari Stringer, wide receiver Carlos Baker and running back Rashard Harris.

Benet, last year's 7A runner-up, is ranked No. 10 in the Trib, No. 17 in the Sun-Times and No. 12 by MaxPreps. (The Associated Press, which ranks according to classes, has Benet receiving 8 votes but not quite cracking the top ten in 7A.) Here are the results of the Redwings 2013 season so far (home team in CAPS):

BENET 41, South Elgin 12
BENET 37, St. Patrick 13

Crete-Monee, for its part, was last year's 6A champ and is currently ranked No. 9 in the Trib, No. 13 in the Sun-Times and No. 8 by MaxPreps. In 6A, the AP gives Crete the top ranking. Here are the Warriors' results so far:

CRETE 42, Evanston 15
CRETE 14, Simeon 12

The two programs, to my knowledge, have never met.

I've had this game on my calendar for some time now but got a little skittish when I found out that Ontko would be out for the season. Do I really want to drive all that way to see a Benet team that isn't at full strength? (I hate mismatches.) But when I saw that the Redwings still scored 37 points against St. Patrick last week (mighty Mount Carmel only scored 40) and the Warriors barely survived a winless Simeon team I thought: Maybe this will be a good game after all.

Who do I think will prevail? Crete-Monee may just have too much talent for the Redwings. I have to give the advantage to the home team on this one.

Tomorrow: Providence at Loyola.

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