Thursday, October 22, 2015

As far as I can tell...

...Libertyville (8-0) and Lakes (6-2) have only met once before on the gridiron, in 2009, when the home team Wildcats got the better of the visitors from Lake Villa, 35-17.

Surprised? After all, Libertyville High School has been around since 1917. (And boasts such alums as Marlon Brando, who was expelled for riding his motorcycle through the corridors. Foreshadowing?)

But Lakes High School only opened its doors in 2004. They ramped up their football program rather quickly and haven't had a losing season since 2008. So wouldn't you have thought the two schools -- only about a half hour's drive apart -- would have played each other more than once by now?

Oh, well. Tomorrow night Libertyville, the leader of the North Suburban Lake Conference, will again host Lakes, the leader of the North Suburban Prairie Conference. It's my Game of the Week.

Why do I like this tilt? A couple of reasons. The first is that Lakes, on a six-game winning streak since Week Two, could sneak up on the Wildcats and ruin their perfect season. The Eagles, who went 9-4 last year, haven't lost more than two games in a season since 2011. Here's their 2015 schedule so far (with home team in CAPS):

Grayslake North 31, LAKES 26
HIGHLAND PARK 21, Lakes 14
LAKES 14, Antioch 9
LAKES 34, Grant 14
Lakes 16, WAUCONDA 2
LAKES 55, Round Lake 7
Lakes 26, VERNON HILLS 20

The second reason is Libertyville's quarterback Riley Lees, by far the most exciting player I've seen this year. In the 35-7 victory over Stevenson, in which the Wildcats beat the Patriots for the first time since 2008, Lees ran for four touchdowns (three of them for 80, 61 and 78 yards) and passed for a fifth. As you can see from their schedule, the Wildcats have dominated everyone they've faced this year:

LIBERTYVILLE 55, Elk Grove 28
Libertyville 48, LAKE FOREST ACADEMY 0
Libertyville 41, ZION-BENTON 0
LIBERTYVILLE 42, Lake Forest 7
Libertyville 35, STEVENSON 7
LIBERTYVILLE 41, Lake Zurich 21
LIBERTYVILLE 48, Warren 21
Libertyville 34, MUNDELEIN 7

Now, do I think the Eagles will upset Libertyville? Not really. MaxPreps has Lakes ranked only No. 189 in the state of Illinois, behind 1-7 St. Viator. Libertyville, meanwhile, is ranked No. 4 everywhere -- in the Tribune, the Sun-Times and MaxPreps. (Are they on a collision course with Glenbard West for the 7A title?)

But I do think Lakes could give the Wildcats a decent game on the eve of the playoffs. 

As always, I'll be live-tweeting the action @BoringOldWhtGuy.

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