Batavia (5-1) at South Elgin (3-3)
When: 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Streamwood High School's Millennium Field
Last year: Batavia 35, South Elgin 28
Last week: Batavia 21, Geneva 7; South Elgin 49, West Chicago 12
Outlook: Originally scheduled to be played at South Elgin, this game has been moved to Streamwood's Millennium Field due to poor field conditions at South Elgin. The Storm and West Chicago chewed up South Elgin's field during Saturday's game played in the rain. Batavia needs a win to seal a playoff berth. This Upstate Eight crossover is critical to South Elgin's playoff hopes. The Storm need to win 2 of their last 3 games to qualify for playoff consideration. They will be heavily favored in Week 9 East Aurora (1-5). That means they must knock off either Batavia, the No. 6 team in Class 7A, or find a way next week to beat Cary-Grove (5-1), the No. 3 team in Class 6A, on Cary-Grove's homecoming. Neither is an easy task. Batavia rushed last week for 333 yards on 45 carries against Geneva for an average of 7.4 yards per attempt. Reggie Phillips carried 18 times for 123 yards "Their (offensive) line is one of their strengths," South Elgin coach Pat Pistorio said. "We went to watch them (last Friday). They were firing off the ball and they have a really big tight end (6-foot-6 Glenn Albanese) who can do some damage. We're going to have to play physical. I think the speed will be a bonus for us on that turf, hopefully."
Next week: Larkin (4-2) at Batavia; South Elgin at Cary-Grove (5-1)
East Aurora (1-5, 0-3) at Bartlett (2-4, 1-1)
When: Noon Saturday at Bartlett High School
Last year: East Aurora Bartlett
Last week: Glenbard East 14, East Aurora 7; St. Charles East 39, Bartlett 19
Outlook: Bartlett's 18th homecoming will be special as the Hawks play the first on-campus football game since the school opened 18 years ago. Temporary seating for approximately 1,000 will be available to see a contest the Hawks need to win. To become playoff eligible with 5 wins, Bartlett must beat East Aurora, upset Upstate Eight Valley leader West Aurora (6-0) on the road next week and beat Glenbard East (1-5) in Week 9. Playing the first homecoming game in school history presents a distraction of the highest order so the Hawks must focus on an East Aurora squad bent on playing spoiler. "They have some nice athletes," Bartlett coach Eric Ilich said of the Tomcats. They have nice players at defensive end, linebacker, quarterback and running back. They present plenty of problems. There's no quit in East Aurora. We look for a competitive team and a competitive game." The Bartlett defense has given the team a chance to win most games. That unit limits opponents to averages of 22.7 points and 278 total yards per game. The offense has struggled, averaging 14.6 points and 210 total yards per game
Next week: East Aurora at Streamwood (2-4); Bartlett at West Aurora (6-0)
Glenbard East (1-5) at Jacobs (3-3) Game time: 7:15 p.m. Friday.
The quick hit: Glenbard East again tries to shake schizophrenic tendencies. Like last week's 4 red-zone turnovers, then what coach John Walters called the Rams' best four minutes, Jared Rech's interception, a 70-yard touchdown drive and Bret Bushka's winning 27-yard run. Jacobs must win this "pink out" game to keep its playoff hopes realistic ahead of next week's game against undefeated Fox Valley Conference leader Prairie Ridge. This is the healthiest the Golden Eagles have been. Senior safety Connor Beech returns from injury to make his season debut, and the team recently welcomed back 6-foot-2, 222-pound linebacker Tyson Pachniak and senior receiver Aidan Ludlum (6-0, 170). "We've got to get this one," Jacobs coach Bill Mitz said. "Every game for us is a big one."
West Aurora (6-0, 3-0) at West Chicago (1-5, 1-2)Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.
The quick hit: West Aurora seeks its first conference title since 1983. DaQuan and DaVion Cross can score from anywhere on the field. West Chicago linebackers Noah Kotke and Tommy McDonald, defensive ends Trey Lally and Devonte Pascal will try to make them grind it out. With a second straight playoff bid in hand for the first time since 1983, West Aurora turns its attention to securing a high seed, garnering a home playoff game and polishing off the conference title since 1983. Odds are good on all fronts: the Blackhawks' three remaining opponents have a combined record of 5-13.