Friday, October 17, 2014

My Game of the Week...

...will be on Saturday in Wilmette: St. Rita (6-1) at Loyola (6-1).

This contest between two Catholic League Blue teams needs no introduction; they've been going at it on the gridiron since my late father was a little boy. (And since a football field was called a "gridiron.") To give you some idea, my dad was born in 1919; St. Rita was founded in 1905 and Loyola in 1909.

This year, the Mustangs are rated No. 9 in the Tribune, No. 11 in MaxPreps and No. 14 in the Sun-Times. The Ramblers, meanwhile, are ranked No. 1 in MaxPreps, No. 3 in the Trib and No. 9 in the Times. Mike Clark, where's the love for the Catholic League?

Rita has beaten three winning teams in 2014: Simeon (6-1), Montini (4-3) and Aurora Christian (4-3). The Mustangs also defeated Mount Carmel (3-4), which might as well be a winning team. The South Siders' only loss, of course, came at the hands of Providence (6-1). Here's their schedule so far (home team in CAPS):

St. Rita 28, Simeon 26 (Toyota Park)
ST. RITA 56, Dunbar 8
ST. RITA 21, Montini 0
ST. RITA 23, Mount Carmel 21
Providence 41, ST. RITA 27
ST. RITA 55, St. Joseph 14

Loyola, for its part, also has four high-quality wins. The Ramblers shut out Marquette of Milwaukee (6-2 and ranked No. 20 in the state of Wisconsin by MaxPreps) and Fenwick (5-2); came back from a 21-0 halftime deficit to defeat Edwardsville (6-1) in overtime, and edged Providence (6-1) on a last-second field goal. How come I haven't seen these guys this year?

Oh, and the North Siders' only loss this year (a fluke?) was in Week Three at Brother Rice (5-2). Here's their full schedule:

Loyola 44, MARQUETTE (WI) 0
LOYOLA 29, Edwardsville 28 (OT)
BROTHER RICE 16,  Loyola 13
LOYOLA 42, Fenwick 0
Loyola 55, ST. IGNATIUS 13
LOYOLA 10, Providence 7
Loyola 42, DEPAUL 6 

Now, as I mentioned earlier, these guys have been playing each other since, well, forever. (Or at least long before Ray Manzarek graduated from Rita in 1958 and Bill Murray graduated from Loyola in 1968.) Here are the last ten years' worth of games:

2013: ST. RITA 31, Loyola 19
2012: Loyola 28, ST. RITA 7
2011: LOYOLA 34, St. Rita 7
2010: Loyola 24, ST. RITA 21
2009: LOYOLA 17, St. Rita 7
2008: LOYOLA 24, St. Rita 0
2007: Loyola 28, ST. RITA 17
            St. Rita 28, LOYOLA 0
2006: St. Rita 35, LOYOLA 14
2005: ST. RITA 26, Loyola 7
2004: St. Rita 42, LOYOLA 17

As you can see, with the exception of last season, the Ramblers have owned the Mustangs in recent years. What's going to happen tomorrow? I have to go with the home team. While I watched Rita win one game (Mount Carmel) and lose one (Providence), I have yet to see the Ramblers play in 2014. But their results so far on paper have been very impressive. (The Wilmette squad took down mighty Providence; the Celtics had no trouble with St. Rita at 77th and Western.) It looks like Coach John Holecek is going to take his merry band of Division III recruits back downstate or, at the very least, deep in the 8A playoffs. (Revenge, Stevenson?)

Either way, I'll be live-tweeting the contest @BoringOldWhtGuy and available to dissect the day's key plays over a Reuben sandwich, Tater Tots and a non-alcoholic beer at some local watering hole.

Have any place in mind?

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