Wednesday, October 21, 2015
It's Week Nine, the last...
Way up north:
Crete-Monee (7-1) at Prairie Ridge (7-1)
This is the second game in an interesting two-year (I presume) non-conference series. Last year the Warriors shut out Prairie Ridge at home, 7-0. This year both teams enter the contest in sole possession of first place in their respective conferences, Crete-Monee in the Southland and Prairie Ridge in the Fox Valley (Fox).
The Indians lost to Brother Rice, 49-21, in Week Two. Since then, they beat Sycamore (5-3), 27-21, in overtime, and Rich Central (6-2), 45-9, on the road.
Prairie Ridge, for its part, only lost to Cary-Grove (7-1), 21-14, in Week One. The Wolves beat Grayslake North (5-3), 65-27, and Hampshire (5-3), 77-27. Their offense has averaged 58 points in its seven victories. Wow.
Lakes (6-2) at Libertyville (8-0)
This is your last chance to see Libertyville quarterback Riley Lees, above, before the playoffs (reason enough). It's also another interesting inter-conference matchup between the leaders of the North Suburban (Prairie) and the North Suburban (Lake) Conferences. And it's also my Game of the Week. (Check back tomorrow for details.)
Lincoln-Way West (7-1) at Lincoln-Way North (8-0)
This tilt is for the Southwest Suburban (Red) Conference title. And for bragging rights in the Frankfort-New Lenox area. And Lincoln-Way North's last ever regular-season game. (There's a story for you.)
The visiting Warriors' one loss came at the hands of Thornton (7-1), 35-28, in Week Five. And Thornton's one loss came at the hands of Lincoln-Way North, 28-26, two weeks ago. While West beat two 5-3 teams, Sycamore and Bradley-Bourbonnais, North has beaten everyone they've faced, including Richards (5-3), Sandburg (6-2) and Bradley-Bourbonnais, as well as Thornton. The Phoenix are rated No. 14 in the Tribune and should be a high seed in Class 6A if they don't get tripped up Friday night. You don't suppose the Warriors would like to ruin their perfect season, do you?
Hinsdale Central (7-1) at Oak Park River Forest (7-1)
This is a battle for second place in the West Suburban (Silver). Both teams lost to the conference leader, Glenbard West (8-0), but are each ranked in their own right. The Red Devils are No. 8 in the Trib and No. 10 in the Sun-Times, while the home team Huskies are No. 15 in the Trib and No. 14 in the Times.
If I were a bookmaker I'd say this one is a "pick 'em." Central, coming off a big 45-38 overtime win against cross-town rival Hinsdale South, may be the better team, but OPRF is at home and just crushed Lyons last week, 35-7, on the road.
If you feel like taking a drive and seeing the colors:
DeKalb (7-1) at Geneseo (7-1)
This game is a long way from the Chicago area. But if you go, in addition to the leaves, you will see the leader of the East Division of the Northern Illinois Big 12 Conference travel to the co-leader (with Sterling) of the West Division.
After losing in Week One to Plainfield North (6-2), 35-21, the Barbs (the Barbs?) have beaten two 5-3 squads, Sycamore and Kaneland. The home team Maple Leafs, who almost always go deep in the postseason, beat Eisenhower (6-2), 48-26, in Week Two before losing a heart-breaker to Sterling (7-1), 17-14, two weeks ago.
And on Saturday:
Mount Carmel (7-1) at Loyola (8-0)
What can you possibly say about this classic Catholic League (Blue) showdown? Except that it will be my other Game of the Week and I'll have details on Friday.