Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Here are some games...

...that caught my eye for Week Nine, the last one of the regular season. Did I miss some? I'm sure I did. But these should be pretty good.

First of all, in the Catholic League Blue, you have St. Rita (6-2) at Brother Rice (5-3) and Loyola (7-1) at Mount Carmel (4-4).

The former may be the better contest but the latter is do-or-die for the Caravan. When I first saw this game scheduled before the season I thought it would be for the conference title. I never considered the possibility that a Frank Lenti squad could miss the playoffs. (Wait a minute; I have to reread that last sentence.)

Elsewhere in the Catholic League, in the Green Division, Marmion (6-2) is at Montini (5-3). Marmion edged St. Francis (6-2), 17-13, and shut out Aurora Christian (4-4) last week, 56-0. The Broncos, meanwhile, lost to Maine South (8-0), St. Rita and St. Francis before rebounding last week against Fenwick (5-3), 24-7. The Cadets seem to be on the rise while Montini isn't its usual unbeatable, chest-thumping self. Will we see a reversion to the mean this Friday in Lombard?

In the DuPage Valley Conference, Wheaton Warrenville South (4-4), like Mount Carmel, will be fighting for its life at Naperville Central (7-1). Can the Tigers upset the Redhawks on the road and keep their playoff hopes alive? My Magic 8 Ball says: Outlook not so good.

In the provinces, you have two great games: Geneseo (8-0) at DeKalb (8-0) and Clifton Central (7-1) at Momence (8-0). Now in years gone by I'd think nothing of hopping in the car on a Friday afternoon and driving a little over an hour to see either of these matchups. But, today, I'll just watch for the scores on @IHSAScoreZone on Twitter.

Didn't get enough? On Saturday there's St. Francis (6-2) at Fenwick (5-3) and St. Viator (5-3) at Nazareth (8-0).

The Spartans of St. Francis may be the surprise team of 2014, losing by only a touchdown to Brother Rice while beating Montini convincingly, 31-7. (I'll admit when I first saw that last score I thought it was a misprint.) Fenwick, for its part, has been a bit of a disappointment this year. I think most people thought the Friars would have a Big Season, especially after landing Iowa-bound Jack Beneventi, arguably the best quarterback in the state, over the winter. (What's the back story there?) But Fenwick lost to three good teams: Bishop Lynch of Dallas, TX (5-3), shut out by Loyola, 42-0, (!) and Montini last week. Can they right the ship in time to hold off the upstarts from Wheaton?

As for that last one, the Lions of St. Viator are looking to spoil Nazareth's perfect season. If the Roadrunners let down, that's exactly what could happen. Otherwise Naz enters the postseason undefeated with a No. 1 seed. The only question left is, will they be in 5A or 6A?

Oh, and don't forget: playoff brackets will be announced Saturday night. Enjoy the games!

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