Thursday, September 1, 2016
Before there was...
And before the Ramblers dominated the Hawks in their last two meetings, in 2015 and 2013, Maine South had the upper hand. This Saturday the rivalry continues. Loyola, No. 1 everywhere, will host the Park Ridge squad, ranked No. 10 in the AP Class 8A, No. 11 in the Sun-Times, No. 13 in the Tribune and No. 14 in MaxPreps.
Here's a quick recap of the series (home team in CAPS):
2015: Loyola 49, MAINE SOUTH 8
2013: LOYOLA 35, Maine South 0 (Round Three)
2010: Maine South 29, LOYOLA 22 (Semifinals)
2009: MAINE SOUTH 21, Loyola 14 (Round Three)
2008: MAINE SOUTH 26, Loyola 7 (Round Two)
The best game -- for Maine South fans at least -- was that dramatic come-from-behind victory in 2010. (I was there, although I had to leave early. Here's my post from that day.) Bottom line: the Hawks scored 16 points in the game's final 2:43. (I bet they're still talking about it in Park Ridge. And Wilmette.)
Who's going to win this one? Beth Long of the Sun-Times has a nice summary here. (Crete-Monee at Brother Rice isn't one of the top five games of the week?) I'd say based on the last two outcomes and home-field advantage the Ramblers should be favored by at least a field goal. But this is the best Maine South team I've seen in years (here's my post from last week's game) and Loyola will have its hands full with Hawks running back Fotis Kokosioulis, above. Even if they do find a way to stop him the Ramblers will have to contend with quarterback Nick Leongas and his talented receiver corps. Trust me: Maine South is back. Plus -- plus -- Loyola coach John Holecek will have to keep his players from looking ahead to next week's Catholic League Blue showdown with Mount Carmel on the road!
The forecast for Saturday is 74 and sunny. How can this not be your Game of the Week?
P. S. As always, I'll be live-tweeting the contest for all the shut-ins @BoringOldWhtGuy. See you there!