Thursday, September 5, 2013

The more I think about it, the...

...more I can't believe I'm not going down to that double-header in East St. Louis this weekend. The contests pit two undefeated Chicago-area powerhouses against two undefeated downstate powerhouses. (It doesn't get much better.)

It would be relatively easy: leave the house around 8:00 am and arrive about five hours later at 1:00 pm. But it would also involve spending Saturday night in a hotel. And my wife, who has up until now indulged my quirky passion for high school football, doesn't have infinite patience. No, I guess I'll have to content myself with Notre Dame - Bartlett. But if I was going...

The first game features Loyola (1-0) at O'Fallon (1-0).

The Ramblers, you may recall, were 11-2 last year and lost to Glenbard North, 27-24, in the semifinals of Class 8A. Last week Loyola defeated Marquette University High School (WI), 31-8.

O'Fallon, for their part, beat Cahokia last week, 40-12, and was 9-3 in 2012. The Panthers defeated Homewood-Flossmoor, 37-35, in the first round of the 8A playoffs last year before losing to Lyons, 42-27, in the second round.

(In 2011 O'Fallon lost to St. Rita, beat Lincoln-Way Central and Lincoln-Way East in 2009, lost to St. Rita in 2006, and beat Hinsdale South but lost to Morgan Park in 2004.)

Translation: Since 2004 O'Fallon is 4-4 against Chicago-area schools. (Loyola, as far as I can tell, is 0-0 against downstate teams during this period.)

The second contest on Saturday will be between Montini (1-0) and East St. Louis (1-0).

The Broncos were 12-2 last year and Class 5A champs, beating Morris, 19-6, in the finals. In Week One Montini edged Maine South, 21-19.

The Lombard school is 2-1 against downstate teams, by my reckoning, having beaten Glenwood in the 2010 final, and defeating Sacred Heart-Griffin in 2008 before losing to them in 2009.

East St. Louis was 9-3 in 2012, losing their first two games of the season before losing to Edwardsville, 21-18, in the second round of the 7A playoffs.

In the last few years, the Flyers beat Oswego and lost to Wheaton Warrenville South in 2011, and defeated Minooka before losing (again) to Wheaton South in 2009. That puts their recent record against Chicago-area teams at 2-2.

So who will win these two games? How should I know? Maybe the Chicagoans will sweep the double-header, maybe they'll get swept, or maybe they'll split. If so, who will win, Loyola or Montini?

Let's check the rankings, shall we?

Trib (only Chicago-area teams):

2. Loyola
3. Montini

Sun-Times (Chicago area only):

3. Loyola
5. Montini

MaxPreps (entire state):

2. East St. Louis
6. Montini
18. Loyola
41. O'Fallon

AP Class 8A:

1. Loyola
4. O'Fallon

AP Class 6A:

2. East St. Louis

AP Class 5A:

1. Montini

If you believe MaxPreps, East St. Louis and Loyola should prevail. But, as they say, on any given day...

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