Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Here's a sneak peek... seven good games to watch this weekend.

If you live up north:

Jacobs (5-0) at Huntley (5-0)
Are the Red Raiders for real? Huntley beat previously undefeated -- and last year's 7A runner up -- Cary-Grove (4-1) last week, 29-8, for the first time in at least ten years. If the Red Raiders beat Jacobs they will be in sole possession of first place in the Valley division of the Fox Valley Conference. Is Huntley the most overlooked team in 8A?

Conant (5-0) at Barrington (5-0)
Or are one of these two the most overlooked team in 8A? This tilt is also for the conference lead, the Mid-Suburban West. While I'm tempted to say that neither squad has been tested, Conant did hand Fremd (4-1) its first loss of the season last week, 26-17. Barrington's quarterback, Johnny Davidson, gets a lot of press, but Conant also has a pretty good signal-caller in Kyle Bradley. Will this be an air war? 

Lake Zurich (2-3) at Libertyville (5-0)
Why on earth am I recommending a game with a losing team? Because the Bears are a heck of a lot better than their record would indicate. The perennial Lake County power's three losses all came at the hands of quality opponents: Fremd (4-1), Cary-Grove (4-1) and Stevenson (3-2). But the real reason to go to this game is to see Wildcat quarterback Riley Lees. He's far and away the most exciting player I've seen so far this year. If my brother weren't coming down to visit this weekend I'd be up in Libertyville Friday night. If you live up that way, for the love of God, go!

Down south:

Mount Carmel (5-0) at Brother Rice (4-1)
The Crusaders are at home and underrated, but the Caravan should prevail. Will Mount Carmel and Loyola be undefeated when they meet up in Wilmette in Week Nine? My Magic 8 Ball says, "Signs point to yes."

Loyola (5-0) at Providence (2-3)
Pssst: My Game of the Week (check back tomorrow).

Out west:

Naperville Central (4-1) at Batavia (5-0)
Batavia is another team that isn't getting a whole lot of respect even though the Bulldogs handed Oswego (4-1) and South Elgin (4-1)  their only losses of the year and beat St. Charles North (3-2) last week by twenty points. As for the Redhawks, this tilt should shed some light on the question of whether everyone in the DVC is beating up on each other because they're that good or because they're that bad. Central hasn't wowed anybody this year, but its sole loss was to Waubonsie Valley (3-2) in Week Four by only one point. I had always assumed the Redhawks would be in the hunt for the 8A title; this contest should answer a lot of questions.

And on Saturday:

Hinsdale Central (5-0) at Glenbard West (5-0)
I'll be at the Minnesota - Northwestern game on Saturday, but I'll be following this game closely on Twitter. Does it really matter, though? The only team that stands a chance of beating Glenbard West in the regular season is Oak Park River Forest (5-0) in Week Seven.

Enjoy the Games!

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